Living in big surroundings: Forest Lakes near the Air Force Academy offers a new view of life in Colorado.
By Mark Samuelson, Denver Post Real Estate
If you’re not finding the scenery around Denver that you were hoping would be part of your next move, Colorado Springs’ builder Classic Homes has a treat waiting for you today, 45 minutes south down I-25, just north of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Classic is only two years into development of Forest Lakes – its nearly one-thousand-acre community wrapping two lakes along scenic Beaver Creek near Monument – but, the lakeside setting and the Pike National Forest backdrop are bringing rapid sales, including Denver buyers. “We love the north side of Colorado Springs,” one homebuyer told me, planning to commute to Park Meadows.
Classic literally roared through 79 homes beside Bristlecone Lake, where there’s a lakeside park with a dock for non-powered watercraft and a pretty amphitheater that’s attracting hundreds for the summer concerts (you’re invited 6 p.m. July 27 for Indy Rock group HeresToFightin, and Aug. 10 for Phat Horn Doctors).
Meanwhile, you can tour Classic’s ranch and 2-story model homes today in a neighborhood wrapping 14-acre Pinon Lake – but once again, homes are disappearing very rapidly. Classic had 160 home sites here when it opened in 2016; but is now down to 25 in the first release – including four homes for fall move-in from $453,729; two set for October, a 2-story and a 4-bedroom/3-bath ranch. Classic will open another group of 42 home sites near Pinon Lake later this year and pricing is expected to start in the mid to upper $300s – way, way below new single-family home prices in typical Denver communities now. They also have big plans to open a spectacular new area in the west valley adjacent to the National Forest.
Classic’s ranch plans are hugely popular – accounting for 70% of sales here. “It seems like everyone is looking for main level living,” says Karin Martin, who along with Lisa Minder and Craig Esterle will show you the homes. “Some are telling us they want less landscaping, and more time to travel with their kids and grandkids. Growing families like our ranch plans, too.”
She’s seeing buyers coming from as far as Golden, considering moving here for this setting. “Denver buyers tell us about the high prices and the bidding wars, and that they’re not finding the quality of life they like.” That buyer is going to be wowed by the surroundings here – 450 acres of the thousand acres dedicated as open space, opening to Pike National Forest.
I should also mention there are three remaining home sites near the 65-acre Bristlecone Lake, where custom builders are rapidly absorbing the lots. You’ll have the opportunity to see two of these homes in the Colorado Springs Parade of Homes starting August.
Forest Lakes is a perfect distance west of I-25 – far enough to be very quiet, but easily accessible. Take I-25 south past C-470, continue 36 miles to Exit 158/Baptist Road, then head west two miles, angling right on Forest Lakes Drive to the models.
Click here to read the full article as published in Mark Samuelson's Denver Post article.
Due to the unusually dry conditions that are persisting into the summer months, the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District Board elected to be proactive in addressing this issue and, at the May 7th Board meeting, approved implementation of Stage I Drought Restrictions for outdoor irrigation. While Stage I restrictions are voluntary, we strongly encourage all residents to adhere to these restrictions, which provide that outdoor irrigation should be limited to 3 days per week. We suggest that residential users with even numbered addresses only irrigate on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday and that residential users with odd numbered addresses limit outdoor irrigation to Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The park and open spaces will only be irrigated on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As the summer progresses, we will continue to monitor water usage levels for our residents and the amount of irrigation required for the District landscaping and Waterfront Park. If the level of usage presents too much stress for our well, the Board may elect to go to mandatory water restrictions at some point. We encourage all residents to review the settings on their irrigation systems to ensure that they are not over-watering established turf areas.
Forest Lakes Metropolitan District
Forest Lakes Resident Notice: May 7, 2018
As part of the Surface Water Treatment Plant currently under construction, please be aware that work on the raw water intake line in Bristlecone Reservoir is planned to begin later this month. The work is expected to last approximately 60-90* days. Equipment mobilization will begin May 23rd, 2018 with the arrival of multiple semi-trucks full of equipment, barge drop-off and set up around the raw water vault just east of Waterfront Park. The barge will be on Bristlecone Lake with a trackhoe/excavator starting Tuesday, May 29th after the Memorial Day weekend. The barge will be tied off against the shore at the end of each day. Access to the barge is strictly prohibited. It is very important that all residents and guests stay away from the active construction areas and equipment. Trespassers will be reported to the proper authorities.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during the construction process. If you have any questions, please contact Steve Emery, Forest Lakes HOA Manager at 719-389-0700.
*All dates are subject to change based on weather and field conditions.
The Forest Lakes Spring 2018 Newsletter has arrived!
We hope that the spring season is off to a great start for you and your family. If you're new to Forest Lakes, we extend a warm welcome to community! In this Newsletter, you'll find an important update from Forest Lakes Development, including answers to frequently asked questions. We are also including details about upcoming community events and helpful tips and information from the HOA and Metro District.
Click here to read/download the newsletter.
Forest Lakes Residents will also receive a printed newsletter in the mail.
Notification Letter from Andrea Barlow, AICP
I am writing to invite you to a second neighborhood meeting relating to the proposed residential development at Forest Lakes. A request has been submitted to El Paso County by N.E.S. Inc., on behalf of Forest Lakes Residential Development #2, LLC, for approval of a PUD/Preliminary Plan for Forest Lakes Phase 2. Phase 2 is located to the west of the existing development at Forest lakes.
The purpose of this meeting is to present changes to the plans that have been made in response to feedback from the first neighborhood meeting held on February 22nd, 2018.
The second neighborhood meeting will take place on THURSDAY APRIL 26th, 2018 at 6:00 P.M., and will be held at Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce located at 166 Second Street, Monument.
Further notification will be sent to immediately adjacent property owners prior to any public hearing on this proposal, giving the time and place of the public hearing. At that time, you will be given the El Paso County contact information, the file number and an opportunity to respond either for, against, or expressing no opinion in writing or in person at the public hearing for this proposal.
If you are unable to attend the neighborhood meeting but have questions about the project, please contact me at 719-471-0073 phone or click here to email.
Andrea Barlow, AICP
Who says Friday the 13th is bad luck? Not us!
We are pleased to share that Classic Homes is releasing homesites and pricing in Pinons at Forest Lakes (filing 2) today! Following a successful community unveiling in the fall of 2015 and a robust year of home sales in 2016 in Bristlecone (Filing 3) and the Estates (Filing 1), prospective homeowners have been awaiting this release. Overlooking Pinon Lake as you enter the community of Forest Lakes, you'll find Pinons' homesites. Classic is now set to begin construction on 160 new homes that will be built on 50-foot wide homesites. New home pricing in Pinons ranges from the $330s to the $410s, making Forest Lakes very affordable for the region, especially when compared to homes you'll find anywhere in Castle Rock or Denver. You can expect to see many of Classic Homes' most popular ranch and 2-story floorplans, along with an exciting line-up of new floorplans designed specifically to fit the homesites in in Pinons at Forest Lakes. To learn more about the Pinons, please visit the Classic Homes sales office in person at 2919 Waterfront Dr., Monument, CO. The model is located right across the street from Bristlecone Lake, so you can't miss it! If you'd like to browse through the floorplans and Forest Lakes offerings online, click here to go to Classic Homes at Forest Lakes website. Or, if you're pressed for time and would like to schedule an appointment at a time most convenient for your schedule, please contact Classic Homes at 719-785-3302 or by email. To follow the progress of homesite sales, please view our interactive map.
Posted by Kim S. on 01/13/2017
To add to the successful groundbreaking & community unveiling and the record sales Forest Lakes experienced in its first two filings known as the Estates (Filing 1) and Bristlecone (Filing 3). The community will soon be home to a brand new filing. Overlooking Pinon Lake as you enter the community of Forest Lakes, you'll find the future residential site of the Pinons. This neighborhood features the third release of homes in the Forest Lakes master planned community, offering up to 160 new construction homes to be built on 50-foot wide homesites. All homes in the Pinons will be crafted exclusively by Classic Homes and it is anticipated that sales will begin in January 2017. Homes will be released to parties who have joined the interest list prior to the public announcement. There's still time to join the list! All you need to do is click here and complete the form. Your name will be added to the interested party list, where you will be among the first to lean about the planned release, available floorplans, and new home pricing in Pinons at Forest Lakes in Monument, CO.
Posted by Kim S. on 12/15/2016
As we continue to develop Forest Lakes, we will share answers to frequently asked questions. Another great resource is the Forest Lakes Metro District (FLMD) website, where homeowners can learn more about the district. Visit www.foreslakesmetrodistrict.com for more information.
FLMD is responsible for water and wastewater services, drainage, parks and trails, landscaping and street light services for the three Pinon Pines Metropolitan Districts.
How safe is the Dam?
Both the Bristlecone and Pinon Dams were constructed in 1986 and are continually monitored by our District Engineer and Caretaker and are subject to rigorous inspections by the State Dam Inspector every three years. The State Dam Inspector provides detailed directions on the specific maintenance activities to be accomplished and our District Engineer oversees the resulting work.
Can we have water activities on Pinon?
As noted above, we have been evaluating how water levels in Pinon Reservoir will be managed and what types of activities will be permitted on the Reservoir. The Board has decided that Pinon will be a NON-ACTIVE lake and NO recreational activities such as fishing, watercraft, swimming, wading or access of ANY KIND on Pinon Lake will be allowed.
Do the lakes ever dry up?
While both Bristlecone and Pinon Reservoirs do shrink during dry periods, we have never seen the level in Bristlecone Reservoir fall more than 10 feet or so. Because Pinon is so much smaller – and fed by releases from Bristlecone Reservoir – in very dry periods it has virtually dried up. The Water Shortage Provisions that are included in FLMD Utility Rules and Regulations are designed to prevent significant declines in the level of Bristlecone Reservoir as this is the primary drinking water source for Forest Lakes once the surface water treatment plant is completed.
How is Pinon lake fed?
Pinon reservoir is fed almost exclusively from Bristlecone Reservoir. When Bristlecone is full and spilling, the spill water can be directed by pipe into Pinon Reservoir. When Bristlecone is relatively full but not spilling, lake water can be delivered by pipe to Pinon Reservoir. If the lake level of Bristlecone drops significantly, pumping would be required to get lake water into the pipeline to Pinon Reservoir. Thus, typically during low flow, low lake level periods, the level of water in Pinon Reservoir materially declines.
How is the water quality?
Currently, the water quality from both our Dillon Well and for Bristlecone Reservoir is tested quarterly. The water in both sources meets all water quality standards of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. We also routinely test the “treated water” quality after the water has been through our well-head treatment plant. Again, that water quality meets all State requirements.
How often is it checked for quality?
As noted, raw water from both the Dillon Well and Bristlecone Reservoir are currently being tested quarterly. Treated water from our well-head treatment plant is tested monthly. We are currently preparing the necessary documents to be classified as a “community” water system. Once that classification occurs, we will follow all testing and reporting timeframes as dictated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (“CDPHE”).
What are the rates for the various services?
The rates, fees and charges schedule for FLMD are included on this website under the Utilities tab.
What does Donala do?
Donala Water & Sanitation District is under contract with FLMD to run both the water and wastewater systems that serve the Forest Lakes development. Donala has years of experience operating its water and wastewater systems, which serve the Gleneagle area. Its operators are licensed operators fully qualified and certified by the State. Donala also provides all meter reading and billing services for FLMD and all its customers within the Forest Lakes area.
What does Forest Lakes Metropolitan District do?
Forest Lakes Metropolitan District (“FLMD”) is the operating District for the three Pinon Pines Metropolitan Districts (referred to as “PPMD #1”, “PPMD #2” and “PPMD #3”, collectively the “Pinon Districts”). We provide water, sewer and landscaping services for the Pinon Districts. We maintain Waterfront Park and the trails within the Forest Lakes area. We also maintain the stormwater discharge facilities within the Pinon Districts. FLMD has contracted with Donala Water and Sanitation District to operate the water and sewer systems. We have contracted with other providers for maintenance of the other infrastructure – for example for taking care of the Waterfront Park.
What does the mill levy for the Pinon Districts pay for?
PPMD #1 certifies mill levies for both Operations & Maintenance (“O&M”) and for Debt Service. Currently (in 2016) the total mill levy for both functions is 44.097 mills. The O&M mill levy helps to cover a portion of the administrative and legal expenses incurred by FLMD to operate the various systems within the Forest Lakes development. The debt service mill levy helps to cover some of the repayment obligations incurred by both PPMD #1 and FLMD for past development activities with respect to the utility, parks, trail, stormwater and road infrastructure.
What is a Surface Water Treatment Plant?
Not to be confused with a wastewater sewage treatment plant – The surface water treatment plant will purify water taken from Bristlecone lake and be used for drinking water for the Forest Lakes Development. The surface water treatment plant, the transmission line and water intake line going into the lake will be constructed within the next year or two.
What is the depth and size of the lakes?
Bristlecone Reservoir is about 65 surface acres and has varying depths with a 55 foot depth at its deepest part. Pinon Reservoir is about 14 surface acres and is generally about 20 feet deep at it deepest point.
What is the relationship between FLMD and the Forest Lakes Residential Owners Association (HOA)?
Basically, the two have very different functions. FLMD, as explained in the questions above, operates the water, wastewater and landscaping functions for the Forest Lakes development. While FLMD owns and maintains the parks and trails within the Forest Lakes development, it has hired the HOA to manage the reservation and permit activities with respect to the park and lakes. The HOA mainly serves to fulfill the purposes of the Homeowners Association as they are specified in the Association’s Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, as well as other governing documents (Design Guidelines). Those purposes include covenant control, architectural control and general administrative responsibilities. For comprehensive information on the HOA please see the development website at www.forestlakescolorado.com
Where can I check to see how safe the drinking water is?
The State requires that “community” water systems file Consumer Confidence Reports with the State and transmit that report to its consumers annually. We currently expect that the first FLMD Consumer Confidence Report will be distributed about June of 2017. If you have any specific concerns about the quality of your drinking water, you may contact our system operator, Donala Water & Sanitation District, at any time.
Where do the lakes get their water?
The water in both Bristlecone and Pinon Reservoirs comes from the Beaver Creek watershed, which runs through the Forest Lakes area from its origin on the Rampart Range.
Why are the mill levies expected to increase for 2017?
As homes are completed and residents move into Forest Lakes, we are better able to estimate the costs of operating the various facilities and the associated administrative and legal costs. The PPMD #1 Board is expected to certify the following mill levies for 2017: 10 mills for O&M and 40 mills for debt service, providing for a total of 50 mills. The 10 mill O&M levy will help support a portion of the operating and maintenance costs for the non-utility systems. The 40 mills for debt service will support the debt service on a PPMD #1 bond issue that was completed on October 6, 2016. The Service Plans for the Pinon Districts establish mill levy caps for both O&M and debt services. As established in the Service Plans those mill levy caps are 10 mills for O&M and 50 mills for debt service. However, those mill levy caps can be “Gallagerized” currently to 11.495 mills for O&M and 57.475 mills for debt service.
Why can’t we swim in the lakes?
Because the water in Bristlecone Reservoir will be used as a drinking water supply for the Forest Lakes development – once the surface water treatment plant is constructed – we have been advised by our engineers that it is prudent to avoid having human contact with the water. From a water quality perspective therefore, we have determined that it is best to prohibit any activities that result in human contact with the water in the Reservoir, such as swimming. We have evaluated how to proceed with respect to Pinon Reservoir, which will not be used as a source of our drinking water supply. The Board has now decided that Pinon Lake will be a NON-ACTIVE lake and NO recreational activities will be allowed.
Why does the lake level fluctuate?
At this time, since we are not using water from Bristlecone Reservoir for drinking water purposes, fluctuations in the level of the lake are due solely to changes in the amount of flow in Beaver Creek, precipitation and evaporation rates from the lake. Once the surface water treatment plant is constructed and in operation, we will actually be withdrawing lake water for treatment and for drinking water purposes – and that activity will cause modest declines in the lake level.
LAKES & PARKS
How do I get a permit to access lake amenities?
To obtain a permit for Lake Amenities, Fishing, Dock or reserve Picnic/Pavilion/Amphitheater, please contact the Forest Lakes Residential Owners Association (HOA) at: 719-389-0700.
Posted by Kim S. on 11/13/2016
The Forest Lakes Residential Owners Association (FLROA) 2016 Annual Meeting / 2017 Budget Ratification
will be held on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm at the Forest Lakes Sales Office located at 2919 Waterfront Drive, Monument CO, 80132. Residents, please click here to download the meeting packet.
If you have questions, please contact the FLROA Community Manager, Steve Emery from Hammersmith Management, Inc., at 719-389-0700
Posted by Kim S. on 10/13/2016
If you've been through Forest Lakes recently, you've seen the progress we've made along Forest Lakes Drive, particularly Waterfront Park. With more than 60 homes under construction and new homeowners either moving in or getting close to move-in date, we wanted to share the Park and Lake Rules and Regulations. As we move forward with the vision for this community, our goal is to work with the HOA, Metro District, Residents and Lake Permit Holders to preserve and care for the outdoor amenities that make Forest Lakes one of the most pristine communities along the Front Range.
PERMIT INFORMATION: To obtain a permit for Lake Amenities, Fishing, Dock or reserve Picnic/Pavilion/Amphitheater, please contact the Forest Lakes Residential Owners Association (HOA) at: 719-389-0700.
Bristlecone Lake and Park are owned and maintained by the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District (District) and managed by the Forest Lakes Residential Owners Association (HOA). The Lake serves as a drinking water source. NO bodily contact with water is permitted. There are No lifeguards or emergency services present. Use of the Lake, its amenities and Park are at your own risk. Children should be supervised by an adult.
Failure to comply with Rules and Regulations could result in immediate cancellation of recreational use of Lake. This property may be patrolled and under video surveillance. To download a printable version of the Forest Lakes Park and Lake Rules and Regulations, click here.
Posted by Kim S. on 08/25/2016
Catch up on the latest news from Forest Lakes.