We are mid winter now and so far it’s been a pretty decent winter here on the ranch. What I mean by that is we seem to have a pretty good snow pack. Park County Road and Bridge has been doing a fine job keeping our roads open. The burn pit was burned, which is always a good thing for the following summer, and hopefully the spring thaw will help to keep the fire season somewhat in check. Of course we never know until we see how June works out, which tends to be a very dry month.
The flu and cold season has hit the ranch pretty hard this year. Our Ranch Manager, John Adams, has been hit very hard as many of you know thru Facebook and Next Door. John has spent considerable time in the hospital with very serious complications from the flu which led to pneumonia. The last report from him indicates he is hopefully on the road to recover. John is a key reason why life here on the Ranch is so great and he is an integral part of our Ranch family. We will continue to keep John and his wife in our thoughts and prayers.
We did have a surprise visitor at our January meeting. Our County Commissioner, Ray Douglas, stopped by at the very end of the meeting to see how things were going. We had a good discussion regarding various topics including county ordinance enforcement in which he recommended that we continue to work with the various county agencies for enforcement. He also encouraged people to attend the weekly county commissioners meetings if there are areas or concerns you have that are not being addressed or in general to stay abreast of what is going on in the county.
The February Board meeting was cancelled due to weather and sickness. Our next meeting will be March 14th. Immediately following the regular March monthly meeting will be our annual documents review meeting. The Board will review our By-Laws document and our Policies and Procedures and Rules document. These are on the web site for your reference. They will be updated with any new Colorado statutes that have been added over the last year regarding HOA’s and we will also consider any new additions or modifications that are brought up by lot owners or Board members. If any lot owners (members) have any suggestions for changes to these documents they need to be submitted to me no later than March 1st in writing so I can distribute them to our Board members in advance of the meeting. Last year we had a marathon all day 8 hour meeting and we are hoping that we can reduce that significantly this year with all requested changes received in advance. While the Board has the right to enact any new rules or regulations without overall member approval, the Board can bring before the members at the annual meeting in August any new rules for member input or approval. The Board is committed to acting in the best interest of all of our members.
One subject that we had several issues with last year revolved around camping on unimproved lots. It should be pointed out that our development is zoned as a residential area. The Ranch was never intended to be a permanent campground like CORA. In the past, and according to our historical documents, camping has been allowed by lot owners. However, the demographics are significantly different now than when the Ranch was first developed. There are nearly 500 homes with a CO (Certificate of Occupancy) on the 1501 lots of the Ranch and the majority of those are year round residents. Change is inevitable and most likely will have an effect on our rules over time regarding how our members are allowed to use their lots. When you look at our By-Laws, and I have copied a few of them below, you can see how they support change.
Bylaw Two — PURPOSES AND OBJECTIVES
In amplification of the purposes for which the Association has been formed as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation, the Purposes and Objectives are as follows:
- To support a community designed for safe, healthful and harmonious living.
(e) To cooperate with owners of all vacant and unimproved lots and plots now existing or that hereafter shall exist in the subdivision in keeping them in good order and condition, in preventing them from becoming a nuisance and a detriment to the beauty of the subdivision and to the value of the improved property therein and to take any action with reference to such vacant and unimproved lots and plots as may be necessary or desirable to keep them from becoming such nuisance and detriment.
(f) To aid and cooperate with the members of this Association and all property owners in the tract in the enforcement of conditions, covenant and restrictions on and appurtenant to their property.
(g) In general, but in connection with the foregoing, to do any and all things necessary to promote the general welfare of the residents and owner of portions of the Ranch of the Rockies and their property interests therein.
I should point out that as an Organization the Ranch has the right to have rules that are more stringent than County or State laws but we do not technically have the right to make rules that are less stringent than County and State Laws. The county for the most part has not enforced their more stringent camping rules on us so far but that may be changing. It has been brought to our attention that a new Park County Camping Ordinance 20-01, will be taking affect March 16, 2020 and a copy can be found by clicking on the link below for your reference. It may be worth checking out as it will also come with some pretty hefty fines. The first violation is a $150 fine, the second a $500 fine and the third and each subsequent violation will be a $1000 fine.
One key rule that needs to be pointed out is that camping in the Ranch is restricted to lot owners only and they need to be present during camping activities. This means it is not acceptable or allowed to rent out your vacant lot for camping or allow non lot owners to camp on your lot without you, the lot owner, being present. The new camping ordinance will also not allow more than two camping units on a lot at any one time which also applies to the Ranch. As a reminder, camping is permitted within the Ranch on unimproved lots ONLY between April 1 and November 1. Camping units must not remain on lots after November 1 unless you have applied for and received a two week winter camping permit from the Ranch manager so in the event of very severe weather he can check on you to make sure you are ok.
That’s it for now. Get out there and enjoy winter.
Secretary of the Board