Community and Neighborhood Issues
I’ve heard the project referred to as Mariana Springs and The Springs at Mariana. What is the correct name of the project?
Both are correct. The project is marketed and commonly identified as The Springs at Mariana. The City of Loveland, for document retrieval purposes, required that the plat documents be titled “Mariana Springs First Subdivision.” All lot and block references for parcel legal descriptions will use the official and legally correct name of Mariana Springs First Subdivision.
Where will my kids go to school?
The Springs at Mariana has school bus service for all age groups. A lighted, school bus shelter is provided at the entry to the project from west First Street. Elementary school children (grades k-5) attend Namaqua Elementary School. Middle school children attend Walt Clark Middle School. High school students attend Thompson Valley High School. Several colleges are also located within easy commuting distance from the project.
Is this project within the City of Loveland and who provides the utility services?
The Springs at Mariana is situated with the municipal boundaries of the City of Loveland. In fact, this project is the westernmost limit of the City’s Growth Management Area. This means that unless the City of Loveland and Larimer County jointly agree to revise their respective Land Use Master Plans, the large rural country lots that border the west and south boundaries of the project are not likely to ever be subdivided into smaller, urban-type parcels.
The City of Loveland provides sanitary sewer service, storm drainage disposal, electrical service, refuse and yard waste pick up, and street maintenance. Potable water is supplied by Little Thompson Water District. Natural gas is provided by Xcel Energy, and Comcast provides cable television and high speed internet services. Wireless high speed internet service is also available for some lots thru Mesa Networks. Qwest provides hard wired telephone service to the project. There are a variety of service providers for wireless telephone service to the project area.
Who is responsible for planting and maintaining the trees along the roads inside the project?
Timber Wind Land used a landscaping contractor to plant the street trees behind the curb in groups of four or more after the homes were completed. The tree types were as depicted on the project landscape plan approved by the City of Loveland. The cost for this work is included in the purchase price of the lot. After the trees are planted, it is the responsibility of the lot owner to water and maintain the tree. This responsibility includes replacement if the tree dies. The adjacent property owner is also responsible to install and maintain irrigated turf in the tree lawn area between the sidewalk and curb.
Who takes care of the roads and sidewalks in this project?
Timber Wind Land was responsible for maintenance of the roads during the construction warranty period, which expired in November of 2005. After that date, the City of Loveland accepted maintenance responsibility for all the roads. The City typically does not provide snow removal services on low volume neighborhood streets like those found in this project.
Maintenance of the sidewalks is the responsibility of the adjacent lot owner, as described in the Loveland Municipal Code.
Does this project have a homeowner’s association, and how much are the annual dues?
The Springs at Mariana Home Owners Association, Inc. was registered as a non-profit corporation with Colorado Secretary of State’s office in January of 2004. Ownership of all the open space outlots has been deeded to the Association, and the Association is responsible for the maintenance and capital improvement of the outlots. All lot owners are members of the Association. The annual dues are currently set at $650 per year. The annual assessment amount can be revised by a vote of the Executive Board.
Who owns and maintains the fences with the project?
All the fences within the project were installed outside of the individual lot boundaries and on the outlot parcels owned by the Association. The Association is responsible for maintaining these fences. If lot owners opt to install welded wire mesh on the lot-side of the rail fence, they will be responsible to maintain the wire mesh.
Are there any specific requirements for homes within this subdivision?
Absolutely. The corner stone of this project is enduring quality which protects the homeowner’s investment. Quality is achieved by adhering to a set of minimum guidelines for building materials and design elements. These are spelled out in detail in Article XVI of the covenants.
Can I build a privacy fence around my yard?
No. Solid fencing along the lot lines is prohibited by the covenants. In recognition of the desire for privacy, court yard walls (up to 6’ in height) may be installed within 20’ of the home for patios, hot tubs, etc. Additional layout and materials requirements are provided in Article XVI of the covenants.
Can I work on my car in my driveway?
Emergency repairs may be performed in a driveway (or wherever the emergency dictates). Routine maintenance needs to be performed at an auto mechanic’s shop or within the lot owner’s garage.
Can my teenage kids park their cars on the street in front of our house every night?
On-street parking is reserved for visitors and guests. Overnight parking of the lot owners’ automobiles needs to occur in the garages or on the private driveways.
Is it permissible to park my boat, camper, snow blower, or extra car outside next to my garage?
One goal of the project covenants is to maintain an attractive streetscape throughout the project. As a step toward that end, all recreational vehicles and machinery need to be parked in the garage or at an offsite storage facility. Cars may be parked in the driveway but not on the yard or on any other outdoor parking pads.
Are accessory buildings allowed on a lot?
Permanent buildings that are architecturally compatible with the primary living structure are allowed when approved by the Design Review Committee. Portable or temporary structures are not permitted.
Irrigation Ditches and Open Space
Can the residents explore the natural areas, fish in the ponds, and play in the irrigation ditches?
Both the City of Loveland and the two irrigation companies have strong opinions regarding these issues. The City wants the wetland area (at the south end of the project) to remain undisturbed and ecologically vibrant. Consequently, they required, as a condition of development approval, that signs be posted to remind residents to not intrude in the wetland area. Similarly, the City and the irrigation companies are very concerned for the safety of the recreation path users near the ditches. Accordingly, entry into the ditch easements is considered a trespass and is prohibited. The full text of these requirements can be found in the agreements inserted behind tabs #8 and #10 of the Lot Owner’s Manual, as well as in Article XVII of the covenants.
The central pond, located near the picnic pavilion, is viewed differently. It is located in the open space play area. This pond is stocked with fish. It is permissible for residents to engage in catch-and-release fishing at the central pond.
Are bicycles, motor scooters, and the neighbors allowed on the recreation path?
The Executive Board has the authority to restrict the activities or uses on any of the common areas, including the recreation path. At this point, no restriction or prohibitions have been adopted. Only lot owners and their guests have the legal right to use any of the common areas.
Are their wild animals living in the area?
Part of the beauty of The Springs at Mariana is the opportunity for coexistence between the humans and the wild critters that have enjoyed the property before it became a subdivision. The preserved and protected natural areas are home to ducks, geese, doves, song birds, deer, elk, and other wildlife. Enjoy them from a safe distance and allow them to remain life-long neighbors.
Is the development wasting the treated drinking water by operating a waterfall and irrigating the grass and trees?
The entry and open space landscaping are irrigated. A drip irrigation system has also been installed along the recreation path to preserve the vitality of the new trees and shrubs. These irrigation systems are plumbed to use either treated water from Little Thompson Water District or raw water delivered from the Southside Ditch. Raw water is rented on an annual basis and stored in the central pond for irrigation purposes. It is pumped into the irrigation piping on a daily basis during the growing season. The entry pond is lined with an impermeable rubber liner, so water is conserved. The water in the entry pond recirculates through the waterfalls. Raw or treated water can be added to the entry pond by the irrigation piping as needed to keep the pond full.
Home Construction and Landscaping
Are there expansive soils in this project, and how does that affect the foundation design and cost?
The soils in west Loveland generally consist of a clay layer underlain by a claystone bedrock. This is the case within the Springs at Mariana. The claystone has a moderate (1.7%) to high (10.1%) expansion potential. See the Subsurface Exploration Report prepared by Earth Engineering Consultants for additional information.
The depth to the claystone varies within the project. Some houses can be built on conventional spread footings while others will require the design and construction of drilled caissons and a structural floor to protect against movement in the foundation and any concrete floor slabs. The cost of a foundation varies with the size of the house. In very general terms for a 2000 SF footprint, one could expect the caisson and structural floor system to add about $12,000 or $6 per square foot to the cost of a home.
What is the story behind the requirement for residential fire sprinkler systems?
The City of Loveland Fire Department requires the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems in subdivisions served by only one access where the dead end length is greater than 400 feet. In this project, the homes north of the mailboxes do not need sprinkler systems but the homes south of the mailboxes do need sprinkler systems. This requirement is not influenced by the water pressure, water flow rates, or proximity of fire hydrants, all of which are adequate within this project.
The cost of a residential fire protection system is a function of the house size. A rule of thumb is that the sprinkler system will add approximately $2 per square foot to the home cost. A local contractor, Front Range Fire Protection, Inc., can be reached at (970) 663-3310 for additional cost and construction information.
Residential fire sprinkler systems are activated by heat, not smoke. Consequently, there is no need to worry about activating them accidentally by stovetop or other smoke.
Is there a ground water concern for new homes within the project?
The Springs at Mariana is a wonderfully unique location bordered by the South Side Ditch on the west, the Buckingham Ditch on the east, and a vibrant wetland on the south. Timber Wind Land has been monitoring the ground water levels throughout the project since 2001 and provides this data in each Lot Owner’s Manual. Perforated tubes are installed throughout the project to allow any person to check the ground water level for himself/herself at any time. In summary, the majority of the project is dry to the explored depth of 15’ below the ground surface. The lots with the shallowest ground water are found on the south and east sides of the project where it has been recorded to be no closer than 7’ to the ground surface. Drainage systems installed in these areas appear to be lowering the ground water level.
The geotechnical studies recommend that a minimum separation of 3’ be maintained between the ground water and the home foundation for protection against settlement and encroachment of the ground water into a basement or crawl space. All top of foundation elevations shown in the Grading Plan provide at least 3’ of separation to the ground water for 9’ basement walls with the exception of Lot 20 where 2.5’ of separation is maintained for an 8’ basement and Lot 14 where 2.3’ is maintained for an 8’ basement wall height. In summary, no problems associated with ground water are expected for the homes within The Springs at Mariana.
Can I have my own builder construct my home for me, or must I use one of Timber Wind Land’s builders?
One the core objectives from the inception of this project has been to provide individuals with an opportunity to build their dream home the way they want it built. This includes the selection of the builder of their choice. Timber Wind Land has several reputable builders available to provide new home construction for those who desire, but there is no requirement to use our builders.
Are there any rules regarding landscaping for this project?
There are a few. Timber Wind Land has invested nearly one-quarter million dollars in landscaping this project. We want it to be perpetually beautiful, and we expect the future residents to share that value. Basically, a landscape plan must be prepared and approved for each lot. The landscaping must be installed within 18 months of completion of each home. The detailed landscaping requirements found in Article XVI of the covenants provide general instruction regarding the intent for the project, but are sufficiently open-ended to encourage individual creativity for the lot owners.
What will be done to keep the project clean while all the homes are under construction?
The lot owners need to take a very active role to make this effort successful. The key is to establish an ongoing commitment from the contractors and their staff to take personal responsibility for the cleanliness of their work sites. Section 16.03 of the covenants obligates the contractors to keep individual dumpsters on their site, limit the parking of vehicles to only paved surfaces, and conduct the delivery of materials such that dirt and mud are not tracked onto the roads. Both the lot owner and the contractor are responsible to clean up the roads within 48 hours if an infraction occurs.