Location, Setting and Security
- Where is the Lazy O Ranch located? Approximately 15 miles (+/- 20-25 minutes) from Aspen, CO and 185 miles (+/- 3-3 ½ hours) from Denver, CO. The address of the Ranch facilities is 1907 Snowmass Creek Road, Snowmass, CO 81654.
- What is the closest airport to the Ranch? Aspen/Snowmass airport is approximately 15 minutes from the Ranch and receives daily direct flights from Denver (year-round) and from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Atlanta (seasonal). Eagle Vail airport is approximately 70 minutes from the Ranch and Denver International Airport is approximately 3 ½ – 4 hours from the Ranch.
- How many acres is the Ranch? The 1,500 acre ranch consists of 22 home sites (comprising approximately 100 acres), 35 acres for the common ranch facilities (barns and storage buildings, Ranch Manager home and other employee housing), nearly 500 acres of pastures and agricultural lands and nearly 900 acres of wildlife conservation land.
- Security? The Ranch Manager provides safety services via multiple daily patrols of the Ranch and is available to provide individual security-related support to homeowners. The Ranch is not aware of any security issues that have occurred on the Ranch. There is a Basalt fire station adjacent to the Ranch facilities and individual fire hydrants at the base of each home site
- Elevation? The Ranch ranges from about 7150 feet (at the entrance) to about 8000 feet (at the peaks of the wildlife conservation area), with the homesite elevations ranging from about 7250 feet to 7500 feet.
- Plant life? Native sage, pine and grass prairies; planted aspens, evergreens, maples and cottonwoods.
- Water on the Ranch? Many small ponds and one large 4 acre pond as well as numerous streams flowing year round and fed by the surrounding mountains and Capital Creek.
- Is the Ranch a working ranch? Yes, during the summer months, herds of cattle use the Ranch for grazing. Several of the cattle are owned by the Ranch and the grass-fed beef from the cattle are available from time to time to homeowners. The Ranch produces 225 to 275 tons of high altitude Timothy hay each summer to feed its boarded horses during the cold months of the year.
- Animal Life? There are frequent sightings of elk and deer as well as some sightings of coyote. Coyotes are regulated by the Ranch Manager, to the extent necessary. Black bear and mountain lions have been known to inhabit the valley, but bear sightings on the Ranch are rare (more common sightings are in Aspen), and a mountain lion sighting on the Ranch would be unprecedented. There are also rabbits and other small mammals.
Architecture and Construction
The Ranch’s governance documents require that the design, materials, color and siting of homes built on the Ranch harmonize with the surroundings and other structures on the Ranch. The Architectural Committee of the Board of Directors endeavors to meet this requirement and maximize the seclusion and view of each homesite.
- What can be built on each homesite? A home, garage and outbuildings. Barns are only allowed on the Ranch facilities parcel.
- What types of homes have been built? There is a diversity of home sizes and architectural styles on the Ranch. Sizes range from 1,500 square feet (for home sites with guest houses only) to nearly 10,000 square feet. Some homes have been recently constructed, while others were built 15-20 years ago. Architectural styles include western, mountain and ranch, both traditional and contemporary. Several homes have been featured in prominent interior design publications.
- How many homes have been built? Of the 22 homesites, 17 have main houses or guest houses and five are unimproved.
- What is the approval process for building? The Architectural Committee of the Board is responsible for approving the building and landscape design of each home (or any physical structure on the homesite). The Committee will typically review preliminary designs and then will issue final approvals when construction drawings are completed. The Committee could engage an outside architect to assist in their review of the home design. Pitkin County building permits typically take approximately four months.
- Is there a limit on the size of homes? Yes, Pitkin County limits the size of the home and garage to 5,750 square feet. Some homeowners on the Ranch have increased the allowable size of their homes by purchasing transferrable development rights (TDRs) or by applying to the county for additional square footage under the county’s growth management quota system.
- Has a building envelope been recommended for each homesite? Yes, there are envelopes for building and landscaping of each home.
- What utilities and related services are available? Water, electric and phone lines run underground to the road bordering each homesite. On-site utilities such as septic facilities and underground propane tanks are placed by the homeowner during the building process. Since there are no cable lines to the Ranch, television and internet services are primarily received by satellite or similar dish reception.
- How is water provided to each home site? An underground central water system with wells and pump house located at the Ranch headquarters and extending along the perimeter Ranch road provides each home with water for domestic use and fire protection. This water system is augmented by a 100,000 gallon tank located on the ranch to assure positive water pressure. There are also irrigation ditches flowing from Capital Creek and an irrigation system that delivers irrigation water to each home site.
- How is Lazy O managed? The Ranch is managed by an elected five member Board of Directors of the Lazy O Homeowners Association. The Association employs a Ranch Manager and staff and it also outsources the accounting, tax and finance functions of the Ranch.
- What are the annual homeowner’s dues? The Association dues are $15,000/year (paid in semi-annual installments). The dues have remained stable for the past 5 years are were slightly decreased for 2017.
- Are there other fees and assessments? Special assessments by the Ranch are uncommon (once in the past 10 years for Ranch improvements). There is a $10,000 transfer fee for homes and home sites and a $15,000 road impact fee for construction of a home on a home site.
- Does the Association maintain a capital reserve? Yes, there is a capital reserve that is maintained as part of the Ranch’s long range capital planning. The reserve is designed to be sufficient, together with the Ranch’s regular operating income, to meet the Ranch’s projected capital needs on a rolling five-year basis.
- Does the Association permit leasing or rentals of homes on the Ranch? Leasing of homes is permitted, subject to certain rules and regulations.
Amenities and Activities
The Ranch Facilities consist of the Equestrian Center and Barn, which includes the Ranch Manager’s office, a restroom and an open barn area for gatherings and homeowner association meetings.
- Trails? There are miles of trails running through the Ranch and the adjacent Windstar Ranch. During the summer and fall, these trails are used by equestrian riders, mountain bikers and hikers, and during the winter months are used for snow-shoeing. ATVs and snowmobiles are not allowed for private use on the Ranch. Several of the most popular road cycling routes in the area are at the entrance to the Ranch.
- Horseback riding? During the summer and fall season, a couple of Ranch horses are available for trail and arena riding. The Ranch Manager is an experienced and award-winning horseman who is available to assist with the needs of homeowners and their guests as well as non-homeowner horse boarders.
- Skiing? During the winter months, there are beginner and intermediate trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing on the Ranch.
- Fishing? Several ponds, including a large one, are stocked with various trout for catch and release fishing.
- HOA sponsored events? Social events are sponsored by the Association for homeowners and their guests as well as non-homeowner horse boarders. These are usually held around the time of the association meetings.
- Lazy O Staff? The Homeowners Association employs a full-time on-site Ranch Manager as well as other staff who live on-site at the Ranch. The Ranch Manager manages the Ranch’s Equestrian Center and agricultural operations and maintains the main Ranch road and homeowner driveways by snowplowing in the winter months. He also uses the Ranch’s snowmobile and groomer to cut cross country ski trails on the Ranch.