Resident burning over Battlement Mesa order to water lawns or face fines
While Parachute and Silt are prepared to fine residents who water their lawns too much, Battlement Mesa will fine residents in some areas who don’t water their yards enough.
“Some people would let their grass go dead,” said Battlement Mesa Corp. vice president Lynn Shore. “We tell them they are required to water their grass, but not overwater it.”
Residents in Saddleback Village, a 600-unit modular home park owned by Battlement Mesa Corp., face a $25 surcharge on their monthly rent, and possible eviction, if they don’t adequately water their yards.
“If they don’t heed the first warning, they will be fined,” Shore continued. “We’ve had this policy for 15 years.”
Subsequent fines are $50 for the second offense, and $100 plus eviction for the third violation, according to the Battlement Mesa residency agreement.
Watering restrictions in parts of Colorado have put some residents in a tough situation. South of Denver, the Highlands Ranch Community Association put at least one homeowner on notice for breaking the subdivision’s covenants for not keeping his lawn green enough.
Wendy Lough, who has lived in Saddleback Village with her husband, Marshall, since 1996, finds herself in a similar situation.
“If Colorado is short on water to the point of drought, and Parachute is handing out fines if you’re caught when you’re not supposed to be watering … why is Battlement Mesa handing out fines and possible eviction for not watering?” Lough asked.
“Did Battlement Mesa Company owners and staff get together and have some kind of rain dance that no one else knows about?” she asked.
The situations in Saddleback Village and Highlands Ranch are somewhat different.
In Saddleback Village at Battlement Mesa, residents have fenced front yards, and are also required to water strips of grass between the fence and street. The entire area is considered to be front yard, according the residency agreement.
At Highlands Ranch, residents are required to care for one contiguous lawn, rather than fragmented yards like in Saddleback Village.
The Battlement Mesa residency agreement reads, “Because you have a water meter and are paying for your water, you will have the option of watering the lawn outside your fence yourself or having the maintenance personnel water (it). In either case the water will be coming through your meter and will be paid by you. If you have chosen to water yourself and you are not watering enough, we will resume watering for you.”
Lough said the term “enough” is vague, and in any case she doesn’t want Battlement Mesa watering the strip because water then runs into the street.
“The lawn is just not green enough for their satisfaction,” Wendy said.
Shore said he isn’t familiar with the Loughs’ specific situation.
Other Saddleback Village residents have received fines or warnings.
The Loughs’ citation states, “You have five days to install the irrigation line to your fence so that we may water your front lawn …”
Lough said she prefers to water the strip in question herself.
“Battlement Mesa is notorious for watering the street,” Lough said.
Shore said the company buys water from the Battlement Mesa Metropolitan District, which owns water rights in the Colorado River.
Shore referred other questions to the district’s office. The metropolitan district manager was not available for comment.
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