Falcon North / Meridian Ranch

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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…

Falcon Homes for Sale

Fast Falcon Home Sales!!

While they have Peyton addresses, many people refer to the area surrounding Woodmen and Meridian Roads as “Falcon”… I’m talking Woodmen Hills, Meridian Ranch, Falcon Hill, Paint Brush Hills. This area struggled for several years during the economic downturn, but it seems to be coming back strong! I’ve been very fortunate to have some great clients with some sweet houses selling here in the past couple months… here are some of the details:

Falcon Homes for Sale

9855 Liberty Grove

4 bed, 3 bath, 2 car walk-out ranch on .47 acres

12/4/15 listed

12/11/15 under contract (7 days!)

1/27/16 SOLD!

Falcon Homes for Sale 

8425 Garrison Rd

5 bedroom, 3 bath, 3 car, 3322 sq ft custom ranch on 1 acre

1/1/16 listed

1/7/16 under contract (6 days!)

2/29/16 SOLD!

 

Falcon Homes for Sale

10450 Pictured Rocks Dr

5 bedroom 2-story 4362 sq ft on .52 acres

1/8/16 listed

1/22/16 under contract (14 days!)

3/8/16 SOLD!

I have another 2-story coming soon as well, so please keep your eyes peeled and contact me if you have any questions about these homes… or want to talk value on yours if you think it’s time to sell!

Thank you Falcon / Peyton community and friends for your support in this area!

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