FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
10/5/2022: Below is a summary, or Q&A, for some of the questions we are currently and most frequently receiving regarding the petition to form a town or municipality. In the future we’ll update this page to reflect other questions we commonly receive.
Q: Would the formation of a municipal government (corporation) or town automatically dissolve the Association?
Commentary: The BGPOA would exist within in a municipality or town just as it does within the County. Many homeowner and property owner associations around the country exist within some form of municipal government.
Q: Would the formation of a municipality mean we would have to pay city taxes and fees as well as Assessments.
Commentary: Municipal corporations (i.e., cities, towns, townships, boroughs, villages, etc.) are incorporated by the state. The state’s constitution, statutes and/or legislature grants a municipality’s duration, rights, and powers for a specifically defined area. Authorizing the municipality to administer local affairs such as establishing a police force, providing emergency services, and allowing for a municipality’s primary revenue streams: taxes, service fees and fines. Among other sources, a municipality may also take on debt in the form of municipal bonds and obtain outside funding from central government or other entities in the form of grants.
Q: If the court decides the petition is valid, who gets to vote on incorporation of the proposed Town of Baca Grande?
A: Citizens of Colorado registered to vote within Saguache County who reside within the proposed boundaries of the proposed municipality will be eligible to vote on the formation of a town or municipality (C.R.S. § 31-2-102(1)).
Q: Why don’t all Members get to vote on incorporation of the proposed Town of Baca Grande?
A: Per Colorado statute, this would be considered as a matter within a portion of Saguache County. Only voters registered within Saguache County and within the proposed boundaries of the municipality would be eligible to vote.
Commentary: Registering to vote is a right; however, you must be eligible to vote within the state of Colorado, meet the requirements and apply to register at least 29 days before an election (https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/vote/OLVR-faqs.html). For further information please reach-out to the Saguache County Clerk and Recorder’s Office:
- Phone: 719-655-2512
- Email: [email protected]
- Online: https://saguachecoclerk.colorado.gov
- In-person (8-4 M-F): 501 4th Street (Main Floor) Saguache, CO 81149
Q: How many votes would it take for the proposed Town of Baca Grande to pass/fail?
A: This ballot issue would only require a simple majority of all ballots cast (C.R.S. § 31-2-103). In other words, if a total of ten eligible citizens chose to vote and six vote no, the measure fails. Conversely, if six vote in the affirmative, the measure passes.
Commentary: This highlights the importance of citizen and Member participation.
To register to vote within Saguache County please visit the Clerk and Recorder’s Office (contact information provided above and in the “Resource” section following this FAQ).
Q: If the motivation of this effort is to dissolve to the Association, then what’s involved in that process? Who gets to vote?
A: This optionality is specifically addressed within the governing documents of the Association and authorizes Members to consider such an issue in the event a municipality is formed.
- Specifically, Article XIV Section 14.2 of the Amended and Restated Bylaws states that “In the event a municipality is formed which includes the Development, the Members in Good Standing shall have the authority to vote at any membership meeting to transfer any and all Common Facilities, property and equipment to the municipality.”
- Note: Membership meetings are not Board Meetings (and vice versa). The Annual General Meeting is an example of a Membership Meeting and Special Membership Meetings are another example.
- Members in Good Standing would be eligible to vote.
- The Quorum requirement for Membership Meetings is twenty percent (20%) of Members in Good Standing (Bylaws Section 5.4).
- Per Section 5.8 of the Bylaws, once a Quorum is reached, a majority vote of Members in Good Standing present at the meeting, in person or by proxy, shall prevail or decide the matter under consideration.
Commentary: There has been some misconception that Section 14.2 of the Bylaws automatically “requires” a vote in the event a municipality is formed; however, that is not the case. Members shall have the authority to vote as they so decide. No vote is required, and dissolution is not required nor automatic. As we’re learning internally (through bids and printer invoices), the cost and time involved in preparing notices and mailers for Member meetings/votes can vary substantially depending on the number of inserts (labor to fold, track & sort), the size of items included, and product availability of inclusions (i.e., nesting envelops). More basic mailers with a few pages, return envelopes, and secrecy sleaves may be accomplished for ~$2,500. More complex outsourced mailers may cost closer to $20,000. Last, even if the BGPOA’s property were transferred to the municipality, the restrictive covenants would likely continue to encumber the Lots within Baca Grande. Terminating the Baca Grande common interest community and dissolving the non-profit corporation that is the BGPOA would likely require additional votes of the membership.
Q: If it were ever dissolved, what would happen to our greenbelts and other assets of the Association?
A: It would be up to our Members to decide the ultimate fate of these protected areas and other assets. Per the Tenth Article of the Articles of Incorporation: “In the event of dissolution…the assets of the Association shall be deemed to be owned by the Members at the date of dissolution, as part of their Lots, equally, unless otherwise agreed or provided by law.”
Commentary: The use of greenbelt areas is deed restricted as open space and that restriction would carry onward with the deeds. As mentioned elsewhere in these FAQ’s, Members of the Association are not required to transfer any, all, or even portions of the Association’s assets to a municipality. As such, the greenbelts and parks could remain with the Association in perpetuity, or, hypothetically, they could be transferred to a special district or a tax deductible 501(c)(3) organization.
Q: Does the Association Board intend to raise Assessments by thirty (30) percent every year?
Commentary: While it is our goal to establish a longer-term plan, the budget process and establishment of Assessments is required to occur on an annual basis per our governing documents. There has been no work to-date on a budget for 2024, as such, any assertion regarding the direction of future Assessments is not accurate.
Also, our history demonstrates that the Association has raised Assessments only when necessary and careful consideration has been given to our services and budget when doing so. The Assessments for 2023 were raised the minimum necessary to have sufficient funds to perform deferred maintenance on equipment and buildings, address inflationary increases to the cost of services, as well as rebuild our reserves. The 2023 dues will be $640.90/year or $53.41/month: an increase of $12.33/month.
Q: Is the filing of this petition related to the Association’s financial health?
Commentary: Neither the Association Board of Directors nor management are associated with origination of this petition. In fact, we are pursuing all responsible means to ensuring the long-term sustainability of our Association, its equipment, and the assets held in common interest.
Q: Are the people behind this petition community members and Members in Good Standing of the Baca Grande?
A: With respect to all involved, we won’t comment on either matter.