The property in question is known now as The Reserve at Brauch Ranch on Jefferson County Hwy. 126 (Pine Valley Road), and the property we own 'may' have originally come from the Brauch family before 1978 - we don't know for sure. My father-in-law (95-years-old) bought the property we habitate in 1993 after securing a verbal agreement from Earl Brauch that my wife could ride unrestricted on the 567 acres of what was the Brauch Ranch at the time. Since developement of the ranch, only 7 lots remain unsold out of 27 lots. Our property (deeded to my wife per the trust at the passing of her father) borders only the 'outlot', the former unregulated, county-run (Jefferson County, Colorado) landfill which will be capped by October of 2014. We currently don't know what easement rights we may have to the developement (in the no-build zones would be more than satifactory) and we don't know what county restrictions to the outlot would be. I have searched the Jefferson County website and the Denver Water Board website (has an interest in the water) without finding any info on the capping of the old landfill. The original owner (Earl Brauch - don't have contact info for him any more) advised us to continue to maintain the gate on our property that accessed the outlot (said gate original to property when we arrived). The open grassy area that comprises the old landfill and neighboring properties of the developement has been haven to elk, deer, coyotes, fox, bobcats, and other wildlife for years.
We believe the letter we received from the home owner's association was sent by them out of fear of repercussions from the county concerning the use of the land to be 'capped'. If the access of the outlot in areas that aren't directly part of the 'cap' of the landfill is allowed by the county, we believe the H.O.A. may agree to allow my wife continued riding on the developement 'no-build' lands. We really needed to be informationally armed as to law and presidences set with this kind of situation - which I think you have provided (thank you very much). A neighbor on the opposite side of our property seems to have information that says the original owner may still somehow have a hand in control of the land - we have hopes that this is so, and perhaps then our only remaining question is what kind of restrictions are placed on the use of capped landfills in Colorado. I hope to learn more in a trip to the county offices next Monday.
The 'to-be-capped' land is private land, part of the developement. I don't believe the developers hold any hope of developing that land - it has been filed with the developement plans as an 'outlot'. The original owner apparently sued the county ten years ago to clean up the unregulated dump they, the county, had apparently managed years before. I don't yet understand the business of a county running a landfill on private property...oh well.
So far we have been told the 'outlot' will remain just that - never to be built upon. From searches I've done so far, gathering info on landfill capping from other states, (have found no info on Colorado yet) the capped areas can never be built on. I don't know what kind of continued use would be permitted in this case. Some states have opened capped landfills to picnicing and hiking, with some states allowing equestrian access but no livestock grazing.The developer has developed property that is adjacent to The Reserve at Brauch Ranch that includes equestrian trails throughout the developement. He had expressed a desire to have the same situation at Brauch Ranch, but developement plans do not include trails, only no-build zones around the outlying areas of each lot.
If you for any reason are curious about the lay of the land, you could Google Earth our property, the Robert P. Waldmann Trust (Robert is a retired full-bird Colonel from the Air Force) at 13905 Pine Valley Road, Pine. CO 80470. The Brauch Ranch is just south of our property.
Thanks so much for your information! Actually I believe there may already be a lawsuit forming - or a threat anyway - from property owners of the developement that bought lots without it ever being disclosed that there was the remains of an unregulated landfill that could influence water quality. My wife and I had been familiar with the area for years, so we already knew about the landfill before moving here. We found out about the disgruntlement of the neighbors because a letter went to our neighbor across the street who bought a lot next to him that was part of the developement. The letter asked him if it had been disclosed to him about the landfill when he bought his lot from the developement; which he had not been informed. The new property owner next to him then was beside himself with rage, also not being informed. There were names of other concerned developement property owners in the letter also - or so I am informed.It was my wife years ago that brought the attention of some neighbors in the area (before Earl Brauch decided to develope) that there was the unregulated landfill upslope from state land that was being considered for a state youth sex-offender facility. The state abandoned the idea of the facility, and this made the land available for a land developer to buy and develope that piece of land. It is the same developer who now owns the Reserve at Brauch Ranch developement (barring the heresay that Brauch may still have ownership or control of the land in some way). There are so many secrets around here!
In fact, it does look like the property we reside on was at least an unofficial part of the landfill involved. Perhaps we should be looking into our rights in that aspect.
I tell you, there are all kinds of interesting stories of the conflicts between neighbors around here. My wife and I have always taken a stance of mitigators between parties, usually with the result of conflict resolution. At one point I was suppoenaed (spelling?) as a witness in an easement conflict between neighbors, and was asked by the judge if I was the only sane person in the room (himself excluded I hope). It's a bit of the Old West here from time to time, including a time when the original developement owner paraded around the access to a neighbor's property on the opposite side of ours with a few friends - all with loaded assault rifles over their shoulders.
Thanks for hanging in there with me over this issue. I hope it's been a bit entertaining at the least. I'm sure I'll learn more from the county and more from the developement's H.O.A. in the future.
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