September 19, 2009--Mountain homeowners haunted by 1970s water augmentation plan (Colorado Springs Gazette)

Developers who divided land in the Deer Mountain Ranch (Pikes Peak area) in the 1970s to sell it for houses never built a pipeline required by their court-approved water augmentation plan. And the state has decided residents are on the hook to build it, despite the fact no one lived there when the plan was approved and most have arrived only in the past few years. In a tough economy, families say they can’t come up with the $3,000 to $5,000 each it will cost to build the pipeline, but the state Attorney General’s office recently warned the 29 homeowners they could be fined $500 a day if they don’t comply. The issue is one of water rights. The developers who subdivided the ranch were required to replace every drop that would be taken out of the Oil Creek watershed by the homes in the subdivision, since downstream ranchers, farmers and others have senior water rights. The plan the developers submitted to water court in the mid-1970s said they would build a pipeline from two wells they owned to bring water into Oil Creek below the subdivision, which flows into Four Mile Creek and the Arkansas River.

To view the full article, visit the Colorado Springs Gazette. For a copy of the original article contact the WIP at (970) 247-1302 or stop by the office at 841 East Second Avenue in Durango.