Neighborhoods of Colorado Springs

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The Charm of the Patty Jewett Neighborhood

The beginning of summer of 2001, I moved to Colorado Springs. I actually drove, all by myself, a 22’ diesel U-haul truck into Colorado Springs. That’s a different and much longer story.  I had visited Colorado Springs once or twice before, and this young, recent college grad was thrilled that this town was going to be my own. I quickly fell in love with the grand spectacle of Pikes Peak and all this town had to offer. As I settled in on the east side, I began exploring my new found home.

Being from the south, I quickly began to swoon over Downtown Colorado Springs, the Old North End, and Old Colorado City. I loved the old Victorian homes with their porches and tree-lined streets. It made me feel at home. And I’m a sucker for old houses and buildings, even old people are the best! I love anything with a story, and you have to have some age to have a story!

Many times driving from the east side of town, with its exquisite views of the mountains, I would be overcome with awe. Look at that view. What a gorgeous place this is!

How I Discovered Patty Jewett

As I would make my way to downtown, a trailhead on the west side, or a restaurant in Old Colorado City, I would drive through this perfect little neighborhood with it’s mostly early to mid 20th-century homes and tree-lined streets. It quickly became a favorite of mine. I would intentionally plan my routes to drive through this part of town. And back then, you did have to plan your routes by getting directions from an actual person perhaps. Crazy!

Then one day, a friend invited me to go hit golf balls at the driving range. They gave me directions to this little public golf course. And there I was driving through that fantastic little neighborhood again, and I arrived at what I would say is one of the most fantastic and lovely places in the Springs — The Patty Jewett Golf Course.

So, we hit some balls and made a plan for coming back to play a round of 9 in a couple of weeks. Before we left, we sat and enjoyed a drink at the Clubhouse with one of the best views of Pikes Peak you’ll find in town! And I figured it out, this neighborhood that I loved so much was called Patty Jewett. A number of years later I bought a house in what I would call part of the greater Patty Jewett neighborhood, a little neighborhood just on the northside called Bonnyville.

Where exactly is Patty Jewett?

Generally speaking, the greater Patty Jewett neighborhood is bordered by Union on the east, Uintah on the south, Wahsatch on the west, and La Salle in the Bonnyville area on the north. Why do I say generally speaking? Well, parts of Wahsatch are in the Old North End. And the boundary between Old North End and Patty Jewett is really the alley between…. Anyway, I won’t bore you with those details. We can have coffee sometime, and we can cover these nuances.

Map of Patty Jewett

The Patty Jewett Charm and Appeal

The Patty Jewett part of town is full of charm and character. And it’s connected to major history in our city. The golf club was established in 1897 and predates all but two other golf clubs in the country. The golf course was built in 1910, and then in 1919 the course was given to the city of Colorado Springs by W.K. Jewett in honor of his late wife, Patty Stuart Jewett. Now we know the neighborhood around this course by this same honor.

I said I loved a good story! And this neighborhood sure does have a GREAT one!

My Neighborhood Tour of Patty Jewett

My colleagues at Springs Homes asked if I would like to make a video about my favorite neighborhood. “Oh, you mean Patty Jewett?”, I laughed as if there is any doubt that this is my favorite area. Preparing to make this video gave me a great chance to dig a little bit into the history of the area, think about all of the reasons that I like living here, and summarize why I feel this is such a good neighborhood for such a wide variety of people. And now you have a chance to watch a personal tour of Patty Jewett given by yours truly. My only regret is I wish my hair was behaving better during the filming.

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Searching for the Right Schools!

What are the Best Schools in Colorado Springs?

As real estate professionals, we are often asked to help find the “best school” and while we cannot steer you in the direction of a certain district, school or neighborhood for a variety of reasons, the truth is the “right school” is different for every family and student. I have a friend with 6 students in different schools/districts; they did the research to find what’s best for each of their students! I’m here to help you find more information so you can make an informed decision.

Once you have selected the right school or district for your student or family, try out our Springs Homes awesome new search-by-school-district capability.

School district map

Here is a brief summary of all the local Colorado Springs area school districts, with approximate area descriptions, websites, mean SAT Scores, Median Home Price in the District and the Student Enrollment.

(Data courtesy of the MLS, gazette.com and SchoolDigger.com)

Colorado Springs School Districts

Academy School District 20 – https://www.asd20.org/

Located in the north end of Colorado Springs, including a high school on the Air Force Academy, hence the name.

Median Sales Price $493,669. Student Enrollment 24,578. Mean SAT Score 1092.

Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 – www.cmsd.k12.co.us/

Southwest Colorado Springs, west of Hwy 115.

Median Sales Price $455,000. Student Enrollment 5,148. Mean SAT Score 1153.

Colorado Springs School District 11 – https://www.d11.org/

One of the oldest school districts in Colorado Springs. I’ve always mistakenly thought the largest acreage, but it is probably the highest population. It is the “central” school district, mostly downtown and areas surrounding, all the way up to Woodmen Rd.

Median Sales Price $235,000. Student Enrollment 28,332. Mean SAT Score 966.

Ellicott School District 22 – https://www.ellicottschools.org/

More rural schools located east/southeast of Peyton, Colorado.

Median Sales Price $225,000. Student Enrollment 1,072. Mean SAT Score 932.

Falcon School District 49 – https://www.d49.org/

Eastern Colorado Springs out toward Peyton, north of Peterson Air Force Base, east of Powers.

Median Sales Price $160,000. Student enrollment 15,478. Mean SAT Score 927.

Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 – https://www.ffc8.org/

Southern Colorado Springs to Fountain, Colorado, including schools on Fort Carson Army base in southwest Colorado Springs

Median Sales Price $237,000. Student Enrollment 8,120. Mean SAT Score 967.

Hanover School District 28 – www.hanoverhornets.org/

Rural east/southeast of Fountain, Colorado

Median Sales Price $220,000. Student Enrollment 260. Mean SAT Score 812.

Harrison School District 2 – https://www.hsd2.org/

Southeast Colorado Springs, west of powers, East of Hwy 115 to South Academy, portions in the Widefield area

Median Sales Price $203,000. Student Enrollment 11,441. Mean SAT Score 945.

Lewis-Palmer School District 38 – https://www.lewispalmer.org/

Located in the Monument, Colorado and Palmer Lake, Colorado portions of Northern El Paso County.

Median Sales Price $445,000. Student Enrollment 6,207. Mean SAT Score 1129.

Manitou Springs School District 14 – https://www.mssd14.org/

Located in Manitou Springs, west of downtown Colorado Springs.

Median Sales Price $495,000, enrollment 1,458. Mean SAT Score 1044.

Peyton School District 23JT – www.peyton.k12.co.us/

Rural district Northeast of Colorado Springs
Median Sales Price $349,000. Student Enrollment 622. Mean SAT Score 1004.

Widefield School District 3 – https://www.wsd3.org/

South Colorado Springs, North of Fountain
Median Sales Price $249,900. Student Enrollment 9,283. Mean SAT Score 942.

Woodland Park School District Re-2 – www.wpsdk12.org/

Located in Woodland Park, Colorado and surrounding communities, west of Colorado Springs, up Ute pass to the west

Median Sales Price $203,000. Student Enrollment 2,495. Mean SAT Score 978.

Researching Your School Choices

Within these districts are some Charter School programs that, while in the public school system, have a different operation, websites, etc.

When we enlisted our boys in public school, we visited public and charter school open house nights, investigated programs available, location, etc. There is so much importance in your child’s education, so whether you are looking for a house in a school district or trying to “choice” into a different school for your child, do a little (or a lot of) research!

Good luck with your school research. I’m here to help if it’s time to move!

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Academy School District 20 Boundary Changes

If you want to stir up some controversy, start a discussion about schools; if you really want to get people excited, start a discussion on school district boundaries. Academy School District D20 is proposing some boundary changes for the upcoming school years. One of the first things people ask is about changes to external boundaries (those bordering other districts). The answer is NO, those will not change. It would take an act of Congress or God to change those. 😉 I met with a parent volunteer on the Boundary Committee this week to try and understand details (since I couldn’t make the open house discussion nights).

When the bond issue passed in 2016, Academy School district 20 began contemplating new schools, and with that comes a lot of tough decisions. We all see the growth around the district! The team that worked long hours to adjust and add school boundaries is made up of board school district board members and about 25 parents who volunteer to help “redistribute” thousands to students. I can’t imagine the difficult task of understanding the growth, school-age students per household, etc.

The PROPOSED plan is spread out over the next 5 years, and I will try to lay out the details to include map links. (below).  There will be a Board vote going forward in October.

2018-2019 school year

1) Elementary #20 (yes, they will be renamed) – SEE MAP 1 – new school in the Southeast portion of Wolf Ranch development. Research Blvd Is in the process of being extended east to Black Forest Rd to allow for access. This connection will not be open until right when school begins for the ’18-’19 school year, as they don’t want people speeding through that zone and re-adjusting to school speed limits.

Details: This will be the neighborhood elementary for the following:

* the eastern “half” of Wolf Ranch, primarily from Wolf Lake Dr (portions go as far west as Valemount or Wolf Center) to the east to the eastern district boundary, north to Old Ranch or Wildflower Rd (again, please see maps)

* southern filings of Wolf Ranch from Research south through Cumbre Vista to Woodmen Rd

* Forestgate, Silver Ponds, eagle Wing Estates communities

* Innovation Learning Center will eventually be at this site as well.

2) Redistribution at northern part of ASD20 (Discovery Canyon Campus, Antelope Trails, Da Vinci Elementary Schools) – (MAP 3) goal is to increase population at Antelope Trails Elementary and take population load off Da Vinci and Discovery Canyon Elementary Schools

* Northgate Estates and small surrounding area (just north of Northgate Rd & Voyager) – neighborhood elementary will be changed from Da Vinci Academy to Antelope Trails

2019-2020 school year – (MAP 4)

1) Middle school #8, location northern portion of Cordera. Distribution details (yes, confusing, consult maps and the district)

* take the population pressure off Challenger and Timberview Middle Schools

* neighborhood middle school for all of Cordera

* neighborhood middle school for Wolf Ranch, Cumbre Vista, Forest Gate, Eagle Wing Estates, Silver Ponds

* east, northeast of Powers, south of Old Ranch Rd

2020-2021 school year –  High School Realignment Scenario C – 1 year after opening of middle school #8 (MAP 5)

* Cordera and western Wolf Ranch to Pine Creek High School * this is a change

* Eastern Wolf Ranch, Cumbre Vista to Liberty High School 8 * this does not change neighborhood school boundary

* Rampart boundaries unchanged

2021-2022 OR 2022-2023 school year (TBD) – Elementary School #21 (MAP 6)

* location in North Creek near Pine Creek High School

* move western portion of Cordera to new elementary

* move students from south of Shoup, east of Hwy 83 to new elementary

* move students from west of Milam, west of Howells (from Edith Wolford Elementary) to new elementary

I would love to hep you understand these boundaries and changes, as it relates to selling or purchasing a home in the Academy School District 20. This is historically a strong district with high test scores and personally, expect nothing less as it continues to grow!

Academy D20 Proposed Boundary Maps

** NOTES:

* Students transitioning within same school level will be polled and most likely be allowed to stay to keep original neighborhood school where maps otherwise indicate a change would be required. Please consult district for details.

* Opinion – I am personally excited about the growth and forethought the district has to plan for the population growth.

* This is not a final and conclusive decision, please reference the district website or call them.

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Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun

As if the city of Colorado Springs wasn’t already fascinating enough, the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun is a destination you should include on your bucket list.

Constructed between 1934 and 1937, the shrine is one of our incredible local landmarks created by Spencer Penrose. Penrose was a huge fan of Will Rogers, a humorist and wild west comedic actor during the early days of motion pictures. Rogers, unfortunately, died in a plane crash in 1935 before the Shrine was completed. However, once inside, visitors will enjoy many images and videos of Will Rogers in action as seen through his films.

Access to the Shrine is included with your admission to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, another great attraction! Simply drive up to the gate and the attendant will give you quick and easy instructions for your journey through the Zoo and up the mountainside.

Upon arrival you will be mesmerized by the view of the surrounding mountains to the West and the sprawling plains to the East. As you enter the shrine, you can begin with a stop inside the visitor center to gather some interesting history of Rogers and the Shrine then take a short walk through the stone archway and up the path to the Shrine itself. The Shrine is a 5-story marvel standing at 100 feet and having been constructed from cut stone obtained from a single boulder!

The Shrine also serves as a memorial to Spencer and Julie Penrose. Their tombs are located on the lower level. You can access the upper levels via a narrow staircase while you enjoy views and pieces of Will Roger’s history on every floor.

The Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun is sure to surprise and delight all who visit and at an elevation of 8,136 feet it will take your breath away! As you look down from the shrine, you will see beautiful residential neighborhoods, Garden of the Gods, the Black Forest, the Colorado Springs Airport as well as the unmistakable Broadmoor Resort. The nearby residential communities of Broadmoor Resort Community and Broadmoor Heights offer some great homes for sale with the added bonus of hearing the chimes throughout the day. Stay tuned to the Springs Homes Facebook page to see my upcoming listing of a remodel in Broadmoor Heights.

The Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun attraction is open daily except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day from 9 AM – 4 PM. It is recommended to call ahead during inclement weather.

Plan your family visit today!

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The Promenade Shops at Briargate

One of the newer shopping mall developments in Colorado Springs is The Promenade Shops at Briargate, an open air, pet-friendly, outdoor shopping center, located east of I-25 at Briargate & Voyager Parkways.

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History

In August 2003, Poag & McEwen Shopping Centers opened the Promenade Shops at Briargate, Colorado Springs’ first

In August 2003, Poag & McEwen Shopping Centers opened the Promenade Shops at Briargate, Colorado Springs’ first open-air shopping mall. The Promenade Shops at Briargate were built targeting shoppers looking for stores like Chico’s, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma that were found in larger cities.

Since their opening, The Promenade Shops at Briargate has seen significant changes. The 2008 economic crisis resulted in some retail closure, but the center retained a vibrant tenant mix to attract shoppers. In 2013, an ownership change brought more exciting changes. Two new retail and restaurant building were constructed. They were completed and fully leased by mid-2016.

Tenants

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Some of the original tenants of The Promenade Shops at Briargate currently occupy the center including Pottery Barn, Williams- Sonoma, Talbots and J. Jill. Recent additions include Modern Market, Charming Charlie, and Soft Surroundings,

There are 55 total businesses in the shopping center, including 10 restaurants. The shopper target demographic age group ranges from 20-60 with the varied tenant mix including Anthropologie, Apple, Lululemon Athletica and Sephora.

Some of the businesses are locally run as franchises, including Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Complete Nutrition, and Bird Dog BBQ.

Before the development of the Promenade Shops at Briargate, Colorado Springs didn’t have many restaurants like Teds’ Montana Grill or P.F. Chang’s. The location of the center is intended to intercept drivers on their commute on I25 and offer a new mix of retail and food from a variety of sources that are for the most part unavailable elsewhere in Colorado Springs.

Events

A variety of events are held at the Promenade Shops at Briargate, including the summer Farmers Market on the Promenade. The weekly event starts on Father’s Day this year, Sunday June 18th. The Farmers Market will run every Sunday until the end of September, with September 24th as the last day. The market is open from 9am to 1pm, which allows two hours for farmer’s market shoppers to peruse the vendors before the shops open, and lasts for another two hours after the retail shops and restaurants open.

Farmers Market Promenade Shops at Briargate

 

The farmers market is filled with local farmers, thanks to the farmer coordinator, Chris Sniffen, a local egg farmer who owns a chicken ranch in Calhan. As a local farmer himself, he has enough connections to populate the farmers market and has been able to connect with local honey producers, herb and tea blend growers, grass fed meat producers, and an organic vegetable farm in Larkspur. The goal of the market is to offer the shoppers at the center an attractive array of locally sourced and organic food. Look for this event on the road between Biaggi’s and P.F. Chang’s.

Other events that take place at The Promenade Shops at Briargate include Bark at Briargate, an outdoor pet expo, and Parad-Ice on the Promenade, a live ice sculpture event. Bark at Briargate will be held on Saturday, August 12, from 10 am to 1 pm, and Parad-Ice on the Promenade will be held during the holiday shopping season. Visit the shopping center website ThePromenadeShopsatBriargate.com for details.

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Parking is conveniently located close to shops & restaurants. Exciting changes are planned for late summer 2017 to enhance the shopper experience.

Check out the center website and like them on Facebook to stay informed.

 

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Year-round Hiking Adventure at The Paint Mines in Calhan Colorado

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Colorado is notorious for its fluctuating weather patterns…. snow possible in areas 10 months out of the year, but 300+ days of sunshine! This week is a fine example of this… snow and wind today, but we’ll be back up to 60 & sunny by Wednesday/Thursday. That being said, for a girl who loves outdoor adventure, I try to hike year round. 

One of the most unique hiking adventures we’ve enjoyed is “Paint Mines Interpretive Park” in Calhan, Colorado. My pictures will be worth much more than words in this case. It’s hard to explain the natural beauty of how the water and other weather has cut through the land, revealing seienite clay and jasper in an awe-inspiring display. I’ve heard about this place for years, but finally ventured over in the summer of 2016, so these photos are from the summer months. There are some paved walk ways, and dirt trails in & around the natural carvings. Calhan is east of Colorado Springs about 20 minutes. It definitely feels like you are driving into the middle of nowhere, and even if you park at the first marked parking lot and trail head, you can’t quite imagine what you’re about to see. Don’t worry, it is a quick hike in.

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Be forewarned about weather!! We were here on a cloudy day, but I have heard the formations and rock can really hold onto the summer heat, so be cautious if you go on a particularly warm day. As with any day in Colorado, pack extra water! We enjoyed the clouds, but those summer storms can roll in surprisingly quick, so we ended up making a very quick jaunt back to vehicles before getting poured on. The Paint Mines are incredible to see and it makes you wish you paid more attention in geology to understand the origin of the beautiful colors.

Here is the El Paso County description and directions to the park…  http://adm.elpasoco.com/CommunityServices/ParkOperations/Pages/PaintMinesInterpretivePark.aspx

Enjoy!! 

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A Decade of Equity Briargate 2006-2016

The Briargate neighborhood is one of our market’s most popular areas. This popularity is the result of good planning, good schools and convenient amenities. Briargate prices have always been a little higher because of on-going new construction. New construction is more expensive than comparable resale homes. Home buyers will often push their budget higher or sacrifice somewhere else to live in the area.

During the recession (2007-2010), Briargate saw a -12% decline in median sales price. This was better than the -18% hit The Black Forest Market took. 

The post recession gains in the Briargate market are impressive. The area has seen a 23% increase from 2011-2016. Almost as impressive as Black Forest (26.8%) for the same period. Commercial development and the reputation of Academy School District #20 are fueling this increase.

As of December, 2016 the median sales price in Briargate is $341,250. This is 37% higher than the Colorado Springs median sales price. We feel like this is good news for existing home owners in the area. The only concern we see is this. The Colorado Springs housing market is price sensitive. When prices veer too far from median, we see sales slow. Moving forward, we will keep a close eye on the Briargate market.

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Koi Bring Positivity Across DCC

In September 2016 our 9-yr-old, a Discovery Canyon Campus 4th grader, brought home some fun fish he made in art class at school. That weekend we had a friend in town, his parents, and my in-laws for dinner. After dinner said 9-y-o placed a piece of paper on the table in front of each person… 7 adults and his brother, a 12-yr-old DCC 7th grader. He displayed for us how to make the fish, with very few words… and we all made the fish. It was funny at the time, as just a small project that he wanted to show us was being done at school.

Well, weeks later I found out this little paper fish was a much bigger deal than we thought. This koi fish project was a cross-campus project from the Pre-K level all the way through the Seniors in the high school. You might recall my teammate Nicole blogged about a cluster of suicides affecting Academy School District 20, specifically a handful at Discovery Canyon Campus. In an effort to unite the campus from PreK-12, the arts department started the koi fish project… with phrases like “we’re all in this together” and while it often feels like we’re swimming upstream in life, we’re swimming together! It’s a bit reminiscent of Nemo and “just keep swimming!”. This is one way DCC is trying to combat suicide, as well as rolling out curriculum addressing teen suicide information and hopeful prevention!! 

The koi fish project became even bigger than we thought. Since the campus is so big, they created a paper “stream” in every hallway to create one united stream. This project has now been entered with the Guinness Book of World Records for something like the longest contiguous paper art display. From what I understand, to date 6 “officials” have been out to campus twice to measure and we should beat the former record. The campus often tries to find ways to unite the different levels of campus… some examples include involving all levels in homecoming week celebrations, getting elementary kids into high school shop classes for projects, bringing high schoolers down to the elementary level for classroom experience, and having coaches across all grade levels working toward similar plays. There are so many things we love about DCC as a family; this koi fish project just adds to the positivity. 

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As a side, I sent a few pictures in to the elementary art teacher, who then passed them along to the entire elementary staff and middle school art teacher heading up the koi project. In mid-December a friend of mine sent me a screen shot of an article in The Tribune – a Monument, Woodmoor, Gleneagle paper… with our son on the front page and a story about the koi! We were shocked!! Needless to say, he was pretty excited about it. This story has spread to the local Colorado Springs Gazette paper. It’s pretty exciting and will hopefully bring positivity. But most importantly we hope the project does as they wanted, uniting the campus and maybe even saving lives. We want all kids to feel like they are a part of something!!!

Here is a link to the Gazette article:  http://daily.gazette.com/Olive/ODN/TheGazette/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TheGazette%2F2016%2F12%2F14&entity=Ar08704&sk=983DE6B1

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More About Meridian Ranch – Part 2

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PERHAPS YOU’VE PLAYED THIS GAME BEFORE? BUT TODAY YOU’RE BARELY SURVIVING.

There you are. You’re on a brisk walk with the kids. You notice a speeding Beamer zooming toward your youngest. Your toddler. She’s about to cross the road. You think, “hey, we need a cross-walk here” catching her bolt just in time. People need to know we live here right? It so happens the other day you also saw another group of older kids crossing in this Frogger-like game during rush hour (not cool). You’re fired up now. You want in the game. You know what’s needed, but you don’t know how to work the system. In this case, did you know the Ranch District can be an advocate for residents to El Paso County for pedestrian safety enhancements? Hi, I’m back again with another hyper-local focus on Falcon’s fastest-growing Meridian Ranch neighborhood. In my last post of this good-neighbor brain-builder series, I covered HOAs and the Service District, what they do and don’t do. Here, I’ll dig deeper into what the “Ranch” District is about (and how they can help your toddler).

 

THE RANCH DISTRICT IS THE FINANCIER FOR SERVICE, MAINTENANCE AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

That’s right. The Ranch District plans and pays for service. And they also annually plan and finance major improvements for Meridian Ranch homeowners. New trails, new pools, new wells, you name it. If the Service District maintains it, the Ranch District funds it. For these reasons the Meridian Ranch Metropolitan District is colloquially referred to as the “Financing District” looking at their registered Service Plan. In the big picture, the Ranch District collects cash it needs to serve residents from residents by three mechanisms: 

  • Levying a 25 mil tax (never to exceed 50 mils)
  • Collecting monthly service fees from residents
  • Issuing bonds for long-term capital improvements

 

Easy stuff right? So now you can think of the Ranch District as a money funnel. Into it goes all three cash flows above. And that pays for service, like a private HOA. The 25 mil levy is calculated from a resident’s assessed El Paso county property taxes. Lost there? That’s okay. Just remember this special district has the power to tax, and they take a chunk from the overall county tax. Cash is also collected through each resident’s monthly Service District bill. Fees for water resources, wells, street lighting, park/rec/open space, sewage and water pay for the Service District costs to operate and expand infrastructure. If you need an example of these fees, find them by clicking here. Finally, when the elected Ranch District Board of Directors sees fit, the district may issue bonds for long term financing for larger improvement projects. Simply said, they can incur debt.

 

WAIT, YOU JUST SAID “BOARD OF DIRECTORS” …

Yes, it’s the two Districts and their combined Board of Directors that do all the planning and decisions for this gig. Don’t worry, these guys are all Meridian Ranch homeowners also. The larger body of homeowners elect five unpaid directors for staggered four-year terms to conduct the executive activities over the Meridian District and Service Districts. Check out my diagram below. These aren’t separate boards. They’re one. Like Angie Kelly of Community Resource Services explains, “the conversations aren’t really separate, it’s all one meeting, one district.” Take a peek. The minutes say just that.

 

SO IT’S THIS TWO-DISTRICT EXECUTIVE WHOLENESS THAT HELPS RESIDENTS IN MANY WAYS

And this goes back to accessing power (and advocating for your toddler and others). True, both the Service and Ranch District entities don’t have authority over Meridian Ranch roads and building new crosswalks. El Paso County does. But this Board over the two Districts does have clout. And they do work alongside with the county on many projects. For instance, building a water line to the Falcon Regional Park. Here, collaboration is ripe and ready to be harnessed at the open monthly public meetings each month. Check their schedule out here.

 

Okay, let’s call this a wrap! (or a “croak” if you’re now wining at Frogger). Congratulations. You’re now crossing over into the big leagues of Meridian mojo. With all the talk about the Ranch Financing District, you may ask how this funding is calculated? Or you may be confused with the support like the YMCA, the and how they fit into my picture describing this game below. Hang loose there. That will be the subject of my next posts.  

 

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Getting to Know Meridian Ranch

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YOU’RE STUMPED SOMEWHERE

Maybe you’re just scoping Meridian Ranch from afar. Or maybe just want to know—WHO RUNS MERIDIAN RANCH? I did. This post kicks off the Brain Builder series for Meridian Ranch at Falcon Colorado. You ready?

Sure, there’s no such Meridian mayor running the place. But are you wondering…WHY ISN’T THERE A HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION? If you’re just getting into Meridian Ranch, you’ll likely find this answer on some FAQ online – or maybe scattered everywhere online. But if you’re like me, you had no clue on this. And you’re reading now to get to the skinny. So here goes:

YES, MERIDIAN RANCH HAS NO HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION, BUT…

Stonebridge enclave does. Ah ha! Got you. Here’s where the Catch 22s begin. If you know them all, that’s fabulous! But if you’re new (or busy like me), anyone can find the setup confusing. Wondering who maintains the common grounds? The parks? The trails? Storm drains? Sewer? And all that stuff out there?

MOST EVERYTHING (EXCEPT THE ROADS) ARE MAINTAINED BY THE SERVICE DISTRICT AT MERIDIAN RANCH

Or in longwinded Germanic-Latin: the “Meridian Service Metropolitan District” takes stead. Keyword here is “Service.” We see these guys driving everywhere in their white trucks helping us.  They do everything from supplying water, growing our rec center, contracting street light maintenance, parks, trails, entrance monuments…you get it. Here the Service District functions like a HOA, but instead of being private like a HOA, it’s a public entity formed under Colorado law. Now for the second catch (mostly for the uninitiated): Service District doesn’t enforce covenants.  Instead, they’re on record as being part of a “special district” serving Meridian Ranch.  Just think about that relaxing lazy river for those kiddos at the 42,000 square foot YMCA. Or that enormous hot tub at the new indoor pool (for us big Kiddos!). Third Catch: The Meridian Service Metropolitan District doesn’t do everything a HOA usually does. In the big picture, they don’t remove snow, unless it’s trail snow. And if you’ve haven’t yet just arrived, the Service District doesn’t remove garbage. Most notably, the Meridian Service Metropolitan District doesn’t govern those pesky architectural and covenant issues…those naughty “CC&R” violations.  If you know a guy who’s had a dead tree in their yard for four months, there’s a second group enforcing CC&Rs. Who does that?

THE DRC HAS HOA-LIKE QUALITIES

Or more correctly said (with stylish British accent please) the “Design Review Committees.”  What a DRC does do like a HOA is function like an architectural committee. Here the DRCs approve new changes for homes and landscaping plans. And, unlike the Service District (if we’re slacking) the DRC will write us up for covenant violations. Perhaps you’ve been there?  I have, and yes, you’ve got to still love the DRCs—Meridian Ranch property values are crushing it this year! For both current and new Ranch folk, this leads to yet a Fourth Catch: DRCs don’t maintain our roads (El Paso County does), and the DRCs don’t pay for those snow plow trucks zooming the Ranch in January (El Paso County does).

So let’s pause there. We just said DRCs? Yes, to make this awkward, there are two DRCs for Meridian Ranch. And yes, the odds of guessing your DRC number correctly is logically equivalent to flipping coins in your pocket. Try it one day (just not while driving Londonderry). But seriously, your DRC is based on your home’s location. Click here to find yours. Finally, to make this more awkward, Meridian’s Stonebridge community doesn’t have a DRC!  Stonebridge has a ________ (kindly fill in the blank, or click here if you’re paying attention ( : 

SO YOU GOT THAT, BUT DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE “RANCH” DISTRICT DOES?

Okay, a h-o-a lot of info making us a little smarter in our neighbor talk, so let’s stop there! I’ve got to go now. But you’re probably wondering, how the Meridian Service District gets funding? Or maybe you’re “nail-biting” confused between that name “Ranch” District and “Service” District? Maybe you have no clue. Relax! We’ll cover that in my next Brain Builder post…

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