February 13, 2018 – Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting – February 13, 2018

The Annual Meeting of the El Rancho Florida HOA, Inc. was held on February 13, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at the Oxford Grange, 8016 Hwy 172, Durango, Colorado.  Board members present were: Rex Emenegger, Pete Dietrich, Teri Roberts, Wendy Ludgewait and Eric Sibelius.



Rex Emenegger, President reported that the meeting notice was emailed, mailed and published in the Durango Herald.  There were 3 proxies received and 27 lots present in person satisfying the quorum requirement of 20 lots.  The Board of Directors and the homeowners present introduced themselves.



A motion was made, seconded and passed approving the minutes of the Annual Meeting of February 14, 2017.



Rex Emenegger – President, reminded homeowners that reflective address number signs are available at the County Building Dept. for $15.   All residential lots should be identified for emergency personnel.


He clarified the differences between the HOA and the Metropolitan District duties and fees.  There were 18 lots that sold this past year.  Of the 133 lots, 6 of them are vacant.  HOA accomplishments in 2017 were:

  • Shade roofs over the picnic table pads for shade
  • Subdivision wide garage sale
  • Held an `annual’ Beach Party/picnic



Eric Sibelius, Irrigation Manager, stated that the Pioneer Ditch (PD) has not done maintenance to the ditch in the subdivision for several years.  Eric has been on the PD board for 4 years now and is considering resigning.   The HOA should request that the PD appoint a member of the HOA to replace Eric if he resigns.  The HOA owns 25% of the stock in the PD.


There was plenty of irrigation water in 2017 but 2018 may be minimal.  Eric explained the difference between `project’ water and `adjudicated’ water.  PD is planning on charging all water users, including project and adjudicated’ users a maintenance fee of $150/year.  This would generate additional revenue for their annual budget.



Rex Emenegger reviewed the litigation going on between HOA vs. PD.  This past summer there was a serious leak in the ditch above the Hales’ property (389 Cassidy Drive) which caused extensive damages.  The HOA put PD on notice of the damages and leakage.  The PD has claimed no responsibility and refuses to speak with the HOA board.  The HOA is proceeding with a two part lawsuit against PD. The cost of the litigation is shared equally with the Hales.  Part #1 is for recovery of damages to Hales property including the cost of the French drain installed to divert the water away from their house and the installation of a 24” pipe in the ditch above their property.   Part #2 is to shift the routine maintenance of the ditch from PD to the HOA within the subdivision boundaries and to reduce the maintenance fees charges by the PD to the users of the water by 85%.  PD met with the Hales but would not allow the HOA representatives to attend.  There have been 2 continuances granted by the county court giving the parties additional time to come to a settlement.  The HOA board will go to District Court if necessary, to protect the HOA and its members.   PD has refused to meet with the HOA even though there have been numerous attempts by the HOA to arrange a settlement conference.  Rex reminded those present that in 2014 the homeowners approved a $50,000 legal fund reserve which would be used to protect all future HOA interests.  It was stated that the PD may have numerous violations to their By-Laws, Covenants, Colorado Open Meeting Laws, and possibly State water rules and regulations.



The Board asked for suggestions on how to control speeding in the subdivision.  Speeding is not only a safety issue, but increases the road maintenance costs for the Metro District.  Topics discussed were:

  • Residents should notify the sheriff of speeders. They should take pictures of speeding cars and license plates.
  • The orange barrels do slow down the traffic and yes, they are unsightly.
  • Put in more speed limit signs, stop signs, more barrels and speed bumps.
  • The pros and cons of speed humps, bumps and troughs were discussed.
  • There are maintenance costs and liability concerns for the Metro District with the addition of speed humps.
  • Vandalism to District property including to the traffic barrels is considered `criminal mischief’ which is punishable by law.


Pete Dietrich, Secretary reported that El Rancho Florida is an amazing subdivision.  While other subdivisions are struggling, El Rancho Florida has a new water system and infrastructure.  The water is great, the roads are great and regularly maintained, both subdivision boards work together for the betterment of the subdivision, neighbors talk to neighbors and more importantly the organizations are fiscally sound.



Both boards are considering sharing the cost of a portable building for a business and meeting office.  It could be located next to the pump house at the pond.  The purchase and installation cost is approximately $22,000.  The District could save approximately $4,000/yr. without the downtown office rent.  The HOA board presently meets monthly at 280 Sundance Circle and therefore does not expend any funds for meeting space.  This could change.  Jack Wasserbach asked that the District consider all operating costs of the building vs. maintaining the office downtown.  Those costs would include insurance, utilities, and maintenance.   The building could also be used by homeowners.



The County Planning Department has received a development application for changing the current zoning of 45 acres in a 164 acre parcel adjacent to El Rancho Florida Subdivision off of CR 510 from `Agricultural/Rural’ to `Suburban Density Residential’.   The proposal is seeking  approval of a  parcel to be used for a 45 clustered `Tiny Homes’ (800-1000 sq. ft.) Low Income Suburban Density Residential housing development.   Water would come from LPAWD (La Plata Archuleta Water District) and sewage would be an on-site central sewage system.  Jack Wasserbach stated the HOA and Metro District Boards need to request more information and protest the approval of the rezoning.  The negative impacts to the area need to be presented to the planning board.  Those impacts include traffic issues, lower property values, and  abandonment of the rural nature of this area of the county with its existing requirement of 3 acres minimum sized lots.   The area is in the Florida Mesa Planning District.  Both Boards are opposed to the project.


2017-2018 BUDGET

The HOA is fiscally conservative in its operations with a $16,000/yr. budget. There is a` member approved’ reserve balance of $50,000 for legal fees.  Annual Dues will remain at $120/yr. and the Ditch Allocation Fee at $130 for 2018.


A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the 2018 Budget.



A motion was made, seconded and passed electing Paul Valdez (50 Ridge Place) to the Board of Directors for a 3 year term.



There are two openings on the PD Board of Directors.   Eric will nominate Wendy Ludgewait and Robert Schmidt for consideration.


A motion was made, seconded and passed appointing Eric Sibelius as proxy at the 2018 PD Annual Meeting.


A motion was made, seconded and passed authorizing Eric Sibelius and Rex Emenegger to speak on behalf of the HOA at all PD meetings.


A big THANK YOU goes out to Teri Roberts for her service on the HOA Board of Directors.



Nicolaas Van Vonno stated that there are deep holes created by contractors doing work in the subdivision causing a potential liability for the District.  At the corner of CR 510 and Cassidy Drive there is a large hole.  Rex stated the hole is a drainage hole in the CR 510 right of way and is the county’s responsibility.    One owner suggested a guard rail or delineator posts for both areas.  The other hole is the drainage for Brice draw as it crosses Cassidy Drive near 382.  Nick said that the District needs to have a safety policy for contractors working in the subdivision.



Robin Boucher, VP of the District, discussed items done over the last year by the District.

  • There was a large amount of material used to upgrade the roads.
  • Mag chloride/lignum sulfate solution to control the dust and keep material on the roads from CR 222 to CR 510 will continue in the future.
  • The water system and infrastructure are constantly improved.
  • Weed spraying and prairie dog control will continue.
  • Additional work will be done in the cul-de-sacs with fire hydrants additions and water line upgrades. Grants and matching funds will be pursued.
  • Working with LPAWD on an agreement for a backup water tap for the subdivision.


Jack Wasserbach explained where the domestic water comes from and just how the water system works.  The District’s water classification is `ground water under the influence of surface water’.  The infiltration gallery is the area fenced in at the entrance of the subdivision off of CR 222.


The Board thanked all those in attendance for coming.  The meeting adjourned at 736 PM.


Teri Roberts, Secretary