Issue II

Woodside Park - Units 5 & 6 - Newsletter
"Sharing News and Making Friends"

October  2006

 

An Introduction by Jim Sapp

I had planned to publish this issue of the newsletter after the BOCC public hearing on the Will-O-Wisp Metropolitan District (WOWMD) Water 1041 application on October 13th.  That hearing, however, was postponed without explanation from the BOCC or the WOWMD.  While there is very little definitive information to report, there is still plenty of news to share related to the WOWMD water augmentation proposal and the property rights of Woodside HOA members.

Woodside News

Vandalism on Mt. Evans Boulevard by Jim Sapp

On Saturday, July 29th vandals struck our community.  Armed with a vehicle and total disregard for private property they mowed down street signs, utility boxes, and mail boxes almost the entire length of Mt. Evans Boulevard.  It was a sickening sight that took everyone by surprise considering the peacefulness of our community. 

One of the many mailboxes destroyed were two cluster mailboxes that serve the residents of Woodside Unit 5.  The pedestals were broken from their mounts and the concrete pad they were anchored to was ripped from the ground.  It seemed an impossible task to repair without professional help.  That was before Dave and Dan came to the rescue.

Dave Brown and Dan Morahan quickly assessed the damaged, consulted with the Post Office for the cost of replacement parts, and quickly determined, "A piece of cake. We can fix this at no cost to the Association." 

As if by magic, the pedestals were repaired and painted; the concrete pad nudged back into place; and the mail boxes secured to their mountings.  We were back in business in no time at all.  Needless to say, Dave and Dan were Woodside heroes.  Thank you both!

Special thanks also go to the Pine Post Office.  They held our mail until the repairs were made and, for those residents who had boxes at the post office, rerouted our house mail to our boxes.  Special service from special folks.

Who committed this vandalism?  Even though our Sheriff's department collected evidence and conducted an investigation, Sheriff Fred Wegener reports, "The case remains unsolved." 

If anyone has information regarding the incident, contact Detective Sgt. Sven Bonnelycke at 719-836-4384.

Woodside Water Augmentation Plan by Jim Livingston [1]

When Woodside was developed in the early 1970's, the developer had to purchase water rights since most, if not all, water in Colorado was already allocated to more senior users. 

In 1974, Woodside’s water plan for augmentation was decreed in water court for domestic (in-house) use only for Units 1-4, approximately 303 wells.  The water was obtained from the Guiraud 3T [2] irrigation ditch in South Park.  The owner of that water right sold it to Woodside and we pump an equivalent amount out of our wells. This water right has a seniority date of 1867.  The amount of this water came to 21.82 acre feet (af) or approximately 7,111,138 gals/year for domestic use in Units 1-4 [3]

In 1977, Woodside Units 5-6 were developed.  Back to water court.  Additional water was obtained (4.3 af) for domestic use in Units 5-6.  The story goes that the developer promoted Woodside as horse property, so residents brought their horses.  The State Water Commissioner at that time, now our Senator Ken Salazar, discovered that Woodside residents were watering horses with domestic use wells.  He ruled that this was in violation of our water augmentation plan and outside water use would cease.  Back to water court.  The Guiraud 3T ditch water was already allocated, so additional water had to be purchased from a water broker [4].   This company sold us replacement water from the Spinney Reservoir [5].  The state water court decreed in 1981 that this water could be used for outside purposes in Woodside Units 1-4 only.  In 1983 we went back to water court to get outside water use for Woodside Units 5-6. 

The intent to develop a water augmentation plan to allow the watering of horses, but irrigation of lawns and gardens was also included.  So, water court decrees (1974-83) were needed to get all the rights we all enjoy today.  Our final water allocation is 22.96 acre feet or approximately 7,482,664 gals/yr. for all of Woodside Units 1-6. 

You may ask, how do we know how much water we use, since there are no meters on our wells?  The simple fact is, we don’t.  The State of Colorado, however, has water consumption numbers for households, horses, lawns, and gardens (and probably anything else).  The state says a typical family uses approximately 10,000 gallons of in-house water per year. 

Our augmentation plan requires us to file a state report twice a year.  That report is derived from the numbers you report on your annual water survey.  The square feet of lawn and garden, and the number of horses are converted to acre feet of water used. 

It is very important that everyone submit your water survey with your best estimates.  Of course, there is no correlation to the water Woodside is allocated, and your well.  The care and performance of your well is your responsibility.  Even if you don’t plan on using any outside water, please return your annual survey stating so.  That lets us know your well is accounted for.  We all need to do our part and report our rightful usage, which protects our water rights. 

The fees associated with the annual survey were established in the beginning, and have never been changed.  The money is used for the annual mailings, postage, maintenance of the two dams on Woodside Drive (stipulated in our augmentation plan) and an annual fee (approx $300) for the water out of the Spinney Reservoir.

Contrary to rumors, your water board volunteers, myself, Jack Flint (Unit 4), and Bob Voth (Unit 1) are not paid.  The Woodside Water Association is a registered, non-profit organization, and we do not pay taxes. 

I hope this has been informative.  If you have any questions, please give me a call.

Conserving Water by Jim Sapp

We are indeed fortunate to have a generous water augmentation plan and what appears to be a bountiful supply of some of the best water in the nation.  Special thanks to Jim for his explanation of how we got to where we are today.

Even though we have the authority to use our water outside and are fortunate to have what seems to be an abundant supply, it is important that everyone does all they can to conserve water. 

In the East it was easy to be mindful of how we used water….it was expensive!  Every time you turned on the tap, the meter started running.  Water bills of $200-300 a month in the summer were not uncommon!

Here in the mountains, however, almost everyone draws from a well that taps into an aquifer that knows no boundary.  While the water seems "free" to us, someone else is perhaps paying the cost through a diminished supply.  This is becoming even more evident now that literally thousands of new homes are "flooding" our community and, like soda straws in a glass, tapping into a water supply of finite quantity.

So, the next time you turn on the tap, be mindful of your neighbors wherever they may be.

Noxious Weeds by Jim Sapp

Being a "city boy" I had no idea what a "noxious weed" was or just why they deserved such a hateful label.  Even after learning the reasons, it is still hard for me not to see the beauty in a thistle in full bloom.

Thanks to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, I have put together a webpage of noxious weeds in Park County. [6]  Some of these plants you will quickly recognize as being weeds.  Others, you may say, "But, they are so pretty."

Armed with this little tutorial, give the next noxious weed you encounter the attention it deserves….pull it up, cut it down, spray it, kill it! 

Remember, the weed you kill today, is 10,000 that your neighbor won't have to kill tomorrow.

Ongoing Litigation Update by Jim Sapp

I would have preferred that information related to the ongoing litigation come directly from the WPHOA BOD.  Unfortunately, that was not to be.  Instead, I will attempt to pass along information I have gleaned from correspondence and court documents provided to me by the WPHOA attorney, Michael Schaefer.  These documents, in their entirety, are available on-line in the "Correspondence Section" of MyWoodside.com.

WPHOA Correspondence On-line

Correspondence related to ongoing litigation is a matter of public recorded when included as exhibits in court documents.  Much of this historical and current correspondence is available, in chronological order by issue, on our website, MyWoodside.com.  If you have an interest in ongoing litigation that may affect our community, I strongly recommend you review these documents for detailed information.  The following are a few recent developments related to ongoing litigation.

WPHOA Files Petition to Stay Hearing on WOWMD Water 1041 Application

On August 18th, WPHOA and Christy Investments [7] filed a court petition with three objectives.  The petition includes requests to:

  • Determine Presiding Judge

  • Stay Administrative Proceeding, and

  • Request for Expedited Hearing.

Of the three, the request to stay the administrative proceeding will have the most impact on the WOWMD Water 1041 application and, ultimately, the Tanglewood development. 

The petition to "Stay Administrative Proceeding", if granted, will essentially stop the Park County BOCC from hearing the WOWMD Water 1041 application until after the court decision on the Petition for Declaratory Judgment [8] which is not scheduled for trial until March 26, 2007.  Of course, without approval of the Water 1041 application, the WOWMD cannot begin construction of the upgraded water processing facilities necessary to support the Tanglewood development.

The Park County BOCC public hearing on the WOWMD Water 1041 application was originally scheduled for October 13, 2006.  This hearing has been postponed with no rescheduled date or explanation provided by the BOCC or the WOWMD. 

While many speculate as to the reasons for the delay, the lack of necessary easements within Woodside seem to be the most logical.  There are, however, many unresolved issues related to this application.  These outstanding issues and concerns are well documented in recent correspondence from James W. Culichia, attorney for the Center of Colorado Water Conservancy District, and Jeffrey J. Kahn, Park County’s special water counsel.  Both of these attorneys have reviewed the application and supporting documentation and cited several issues that need to be resolved before the application should be approved.  Of course, it remains to be seen if the Park County BOCC places any value on their learned opinions.

WOWMD Board of Directors Approves Proceeding with Condemnation of Property

According to multiple sources, the WOWMD BOD has approved proceeding with condemnation of property in Woodside Unit 5.  Formal condemnation of property, however, is the final step of a required process of negotiation between the WOWMD, property owners, and the WPHOA.

Seemingly, the "ground work" justifying the condemnation of property was revealed in a recent press release by the WOWMD.  The release, "Will-O-Wisp Metro District Announces Plans for Expansion" - August 31, 2006, cites several reasons for the expansion that are in the "public's interests."  The press release includes such terminology as:

  • increasing recreation infrastructure,

  • allow us to turn off our ground water pumping operations,

  • good for the entire mountain community,

  • allows the ground water we share to recover,

  • for the good of the District, and the other mountain communities,

  • planned expansion will protect our customers and our neighbors,

  • allow for emergency water storage for the community,

  • reservoir will be a pleasing water attraction.

These and other "positive expressions" characterize the tone of a press release that was, in my judgment, designed to set the stage for condemning property in the name of "public good" — the only rationale that could be used as a basis for taking what they do not have….easements to build the water infrastructure necessary to begin construction of the Tanglewood development.

While the Woodside BOD has not officially notified the membership, multiple sources indicate at least an agreement to discuss the easement and covenant issue with the WOWMD BOD in an effort to negotiate a settlement. 

While I applaud the WPHOA BOD's willingness to negotiate a settlement, it raises a few questions. 

  • To what extent does the BOD have authority to negotiate a settlement that violates the WPHOA covenants? 

  • To what extent does the BOD have authority to negotiate a settlement on behalf of a property owner?

  • Does the WPHOA membership have to approve any negotiated settlement?

Certainly, these are important questions that should be addressed before negotiations proceed.

In addition, a recent court document filed by the WOWMD states: "….will require the acquisition of additional property rights in Woodside Unit 5 by condemnation."  This phrase, subtly tucked away in a footnote, clearly states the intentions of the WOWMD if they are unable to negotiate a settlement with Woodside HOA and property owners.

It is unfortunate that the power behind these actions do not realize that this tactic, sadly, only leads to an arduous battle without any winners….only losers.

Magness vs. Woodside lawsuit heads back to appeals court

As you may know, the verdict in favor of WPHOA and George & Patricia Barilla has been appealed by Gary Magness.  It is scheduled to go back to Park County District Court for review and decision.

On July 27, 2006 WPHOA attorney, Michael Schaefer, filed an appeal Answer Brief in preparation for the trial.  It provides details on the claims made by Magness, statements of fact, relevant court transcripts, supporting documents, and relevant law.  The Answer Brief, in its entirety, is available on MyWoodside.com in the "Correspondence Section."

A chronology of the nine-year court battle was recently documented in an article, "Magness/Woodside lawsuit heads back to appeals court" by Lynda James and Tom Locke Correspondent and Editor, The Flume.  The article explains, in some detail, the history of the lawsuit from the onset to where we are today.  Needless to say, it has been a long and arduous court case, yet to be fully resolved.

The article is available on MyWoodside.com in the "Woodside News" section.  If you are new to the community, as I am, you will find this article very informative and helpful.

Po-Ke-No Party

What's a Po-Ke-No?  That was my question when I first heard of this "ladies only" party.  If you don't know what it is, you need to check out the "Po-Ke-No Schedule" on MyWoodside.com.  You just may find it is right up your alley.

While it is nice that the ladies have an occasional night out, it is sometimes equally nice that the spouse has some "home alone" time.  For me, pizza and an old TV western is "quality time." 


Footnotes:

  1. Jim Livingston is a member of the Woodside Water Association and the WPHOA BOD.

  2. Guiraud 3T Ditch: The headgate is located on the right bank of the Middle Fork of the South Platte River.  Originally decreed for irrigation, this water right has been subject to various change proceedings.

  3. An acre foot is one acre of water one foot deep or approximately 325,900 gallons. 21.82 af x 325,900 gal/af = 7,111,138 gallons.

  4. Mountain Mutual Reservoir Company

  5. MyWoodside.com – Miscellaneous Section

  6. Owner Woodside Lot 132, Michael Schaefer

  7. WHOA vs. WOWMD - Case No. 05-CV-302 - Petition for Declaratory Judgment filed December 13, 2005

On a Neighborly Note

There is lots of "good and not so good news" within the Woodside community.   It includes:

Wedded Bliss

Travis Hurley and Julie Perez have tied the proverbial knot.  A commonly used expression that hardly captures their joy.  Best wishes to them both on this happy occasion.

Gone but not forgotten

Roger and Paula have sold their home and moved to Monument to be closer to family in Colorado Springs.  We will miss them dearly but share in their joy.

New Grandparents

Jim and Bev Livingston are new grandparents of a baby boy, Ryan Michael, born on July 13th. Mother Robin, Daddy Dave, and of course, the proud Grandparents are all in agreement…"He is just beautiful!"  Congratulations to one and all.

New Puppies

Have you noticed?  Dan and Mary have a new puppy.  And, not to be out done, Dave and Sharon also have a new puppy.  What is becoming of our community?  No, I won't say it as I would upset dog lovers everywhere.

Contact Information

If you have anything to contribute to the next issue of the Woodside Bugle just contact me any way that is convenient to you. I can be reached by:

Snail Mail:        Jim Sapp
                           P.O. Box 438
                           Pine, CO  80470

eMail:              jimsapp7@msn.com

Thanks

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this issue of the Woodside Bugle.  The success and continued growth of your newsletter is directly attributed to your participation and support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer

The Woodside Bugle is a private publication.  The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and/or editor.  It is not endorsed or sponsored by the Woodside Park Home Owners Association. 

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