We are currently working to form a Community Events Committee who will be heading up this project as well as others. If you or someone you know might be interested, please contact Megan Pelky at RE/MAX Country at 970.984.9600 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your interest!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Castle Valley Ranch
GENERAL QUESTIONS:Q. What are the responsibilities of the Board of Directors?
A. The Homeowner’s Association (HOA) Board meets on a bi-monthly schedule to handle HOA business. A primary job duty of the Board is the interpretation and enforcement of the covenants. The Board discusses current covenant violations, actions and settlements. The Board directs the property manager as to procedures for handling covenant issues. The Board also solicits property owner input and addresses concerns about matters within Castle Valley Ranch (CVR). The Board also develops an annual budget.
Q. Are there laws that the HOA must follow?
A. Yes, as a quasi governmental organization, Colorado Revised Statutes provide direction as to how HOA’s conduct business. Those statutes are found in § 38-33 .3-101. CRS and collectively are known as the “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act”. With the help of the HOA’s attorney and the property manager, the CVR HOA stays in compliance with these laws.
Q. Why does the HOA need an attorney?
A. Given the general nature of HOA management, the involvement of state laws in our process, the complicated nature of covenant enforcement and penalties, the historical evolution of CVR HOA, as well as the need to ensure that all residents are treated fairly and within the law, the Board constantly checks with our attorney on these matters. Since covenant enforcement, if taken to the extreme, can involve the filing of liens on a property or court actions, they must be handled by an attorney. The Board is cautious about involving our attorney since it is expensive and we want to work with residents outside of the legal arena to resolve our problems but there are times when this is necessary.
Q. I live in Filing 1 and since the HOA didn’t exist when I moved here, I don’t think I have to belong to the HOA. Is this correct?
A. The Board has heard several residents question this and asked our legal counsel for their opinion. Even though the HOA was dormant until 2000, it did exist. The declarant took the necessary legal steps to include Filing 1 in the revived HOA in 2000. Consequently, even Filing 1 homeowners are members of the HOA. The entire letter from the HOA attorney can be viewed by using this link http://www.castlevalleyranch.net/pdf/covenant_enforc/itr_boardmembers-08-29-07.pdf
Q. What are the “policies and procedures” that the Board uses?
A. While the Board has always tried to be fair and consistent in our interactions with residents, in 2006 the State Legislature required that all HOA’s develop policies and procedures to detail how they handle 1) covenant enforcement and fines, 2) conduct of meetings, 3) collection policy, 4) adoption of rules, 5) inspection of records, 6) conflict of interest and 7) investment of reserve funds. These policies and procedures provide a standard process for the Board to follow in these matters as well as a written notification to the homeowners about how these issues will be handled. The Board recognizes that there may be changes needed to these policies and procedures and reviews them as needed to make them work fairly for all involved.
Q. How many home owner associations exist in Castle Valley Ranch and which one do I belong to?
A. All residents are members of the CVR Master Association. If you live in a town home or patio home in CVR, you also belong to that sub association. They may also have a separate set of rules and covenants applicable to living there. You pay annual dues to both the CVR Master HOA and monthly dues to your specific sub-association. We have provided contact information for the CVR sub-associations on this website.
Q. What forms of payment are acceptable for paying annual dues?
A. Castle Valley Ranch HOA can accept personal checks, money order, or cashier’s checks for payment for CVR HOA dues. For security reasons please do not send cash through the mail and, again for security reasons, RE/MAX County does not accept cash when paying in person.
Q. I didn’t get a copy of the covenants at closing/I lost my covenants. How can I get a replacement?
A. Most realtors know that CVR has covenants and readily provide them to prospective buyers. Developers of new homes in CVR also provide copies to buyers. RE/MAX Country tries to work with all the Title Companies in the area to make sure that you get the covenants at closing. If all of that has failed, you can print a new copy of the covenants on this website. If you don’t have access to a computer or the website isn’t available, RE/MAX Country can mail you a copy if needed.
Q. Who is the insurance carrier and what is the Directors and Officers Insurance?
A. Travelers Insurance is our insurance carrier. The HOA carries Directors and Officers Insurance to protect the Board of Directors – who are unpaid volunteers – from legal actions that could arise from an unhappy homeowner. Without this protection, it’s unlikely that residents would volunteer their time to serve on the Board and deal with contentious covenant issues. In addition, since the HOA has cash reserves that can be accessed by the Board, we have purchased “embezzlement” insurance in the unlikely event that a dishonest person is tempted by easy access to your money. Both of these are simply a sign of the times that we live in and the high cost of doing business today.
MONEY QUESTIONS:Q. What exactly do the annual dues cover?
A. Nearly ½ of the annual budget is paid to RE/MAX Country. They serve as the primary contact for CVR residents when there are issues, complaints or concerns about events or situations within CVR. They provide the weekly covenant inspections and the follow up compliance letters. In addition to these duties, RE/MAX Country handles the statements, newsletters, HOA meeting arrangements and minutes, secretarial service, bookkeeping and other assignments as may be made by the Board of Directors. In addition to the property management fees, annual dues help to cover insurance costs, landscaping fees paid to the Town of New Castle, postage, legal fees and other necessary expenses. An itemized budget that detail s the expenses of the HOA can be found under the “Financial” tab on this website. Lastly, it is important to know that the annual due s have not covered the annual operating expenses of the HOA and are currently being subsidized by the reserve account the HOA has from the sale of new homes.
Q. Doesn’t the HOA have a large pot of money that isn’t being used?
A. CVR is fortunate to have money that is kept in “safe” investments. (Please see the “Financial” page on this website for current balances on this account.) Most, if not all, organizations and governmental entities have such reserve accounts that are kept for emergencies, unforeseen expenses, etc. Each time a new home sells, the developer pays $200 into this fund and, while there are still new homes to be built in CVR, there will come a time when no more money is being contributed and the HOA will exist on what money remains in that account and the annual dues from residents. The Board has spent money out of this account and is receptive to doing so if a need arises. Most recently, in 2009, the Board elected to take $11,000 from this account to subsidize the annual dues for that year. Without this, the HOA dues would likely have been around $85 per household rather than the $70 that was eventually decided upon. The Board understands the issue surrounding this account but we feel it necessary to maintain these reserves – even if there are no definite projects for its use right now. To
completely spend this account and leave the HOA with no reserves would be irresponsible of us.
COVENANT QUESTIONS:Q. Why do we need covenants in Castle Valley Ranch?
A. Covenants exist to protect the property values of CVR and to provide a set of defined standards for living in a community. Typically covenants address the aesthetics of a neighborhood, such as house paint color, inoperable vehicles, landscaping and other items related to the general livability of the development. Without covenants, individuals are left to determine their own standards without regard to how those individual standards affect their neighbors and the community as a whole. The Board of Directors strives to balance the needs of individual residents with the responsibility to look after all residents and the property values of CVR.
Q. Which set of covenants applies to CVR?
A.The November 6, 2000 set of covenants are the one s in effect for Castle Valley Ranch Master Association. The other covenants listed are for the town homes or other actions taken by the developer for various sections within CVR.
Q. What are the inspections that RE/MAX Country does?
A. These inspections represent an evolution in how the Board of Directors handles covenant enforcement. Initially, covenant violations were handled on a complaint basis (meaning someone had to complain before we would investigate). Due to concerns about neighbors having a violation but not wanting to turn in their neighbors for it, the Board asked RE/MAX Country to begin doing drive by inspections. If a violation is observed, RE/MAX Country follows the prescribed policy for handling them and most are handled by the homeowners within a few days of being notified.
Often there are extenuating circumstances to violations and residents that have received a notice are encouraged to call RE/MAX Country to discuss their situation. Although RE/MAX Country does not have the authority to suspend or reduce actual fines, they can work with the resident to address the complaint, explain what the covenants require and find a workable solution outside of a formal Board meeting. Of course, residents can always attend a Board meeting if need ed but we’ve found that RE/MAX Country can usually take care of most of these problems if people call them.
Q. I received an alleged violation notice – what should I do?
A. The notice should explain what the violation is and reference the covenant section that applies to it. Please read the sections involved to understand why you got the notice. Most of these are easily and quickly remedied. If you have a specific question, comment or request about why you got the violation, when you can fix it or other issues, please contact RE/MAX Country immediately. They can work with you to resolve the problem. Please do not ignore the violation letter and let the violation continue because you can be assessed penalties and face legal action. This is very expensive and time consuming to you and the HOA and is not something we want to undertake
Q. What are the most common covenant violations?
A. There 3 most common violations are 1) lot clutter (Article XII, Section 6), 2) non-screened recreational vehicles (Article XII, Section 9) and 3) installation and maintenance of landscaping (Article XI, Section 1), 4) non-approved paint colors. Paint colors shall be of earth tones and owners will need to submit a sample of the paint color(s) and obtain approval before painting.
Q. How are covenant violations addressed?
A. (1 ) A picture is taken of the infraction.
(2) A letter is written advising owner of covenants and a time-frame is given for the problem to be fixed.
(3) If no response from the home owner; another drive through and another picture is taken &
(4) A second letter is issued to the Home Owner reiterating the covenant violation. The Owner is invited to Board meeting. A fine is imposed. The owner is informed that this matter could be sent to an attorney for resolution. If the matter is not resolved it is:
(5) The file is turned over to an attorney. Most of the violations are corrected by the Home Owner after the initial contact. Only rarely do we have to go to a second letter and even more rarely do we have to rely on the attorney.
Q. How come the HOA uses certified mail? Isn’t that expensive?
A. According to state law, whenever the HOA contemplates an action against a homeowner that involves fines or penalties, it must advise that person by certified mail. This is done for unpaid dues notices, covenant violations, legal actions, etc. It costs about $6 per letter to do this. To be sure that contact is made, the HOA also sends out a duplicate letter by regular mail. You can help us reduce these costs and to do this only when absolutely needed by paying your HOA dues on time, staying in compliance with the covenants and responding quickly to RE/MAX Country if you have received a covenant violation notice. We are looking at the situations where we use certified mail and regular mail to determine if we can do business cheaper but have the same results that we are required by law to achieve.
Q. How does the Board handle “junk car” complaints?
A. These types of complaints, as with many others, a re the joint responsibility of the HOA and the Town of New Castle. Properly licensed cars can be parked on both the public streets and driveways within CVR. Unlicensed cars may not be parked on public streets and complaints should be directed to the Town. Unlicensed cars parked in the driveway or licensed cars having major repairs done on them, should be in compliance with the covenants. Residents with issues that need further clarification should contact RE/MAX Country at 970-984-9600 for more information.
Q. How does the Board handle snowmobiles, ATV’s, trailers, etc that are parked on the street or in the driveways?
A. While we know that many CVR residents have these recreational vehicles, they are required to be parked in the garage, in the backyard behind a fence or off site.
Q. Why doesn’t the Board build a storage area that residents can use to park all these things that you don’t want in CVR?
A. First, it’s not that we don’t want them in CVR; it’s just that we need them to be stored properly to address neighborhood concerns about having to look at them all the time as well as what that does to property values in the development. The Board has heard this idea several times. In the early days of CVR, it was envisioned to have such a place across Elk Creek Road but that was not approved. Since then, there were a couple discussions about trying to locate it within CVR but there is simply no land within CVR that is available to do so. Any land for this would have to be either donated by the developer or purchased by the HOA. The HOA determined that we did not want to use general HOA funds to develop a facility that would not be used by everyone. We also decided that we were not in the business of operating a storage facility and all the costs to purchase, develop, operate and insure it could easily overwhelm our bank accounts. There are private storage facilities in the area that residents are encouraged to use. We have also spoken with the Town about the need for such a place – potentially on the south side of the Colorado River west of the I-70 exit – and have asked them to pursue such possibilities if they arise.
DESIGN REVIEW/ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL QUESTIONSQ. What kind of alterations do homeowners have to get approval for?
A. From the HOA Covenants (Article VIII, Section 1): No structure or any attachment to an existing structure, landscaping, any building, fences, walls, canopies, awnings, roofs, exterior lighting facilities, athletic facility (excluding unobtrusive basketball hoops, temporary badminton nets, horseshoe pits if screened from view and the like) or other similar improvement or attachment shall be constructed, erected, placed or installed upon the Property and no alteration of the material or appearance (including color) of the exterior of a residence or other structure shall be made, and no change in the final grade of any lot shall be performed, unless copies of plans and specifications therefore (together “Plans) showing exterior design, height, colors, materials, location of the structure or addition to the structure, as well as such other materials and information as may be required by the Architectural Control Committee.
Q. What is the procedure and time frame once an alteration form has been filled out?
A. We’ve detailed this on the “Design Review” tab on this website.
Q. If I have a permit from the Town of New Castle, do I still need HOA approval –and vice versa?
A. Possibly. The only sure way to know is to check with both prior to starting your project. The Town looks for conformance to building codes and Town land use codes while the HOA looks at the aesthetics of a project and how it fits in with the surroundings. Depending on your project, you may need both approvals or you may need approval from only one.