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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/11/2009

Something which I hadn't really mentioned much before but which may well have an impact on our construction is the canyon's Home Owner's Association.

Let me note right up front that we are not members of the HOA and never ever will be--I've read too many horror stories of groups like this starting out nice and friendly and next thing you know they think they can tell you what color to paint your garage doors.  Back when we bought Tanglewood our Realtor was quick to note that while there was an organization in the canyon it was 100% voluntary and 100% optional.  Neither Colleen nor I are particularly fans of folks telling us what to do, so there really wasn't much discussion between us about the possibility of joining--we knew we wouldn't.

The group is a straightforward enough bunch for what it's worth.  A group of property owners in the canyon get together to pool their resources to privately maintain the right-of-way access road that run through most of the properties (it misses a few; there are older "ghost roads" that run over to them but hardly anybody ever goes there except to camp).  This is a good idea since some things, such as larger road-wide maintenance activities or putting in new culverts on the streams, really require larger chunks of money.  By pooling their resources they can get things such as this done.  It's slow--the property assessments are only made yearly and a larger number of folks owning parcels live out of state and so never send any monies--but it's generally been a positive thing. They are generally puzzled about why we refuse to join, but since I demonstrate that I'm a good neighbor by sending them twice what their assessment would be each year we don't really have any problems.  Generally they do good works and are gradually improving the road throughout its length (we're at the end ourselves) and so I'm much more of a fan of this approach than the most likely alternative (i.e., the county owning and maintaining the road).

So anyway, they had their meeting today and Colleen and I thought we'd stop by to brief them on what we were up to with the construction, the general schedule, that kind of thing.  It was a good visit--after they had their basic meeting deciding what monies they had and what to focus on next (they decided on doing maintenance on part of the road and on installing culverts on the first stream crossing) we broke into several sessions where I briefed them on the plan and the general schedule.  Mixing my briefing with requests that folks not interfere with the concrete trucks (!), it all went fairly well.  The folks down below us about 2 miles will also be starting their "stack and pour" process soon (they're using Polysteel) so there will be an unusual amount of heavy traffic on the road for the rest of the summer. Everybody seems excited that such a large home is being built in the canyon and a couple seemed genuinely amazed that I planned to live up there full time (there's only one other family that does that right now; they're about halfway up the canyon).  It was a positive meeting and the only real surprise I had for them was that I recommended that they plan to change the gate combos once all the major construction is done, since we'll be giving the workers the combos so they can get in and out without issue.  They thought that was a goodly idea.

So this was kinda fun, anyway.....

Steven in Colorado Springs

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