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Rules Concerning Homes Bordering Open Space

Rules Concerning Homes Bordering Open Space

Ken-Caryl Ranch Park Rangers routinely monitor open space lands adjacent to 850 homes to look for encroachments and landscape violations. This interface area is 17.5 miles in length. The open space is owned by the Ken-Caryl Ranch Master Association (KCRMA). In an effort to minimize impact to open space, the KCRMA Board of Directors incorporated the Open Space & Parks Rules and Enforcement Policy regarding open space violations next to homes. The following are examples of open space violations and how they impact the resources contained in our open space.

Dumping
Includes grass clippings, branches, other yard waste, dog feces and construction debris. Harm to the open space includes yard waste containing seeds of non-native plants that can germinate and crowd out native and other desirable plants in the open space. Dump piles can provide habitat for rodents and snakes that you may not want living close to your house. The open space is not a public dumping area, but is shared by everyone to enjoy.

Driving in Open Space
Includes contractors using open space to access an owner’s property, transportation of materials, ATVs or any other unauthorized vehicles in open space. Harm to the open space includes destruction of property, weed invasions, unsightly scars, erosion of bare soil and potential ignition source for wildfires.

Excessive Mowing
Includes mowing beyond the allowed four-foot wide swath where private property meets open space. Excessive mowing prevents seed development of native plants, not allowing them to reseed. Some native plants can be killed by excessive mowing, and variations in excessive mowing create an unsightly mosaic of the private property/open space boundaries.

Structures
Includes retaining walls, pathways or trails, extension of private landscaping, birdfeeders, play equipment (swing sets, trampolines, etc.), invisible dog fences or other fences, or any other structures are prohibited. The use of open space for personal benefit is unfair to other property owners.

Planting in Open Space
Includes trees, shrubs, non-native vegetation, or any other non-approved plantings. Planting non-native species can compete with native species. If a resident is interested in planting in open space, they may submit a planting plan to KCRMA Open Space Committee for approval.

Enforcement Procedure
If a KCR Rules Violation is found adjacent to your property, you will be issued a KCR Contact Notice requiring you to stop and/or clean up the area by a deadline. Failure to meet the mitigation deadline may result in a second Contact Notice. Any two or more violations or contact notices for the same violation within a 36-month period may result in a Notice of Hearing to appear before the KCRMA Board of Directors and penalties can be imposed.

Note: Residents are responsible for the actions of their contractors. When a contractor is driving on open space, dumping material, installing a fence in open space, etc., the resident will be cited and expected to mitigate the violation.

The main point regarding these violations is that any damage to open space grasses allows noxious weeds to grow. If a new weed area is established, then resources have to be redistributed from other areas to stop this new growth, straining the Ranger staff. In addition, noxious weeds can spread onto a homeowner’s property. If you would like to know more information about rules violations or noxious weeds, contact the Park Ranger staff at 303-979-1876, ext. 170.

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