Sterling Ranch update: If you have water they (builders) will come

From The Denver Post (Aldo Svaldi): Five homebuilders have snapped up 90 percent of the available lots for the first phase of a huge residential development in northwestern Douglas County. Brookfield Residential, CalAtlantic Homes, Lennar Homes, Meritage Homes and Richmond American Homes purchased the Providence Village sites in early November, Sterling Ranch Colorado announced Thursday. […]

Sterling Ranch update: The Chatfield Community Association has filed an appeal of the project approval

From the Denver Business Journal (Dennis Huspeni): The Chatfield Community Association last month filed an appeal under Rule 106 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedures, asking a district judge to review the commissioners’ July decision to approve the development plan… The new challenge, filed by Denver attorney James Kreutz, alleges that Sterling Ranch application […]

Douglas County: Sterling Ranch scores enough water to start turning dirt on part of the project

From The Denver Post (Carlos Illescas): The Douglas County Planning Commission and the county commissioners originally approved Sterling Ranch several years ago but it has since been challenged, first by a community group in court then by a judge who blocked it August. Citing state law, the judge argued that Sterling Ranch had not lined […]

Sterling Ranch gets another chance in front of the Douglas County Commissioners

From the Our Colorado News (Ryan Boldrey): The county approved the project in 2011, but a 2012 court ruling by 18th Judicial District Court Judge Paul King stated that the project did not have sufficient water secured to break ground. Plans for Sterling Ranch call for a 12,000-home community on 3,400 acres northeast of Roxborough […]

Sterling Ranch gets another chance in front of the Douglas County Commissioners

From The Denver Post (Carlos Illescas): A special hearing is scheduled for next month, when Douglas County commissioners will hear from Sterling Ranch and the public to see whether the county will give a thumbs-up to the project, which includes up to 12,050 new homes in the Chatfield Basin. The hearing comes after a judge […]

Developers of the proposed Sterling Ranch have lined up 4,200 acre-feet of Denver Basin groundwater

From the Denver Business Journal (Dennis Huspeni): Officials from Sterling Ranch LLC submitted supplemental information to its zone change application showing the company has an option to purchase 4,200 acre-feet of water a year from the Hier ranching family of Castle Rock, Harold Smethills, president and CEO, confirmed Monday. The developers had to provide the […]

Douglas County appeals Sterling Ranch ruling that has stalled development

From the Douglas County News-Press (Rhonda Moore): The county aims to place the issue of water availability before the appeals court, which has not previously tested the applicable statute, said Lance Ingalls, county attorney. The statute in question requires developers to prove the water supply for a rezoning before the start of new construction. Sterling […]

18th Judicial District Judge Paul King affirms his ruling regarding Sterling Ranch

From the Denver Business Journal (Dennis Huspeni): 18th Judicial District Judge Paul King’s order on Friday states he followed the letter of a 2008 Colorado law when ruling the board “exceeded its authority” in approving Sterling Ranch’s development plan without requiring the company to prove an adequate water supply for the entire development. He denied […]

‘Sterling Ranch appears to be a water-conservation model that will be emulated in the future’ — Highlands Ranch Herald

The Highlands Ranch Herald comes down on the side of Douglas County’s approval of the Sterling Ranch Project. Here’s an excerpt from their editorial: District Court Judge Paul King ruled that commissioners had erred in allowing Sterling Ranch to prove water availability at each phase of construction, rather than for the entirety of the project. […]

The South Metro Chamber of Commerce, et al., ask judge to reverse Sterling Ranch decision

From the Denver Business Journal (Dennis Huspeni): In what’s called an amicus brief — which basically means the parties have no standing in the case, but they’ve asked 18th Judicial District Judge Paul King to reconsider his ruling — the chamber said the case and King’s ruling “raises issues of critical importance to the economic […]

Sterling Ranch developers appeal ruling

From the Denver Business Journal (Dennis Huspeni): Attorneys for the planned Sterling Ranch subdivision in northwest Douglas County last week filed a motion asking for a judge to reconsider his ruling or at least send it back to the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners. The motion states District Court Judge Paul King erred when […]

Douglas County aims to file an appeal of the recent ruling about the Sterling Ranch development

From the Denver Business Journal (Cathy Proctor): “The board will appeal the judge’s decision directly to the Court of Appeals,” county spokeswoman Wendy Holmes said Tuesday. The board voted unanimously to appeal 18th Judicial District Judge Paul King’s decision and has 45 days to file the appeal, she said. Meanwhile, here’s an analysis of the […]

Sterling Ranch Rezoning and Water Appeal Revoked

From email from Jennifer Riefenberg and the Chatfield Community Association: On August 22, 2012, Douglas County District Court’s Judge Paul King, determined that Douglas County Commissioners abused their discretion in approving both the Sterling Ranch rezoning as well as its controversial water appeal, in May 2011, siding with the Plaintiffs, the Chatfield Community Association, et. […]

Judge reverses the decision by the Douglas Count Board of County Commissioners to approve the Sterling Ranch planned development

From the Castle Rock News Press (Rhonda Moore): Douglas County District Court Judge Paul King on Aug. 22 issued an order in favor of the Chatfield Community Association, granting its request to reverse the decision by the board of county commissioners to approve the Sterling Ranch planned development and water appeal. James Kreutz served as […]

The Sterling Ranch development signs up for WISE Project infrastructure and water supplies

From the Castle Rock News (Rhonda Moore): Sterling Ranch managing director Harold Smethills announced a deal with Aurora Water that will deliver 88 million gallons of water already owned by the development’s provider, Dominion Water. The deal paves the way for Sterling Ranch to begin the plat process with Douglas County as the development moves […]

Denver Botanic Gardens in advisory role with Sterling Ranch developers

From The Denver Post (Margaret Jackson): The botanic gardens will provide technical services focused on Water-Smart Gardening applications, such as selecting plants that use little water for landscaping. The botanic gardens also will help Sterling Ranch create a community garden using heirloom plants to maintain sustainable agriculture within the development. The botanic gardens is working […]

CWCB: Sterling Ranch rainwater catchments project first to be approved under HB 09-1129

Update: From INDT (John Rebchook): The Colorado Water Conservation Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to name the 3,400-acre Sterling Ranch as the state’s first rainwater harvesting pilot project. Sterling Ranch’s innovative water conservation plan currently calls for using just one-third the water traditionally required in Douglas County—without relying on rainwater collection. With the rainwater pilot […]

H.B. 09-1129: Sterling Ranch development hopes to utilize rainwater catchments

A Douglas County development — Sterling Ranch near Chatfield Reservoir — hopes to incorporate rainwater catchments into the design. Here’s a report from Andrew Simons writing for The Denver Post. From the article: [Harold Smethills the major investor of Sterling Ranch] hopes Sterling Ranch will be one of 10 pilot residential developments to get statehouse […]

2016 #coleg: HB16-1005, “We’ve been in the rain collection business [reservoirs] for more than 100 years” — Jim Yahn

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka): Rain barrels would have less impact on water rights than uses such as stock ponds and rural household wells or just shoveling snow off the sidewalk into the grass and planting trees in cities, in Rep. Daneya Esgar’s estimation. “It does not make a lot of sense to pick […]

#COleg: HB 16-1005, Another attempt at approving rain barrels

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka): Another attempt to legalize rain barrels in Colorado is being made in the state Legislature. Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, and Sen. Mike Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs, are trying to get a measure passed that would allow homeowners to collect up to 110 gallons of rainwater […]

#COWaterPlan: Dwindling water options, high growth at odds in Douglas County — The Colorado Springs Gazette

From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Ryan Maye Handy): The rolling grasslands of western Douglas County might look like prime Front Range real estate. But beyond the beauty of the nearby foothills, there is a deeply buried problem with the land: Water is hard to come by. Technically, there is some water in the shallow aquifers […]

2015 Colorado legislation: HB15-1259 (#RainBarrel) passes final House vote 45 to 20 #coleg

From the Associated Press via the Fort Collins Coloradan: The bill allows homeowners to collect up to 110 gallons in rain barrels. Colorado’s rain-barrel ban is little known and widely flouted, with rain barrels for sale at many home-gardening stores and commonly used by home gardeners. But the barrels technically violate Colorado water law, which […]

Creating a secure water future for south metro Denver — The Denver Post #COWaterPlan

Here’s a column about the south metro area and Colorado’s Water Plan from Eric Hecox that’s running in The Denver Post: Colorado took an important step in addressing the state’s long-term water challenges by completing a draft of a state water plan. The plan offers a foundation from which local and regional water entities can […]

“…we have a lot of communities on a diminishing aquifer” — Eric Hecox

From The Denver Post (Steve Raabe): The shimmering surface of Rueter-Hess reservoir seems out of place in arid Douglas County, where almost all of the water resources are in aquifers a quarter-mile under ground. Yet the $195 million body of water, southwest of Parker, is poised to play a crucial role in providing water to […]

2014 Colorado legislation: Ellen Roberts’ new bill, ‘addresses lawn irrigation in new subdivisions.’ #COleg

From The Durango Herald (Ellen Roberts): My first bill has been introduced, and it addresses lawn irrigation in new subdivisions when the water used is transferred from agricultural use. It would take effect in 2016. I’ve received lots of input on the bill. Most people understand the need to address Colorado’s water shortage, especially as […]

The Colorado River District’s Annual Water Seminar – ‘Shrinking in Supply, Growing in Demand’ — Sept. 13

From email from the Colorado River District (Jim Pokrandt): The Colorado River District’s Annual Water Seminar – “Shrinking in Supply, Growing in Demand” — takes place 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction, Colo. The cost is $30 and includes lunch. Student cost […]

Grand Junction: The Colorado River District’s Annual Seminar will take place September 13 #ColoradoRiver

Click here to read the latest newsletter from the Colorado River District (Jim Pokrandt). Here’s an excerpt: What: The Colorado River District’s Annual Water Seminar — “Shrinking in Supply, Growing in Demand” — where in one day, you can learn about the latest news and programs related to the Colorado River and its challenges to […]

2013 Colorado legislation: SB13-258 would allow a developer to prove up water supplies at each stage of development #coleg

From the Denver Business Journal (Dennis Huspeni): Senate Bill 258, introduced Tuesday, is sponsored by state Sen. Mary Hodge, D-Brighton, and Rep. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City. If passed, the bill would declare that “each application included in the definition of development permit constitutes a stage in the development permit approval process.” Its introduction follows a […]

New Roxborough Water and Sanitation District water treatment could cost $23 million

From the Castle Rock News-Press (Rhonda Moore): The Roxborough water treatment plant, at more than 50 years old, has lasted beyond the end of its useful life and, according to the district board, it’s not a matter of whether disaster will strike, it’s a matter of when. The district is waiting to hear from its […]

Douglas County is hosting a public workshop on October 4 for review of the county’s water regulations

From the Highlands Ranch Herald (Rhonda Moore): County planners on Oct. 4 will host a public workshop to review proposed revisions to Section 18A of the Douglas County zoning resolution. Section 18A is the resolution that addresses the commissioners’ discretion to determine when an applicant shall satisfy the adequacy of the water supply for a […]

‘Development may be pushed to areas that have water’ — Chris Woodka

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka): A recent Colorado appeals court decision reversed Douglas County’s decision to approve the Sterling Ranch development because commissioners apparently violated a 2008 state law that prohibits permitting developments unless they can prove they have adequate water supplies. Initially, I was worried that this could spark a feeding frenzy and […]

Douglas County: Sun Resources (Phil Anschutz) plans to mine 15,000 acre-feet a year from the Denver Basin aquifer system

From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley): Rights to the water were acquired by billionaire Phil Anschutz last year, and one of his companies, Sun Resources, is building wells that could pump as much as 15,000 acre-feet of water per year from Denver Basin aquifers. That’s enough water to sustain 30,000 houses, though Sun Resources chief […]

‘How close to no-growth edicts are we in places like southeast-metro Denver and other locales?’ — Bart Taylor (ColoradoBiz)

Here’s an in-depth look at business’ role in the world of water supplies, from Bart Taylor writing for Colorado Biz. From the article: When real-estate reawakens, as it will, water will replace finance as a significant barrier to growth in Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona, and other locales in the West. No-growth is real-estate’s ‘nuclear option’. […]

The Dominion Water and Sanitation District to join the South Metro Water Supply Authority

From The Denver Post: South Metro Water Supply Authority, a public entity of cooperating water providers in Doug las and Arapahoe counties, has accepted Dominion Water and Sanitation District as its 15th member. Dominion is a wholesale water provider for the Chatfield Basin population, including Sterling Ranch. More South Metro Water Supply Authority coverage here […]

Littleton: The city is renegotiating their supply contract with Denver Water

From the Littleton Independent (Heather Sackett): Discussions began this spring around the same time Littleton was asked by Sterling Ranch, a proposed, large-scale Douglas County residential development, to consider the potential for annexation. The contract, written in 1970, states that areas annexed by the city will automatically become part of the area served by Denver […]

Western Resource Advocates: ‘New House New Paradigm — A Model for How to Plan, Build, and Live Water-smart’

A colleague at the office sent this link to a new report from Western Resource Advocates titled “New House New Paradigm — A Model for How to Plan, Build, and Live Water-smart.” The Stapleton development at the old Denver airport is featured along with a new project (Sterling Ranch) that will take advantage of legislation […]

Western States Water Council: 2009 Symposium day two recap

Opening Remarks Governor Ritter kicked off the second day of the conference with a presentation about the opportunities and challenges facing the state and the western U.S. “Water is the most important resource to Colorado,” he said, citing the importance of water to recreation, tourism, agriculture, energy development along with the basic needs for the […]