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Gilpin - Clear Creek Home
& Landowners Association, Inc.

P.O. Box 237 - Idaho Springs, CO 80452
www.YorkGulch.com

News, Weather, & Information 

Introduction

2019 

2019 Annual Presidents Letter
2019 GCCHLA Dues and Invoice

 

2019 Clear Creek County Referral Letter for a proposed amendment to the Zoning Regulations regarding Camping

2017 

2017 Annual President Letter
2017 GCCHLA Dues Invoice

2015 

Annual President's Letter - August 20,
(Document Only)
Annual Dues Invoice - September 20,
(Document Only)

2014 

Annual President's Letter - August 20,
(Document Only)
Annual Dues Invoice - September 20,
(Document Only)

2013 

Annual President's Letter - September 27,
(Document Only)

2012 

Annual President's Letter - September 5,
(Document Only)
County Road Base Project Request - September 5,
(Document Only)
County Road Base Project Area Map
(Document Only)
Community Wildfire Protection Plan
(Document Only)

2010 

A Letter From the President - June 14,

Other 

York Gulch Evaculation Routes
A Letter from the President - June 14, 2010

June 14th, 2010

 

To: 

Gilpin Clear Creek  Home and Land Owners Association Members

From:

Jim Vogt, GCCHLA President

 

To all GCCHLA Members,

                I’m writing you today to lay the groundwork for some discussion that needs to be had about the purpose of the GCCHLA, how the association relates to the landowners, and how the association manages its operations.  I also have an important announcement about some changes to GCCHLA policy beginning next year.

As you may know, the GCCHLA was formed at the request of the US Forest Service for the purpose of issuing a collective access/use permit to the home and land owners of York Gulch.  Since the roads we use to access our property cross USFS/BLM land, a “Special Use Permit” is required for us to legally perform road maintenance in those areas.  This maintenance includes everything from seasonal grading to personal snow plowing. 

                To give you a little background on the permits…  the USFS issues Special Use permits both to individuals and associations.  The type of permit issued depends on the number of individual interests using the area specified by the permit.  So, if one person needs a permit for a single point of access, the USFS may issue a permit to that individual.  However, if multiple parties require a permit for the same area of land, the USFS requests that the multiple parties form an association to which the USFS issues a single permit. 

There are two primary benefits to us as landowners for engaging in this arrangement with the USFS.  The first is that it allows the membership within the association to change without requiring new USFS permits to be issued.  This way, an individual who later requires a permit for the area (a new home owner for instance) is included simply by joining the association, rather than by engaging in the full permit application process.  The permit application process can take more than 5 years to complete, requires an Environmental Impact study to be completed, and routinely costs as much as $15,000 – those costs being paid solely by the applicant.  

The second major benefit to us is that, unlike most Special Use permits, the GCCHLA permit never expires.  This is very unusual, as most permits require a reevaluation every 10 years.  The typical renewal process requires a new Environmental Impact statement to be completed often costing more than $10,000. 

The non-expiring permit issued to the GCCHLA, and other organizations like us, is generally no longer available.  Were the association to dissolve and reform, it would no longer be eligible for the type of permit we currently hold.  Additionally, anyone choosing not to participate in the association is not eligible for such a permit.  Therefore, if we change the nature of the association, not only do we lose access to maintain our roads while the application is processed, but we would be responsible not only for the permit application costs today, but also for every 10 years going forward including any required Environmental Impact studies.

The Special Use permit we hold is not free.  The permit is paid for annually, with the permit costs being periodically adjusted (generally upwards).  The permit currently costs the HOA approximately $1,000 per year.  To cover the cost for the permit fee, as well as the approximately $1,200 liability insurance cost required for an association, the GCCHLA has membership dues of $50 per year, per land owner.  This works out so that each individual or family owning land is responsible for one $50 payment per year, regardless of the number of parcels owned or type of use.

These dues are mandatory.  The association’s financial obligations must be maintained in order to avoid restructuring our relationship with the USFS.   By the definition in the permit, any land owner whose primary property access is via York Gulch Road is considered to be covered by the permit.   As such, the law allows for an association, like the GCCHLA, to enforce payment of dues by means of filing liens on properties owned by individuals who choose not to pay.

Up until this point, paid membership has represented only a portion of the landowners who are covered by the permit.  While payment of dues has always been legally enforceable, the association has historically chosen not to pursue legal action against non-paying landowners.  This has been the case for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that we all would like people to have the space to do as they wish up here.  In principle, none of us wants to be forced to participate in something we’re not interested in, and no one wants to try to force anything on anyone else.  And up to this point, this approach has produced a reasonably functional landowner’s association for York Gulch, meeting the few collective needs of the community, and maintaining the legal and financial obligations of the association.

Over time, unfortunately, things have changed.  It is now the case that a significant number of landowners using York Gulch Rd access are not paying members of the GCCHLA.  New landowners are routinely told by their real estate agents that dues are optional, or only need to be paid the first year to complete the property purchase.  Additionally, the costs associated with maintaining our permit and insurance have increased considerably.  Without taking steps to ensure some form of funding from the people using the Special Use permit, the GCCHLA can no longer guarantee the maintenance of its agreement with the USFS.  Therefore, at the board meeting, held on May 7th, the board determined that a number of steps are necessary in order to clarify the situation, as well as to ensure that the GCCHLA can continue to fulfill its obligations.

The first of those steps is this communication.  There is a lot of information floating around about what the GCCHLA is and does, and whether we do or don’t need the association – only a small portion of that information is correct.  So, while I apologize for the length of this letter, I thought it was most important that everyone have the same information about the association, why it exists, and why we need it going forward. 

The second step we are taking is a difficult but necessary one.  Beginning January 1, 2011, the GCCHLA will begin placing liens on those properties owned by non-paying members.  The GCCHLA requests a dues payment of $50 for the current year only.  However, should a lien be filed, it will be filed for the full amount of past dues owed, dating to time of purchase.

The third step is for us to have a detailed conversation on this subject at the next GCCHLA annual meeting, being held at the Overlooked Way meadow on June 19th.  This is the opportunity for everyone to have their say on this subject and we really hope to see everyone there.  This is an incredibly important subject for York Gulch landowners and we are calling on everyone with an opinion to take the opportunity to state it publicly in this forum.  Thank you very much for your time, and we’re looking forward to seeing you there.

 

Regards,

Jim Vogt
GCCHLA President


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