Uncertified HOA In Sangre De Cristo Ranches Usurps Authority

A voluntary HOA in the Sange De Cristo Ranches, C.O have made the decision to begin legal actions against one of the San Luis Valley's legendary names. 300 year old Trujillo family name, is to become a target, for a questionable "TEST" lawsuit.
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* Fort Garland - Colorado - US

July 17, 2012 - PRLog -- The Sangre De Cristo Ranches sits nestled quietly in amongst the majestic rocky mountains of Southern Colorado. The word Sangre De Cristo means the blood of christ. The San Luis Valley sits beneath the floor of the mountains.

There is still a wonderful culture within the people, that goes back over 300 years ago when the Hispanic settlers came up from the south. Along with a reverence for the land and the greater connection to nature people still live in small family like communities.

Black bears, mountain lions, foxes, coyotes, deer and elk still freely graze in the hills and can be often seen. The hillsides are covered in desert sage, wildflowers, pinion pines and white cedar. There is a definite stark beauty to these lands.

While there is still an air of the wild west feel, many people live in the ranches for the peace. Costilla county is also one of the poorest and most depressed regions in Colorado. Many people in the county live very simple lives and they cannot afford big homes. It is not unusual to see small mobile homes in this area. Most of the residents did not move out to the ranches, to be governed by a small group of people, who now want the other residents to conform to their requirements.

There is a covenant here in the Sangre de Cristo Ranches, although the legal status is very questionable these days. When Trinchera Ranch was sold, the declarant status was never given to the new owner. Instead this status was given back to the people who own the smaller ranch parcels. Most of the ranch owners have small 5 to 6 acres where they can live freely. Well, that was until a volunteer group who call themselves the Sangre De Cristo Ranch Owners Association, decided for the rest of the residents, to uphold the covenant.

The majority of people do not object to the covenants but even so, this should not be forced on others if they choose otherwise. The majority of residents never physically signed their names underneath the covenant itself. In Colorado the HOA sometimes overstep their bounds and more homeowners are becoming tired of the nonsense forced upon them.

The problem in the Sangre de Cristo ranches is that the board are a small volunteer group. They are a registered Non-Profit Corporation but they are not registered as an authorized state HOA. Some of the ranch owners believe the board have overstepped their authority.

Mr Trujillo is a resident in the ranches, who flies the American and the POW flag out the front of his small mobile home everyday. He rakes his yard and keeps his property clean. The county don't really have a problem with his place and the permits are in order. It is the SDCRO board that have decided to use this man as their "First Test Case"  and sue him for breaching the covenant. The land owners in the ranches, do not want interference from a self proclaimed volunteer HOA, with no more authority than any other resident.

Residents who live in the Sangre de Cristo Ranches are good people. They want to be good neighbors and help each other out most of the time.The elderly residents do not need to have lawsuits placed upon them, when they are barely scraping by as it is. It is a very small group of people, who have taken it upon themselves to interfere and try to enforce a questionable covenant upon the other people living there.

The residents are now taking back their power and have contacted Costilla County to remove and disband the board from being allowed to take any permit applications. None of the board members are qualified or even certified in any home construction. Nor is the board itself certified by the state of Colorado as an official HOA.

Some of the residents in the ranches have also contacted the governor's office, Senator Mark Udall and even Ken Salazar's office.  The over-reach of authority from a volunteer board in the Sangre de Cristo Ranches, may come under some sort of investigation soon enough. It will be interesting to see where this case will go in the future. The humanitarian aspect alone for the poor and elderly, being bullied by a volunteer board is worth keeping up on. For more information on the activities and updates please use the link provided  http://sangredecristoranches.net

Here is part of a transcript of a court case in Colorado 2009. This could very well apply to the Sangre de Cristo Ranches. Let's hope so.

The Importance Of Signed And Recorded Covenants
The Colorado Court of Appeals, in the recent court decision of Abril Meadows Homeowner’s Association v. Castro, 211 P.3d 64 (Colo. App. 2009), ruled that an association whose declaration of covenants was unsigned did not have the right to enforce its covenants against its homeowners.

The appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision and found in favor of the homeowners. The court stated that the association could not prevail since the declaration of covenants was required to be signed and executed in the same manner as a deed. The court further rejected the argument that the association’s signed and recorded property plat was sufficient, since it did not specifically incorporate the terms of the declaration or state that the property was subject to the covenants.
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