Tag Archives: development

Who’s Kidding Who Here? Part II

Elbert County TrustThat didn’t take long.

I received a reply from a Elbert County Commissioner of an email I sent concurrently with writing Part I, “Who’s Kidding Who Here“.  My email touched upon the same points in my post.  In his rebuttal the Commissioner states that the Independence “SIA governs OFFSITE improvements” and that the language denying Craft and his cronies is in “The Service Plan for the Water and Sanitation District contain the language restricting water export..”

So I went and found one of the Service Plans approved on September 7th, 2017.  It had all I needed to see – I don’t need to see any of the other 5 Special Districts – I already know what they say.  All I needed to see was in the finalized Independence Overlay Special District Service Plan.  I compared it to the original same Service Plan filed in June, 2017 – well before the public hearing.

Finalized (pdf) Independence Overlay District Service Plan.

And this was my exact reply to the notion that the Independence SIA governs offsite improvements:

Absolutely laughable that as important as water is to this community, you believe placing a single line on the bottom of a Service Plan is going to stop water from leaving this county?  And more specifically leaving the Independence “project”?

“The District shall not export water outside of Elbert County, with the exception for provisions of any emergency services.”

Are you kidding me?

You approved six districts that are allowed to merge, regroup, consolidate, transfer, etc. and you approved this service plan language:

“The District will be authorized to provide for the acquisition, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of the Improvements (as defined in §32-1-1006(1)(c), C.R.S., as amended, and for the ongoing maintenance of the Improvements, within and without the boundaries of the District, as described in Exhibit F. The District may accept appropriate, purchase, lease or otherwise acquire any water or water rights, either potable or non-potable, for use within or without the Development area.”

Because of your language, all a waterburgler has to do is paper transfer water to another one of their Districts, and/or a District with no boundaries, and/or a District without restrictions, and that District can sell anywhere it wishes.  A brilliant idea since everybody is looking to buy Elbert County water!  And you know it.

After with what this county went through with the same water attorney and other special districts prior, the document preventing the transfer/sale/export of our water should have been 20 pages deep to prevent just a theft.

Good grief!

And that SIA is specific to the Independence project.  It is not some kind of OFFSITE document as you call it.  It is EXACTLY as the headline name says it is: “SUBDIVISION IMPROVEMENT AGREEMENT AND RESTRICTION ON CONVEYANCE RELATED TO THE SUBDIVISION AND DEVELOPMENT OF INDEPENDENCE“.

It is the exact place the export language (all 20 pages of it, not one half-assed line) should be placed, as well as within the special district documents.  Even the districts and their functions are specifically spelled out in it (page 3, number 3).

That Independence “project” (and it’s SIA) is a transferable document SEPARATE of Special Districts.  It can be sold to a buyer (such as Walton), assigned to another developer, or annexed by others.  I am sure the developer/investors plead their case so that language would not be included in it.  You stated it would be in the SIA (where it should be), and you let us down, again. 

I cannot see how you are protecting the citizens of Elbert County with actions like these.

Wayne Ordakowski”

And so it it goes.  A fight to maintain our western way of life.  A fight to protect our Elbert County water.  A fight against corruption.  A fight to protect our home values, and a fight to establish everything that is rightfully ours.

Elbert County citizens deserve better than this.  Way better.

If you wish to help in this fight, let your voice be heard.  Get involved!  If you can’t get involved, consider supporting the Stop Over Development Elbert County (SOD) educational cause with a donation.  The SOD has an active judicial review filing against the county that we need financial assistance with – attorneys are not cheap.

Thank-you for your time and consideration.

Wayne Ordakowski, a concerned Elbert County Citizen

Who’s Kidding Who Here? Part I

Elbert CountyWe all heard it.  Several times.

At public hearings over three evenings before their approval vote (3-0) on September 7th, 2017 – we heard our Elbert County Commissioners promise that several “negotiated” changes would be made to the 920 home “Independence” application.  Over two hundred concerned citizens heard our BOCC say the county attorney and developer would work on the language for changes that needed to be made to the Independence subdivision improvement agreement (SIA) over the coming hours and days.  Our Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved the application that night with the understanding the “discussed” details would be worked out in the SIA.  Elbert County Citizens were left trusting our commissioners, county attorney, a developer in new cowboy boots and a special district “water” attorney to get this done satisfactorily and all “above board”.  Exactly why and how an application was approved before it was completed is beyond me, but I guess in our county government we shall trust.

And it turns out most of what they said would be haggled out in the SIA is in the final SIAMost.  From my notes they mentioned curbs and roadwork along the new Delbert Road Extension.  That’s in there.  They mentioned that same road would have to be completed before the 371th home permit would be issued.  That’s in there.  Chip seal of CR 158 to CR 13 at the builders expense, check, it’s in there.  Many of the so-called “negotiated” commissioner demands are in the document.  Language clear, concise, and issues addressed.

Elbert County Independence SIA (tif)

Elbert County Independence SIA (pdf)

It’s pretty much all there EXCEPT the biggest and most important item of all.  After a short break on the second night of public hearings, we all heard Tim P. Craft and Dianne Miller agree to NOT export any water outside the borders of Independence without a public hearing and BOCC approval.  This was by far the most important issue facing all of Elbert County.  We’ve seen attempted water theft around here before, and it was clear they both reluctantly agreed that NO water would leave the borders of Independence without a public hearing AND BOCC approval.

From elbertcountynews.net:

“You have to understand the psychology of our community,” Thayer said to Miller and Craft. “There is great fear that we’ll be merged with another metro district or export water.

“If you want to step outside the metro district, if you want to do it without coming to us first, I’m afraid — I’m not afraid — I’m pretty sure you’ll have trouble,” Thayer said as the room erupted with applause.

After consulting with his legal team during a recess at the second meeting, Craft made the concession to meet the request of the commissioners.

“By placing borders around the metro districts, they can’t do anything with any of their metro districts’ infrastructure outside of their borders without a notice to public hearing and approval by the BOCC,” Thayer later said.

But there’s NOT A SINGLE MENTION of that agreement in all of the final SIA.  None.  The Independence Special Districts are all mentioned by name.  The other issues are addressed.  But there’s not a single word about what we feared most.  Zip, Zero, Nada.

And to top it all off, if our leaders eventually do tell us that this agreement indeed somehow, somewhere does exist, if there’s some kind of agreement in place in some special district document, some initialed map overlay, some other paperwork they can wave around and say, “here it is right here”, well, that doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter one bit because here’s why:

Page 11, section 30.  It is very clear.  Crystal clear.  And this line will hold up in court every day, all day (click to enlarge):

Independence SIA

So basically, if it’s not in the SIA, it doesn’t exist.  It’s not “herein”, capisce?

This is like that chick Lucy that pulls the ball away from Charlie Brown right when he goes to kick it.

And we fall for it every time.

Crooked is, as crooked does.

Wayne Ordakowski, a concerned Elbert County citizen.

UPDATED Read Part II of “Who’s Kidding Who Here”, rebuttal from a County Commissioner

Independence 920 Homes or 2,500? Part I

Independence Serentity Pointe Elbert County ColoradoThey keep saying 920 homes for “Independence”, but even as far back as 2009 another development called “Serenity Pointe” has been right next door to the former “Bandera” development.  Literally, right next door.

Here’s the Elbert County Commissioners Resolution 09-14:

Elbert County Res 09-14 Bandera West PUD

Note section 4:

“4.) The current site layout shows residential clusters abutting the property boundaries on the north, west, and east. To avoid potential conflicts between agricultural uses and the smaller lots (1/2 acre), the buffer area along these property boundaries should be increased. This will require shifting some of the perimeter lots toward the interior to create additional buffer area, eliminating the perimeter lots, or re-locating them elsewhere on the property. Serenity Point is a proposed development adjacent to and immediately north of Bandera. The lot configuration being proposed along Bandera’s north boundary may be appropriate, provided the open space and road connections are coordinated between the two proposed developments”.

As many that were there in person for the County Commissioners public hearing before the vote heard, Independence developer Tim Craft “offered” us citizens increased buffer setbacks out of the goodness of his heart to help sway any doubters.  Such a nice guy that Tim Craft.  Read section 4 above again.

Serenity Pointe is the 320 acre parcel of land immediately north of Independence and is owned by the Walton Group and their Asian “Land Unit” partners.  They together have invested north of 9 Million dollars in AG (agricultural) land.  They invested in a 320 acre field of nothing, not even a tree.  You think they’re going to spend that kind of money to graze cattle?  The storm is right around the corner.

Now, so we’re clear.  Independence is 920 homes, Serenity Pointe exact numbers aren’t known yet, but the Walton Group gives us clues.  Many clues.  They’re doing another development north of Denver in Larimer County called “Taft Ridge”.  Taft Ridge is 855 lots on 178 acres.  Here’s their brochure:

Walton Group “Taft Ridge” 855 lots on 178 acres (.20 acre/lot)

Walton Group also has several other land development projects going on across the country, including several failed ones.  They don’t actually build homes, they buy ag land, attract Asian investors to lessen their load, flip county zoning, planning and commissioner boards, then sell to real developers and walk away with the profit.  Oh, they usually build a Walmart a few years ahead so their developments have a place to shop at their new store.  Sound familiar Elbert County?

Here’s the Walton Group’s “ownership” with their Asian partners from the Elbert County Assessor Website (log in as public):

Walton Group 320 Acres North of Independence

Click on any of those “special Warranty Deeds” and you’ll see their Asian land unit investors (silent partners) and “SERENITY POINTE REVOCABLE TRUST“.  There’s 411 investor deed issuance’s for a total of $9,030,000.00 for a 320 acre parcel of AG land.  Huh?  What could they possibly know that the rest of Elbert County hasn’t a clue?

So knowing the density of Taft Ridge at .20 acre per lot (5 lots per acre), we can take that number and divide 320 by .20 and what do we have for homes?  1,600 more homes.

So 920 homes is really 2,500 homes now, isn’t it?

You can start connecting the dots as to why Independence needs its own supersized waste water sewage plant.  Why it requested and received 6 Special Districts with powers of eminent domain.  Why the huge push to get Independence through.   And where do you get the water for 7,500 new residents?  There’s soooo much more tied to it, and there’s soooo much money that it’s too big to fail, right?

Haven’t we heard that before.

And finally, did Barry Dulzen from the Walton Group really send this letter of support for Independence to the Elbert County Commissioners?  You bet he did, pulled straight from the Elbert County Website (click to enlarge):

Walton Group Independence Letter (pdf)

My fine Elbert County neighbors, the enemy is much closer than you think.

Coming soon, PART II. Stay tuned.

Wayne Ordakowski, a concerned RURAL Elbert County Citizen