Can you imagine a day without water? Neither can I. Today is “Imagine a Day Without Water,” per the @uswateralliance + @water4colorado. Growing up with a family who homesteaded in Colorado 5 generations back, my dad and Rountree family instilled the value and scarcity of water in this arid climate. I grew up learning to be cognizant of that, trying to use and reuse a minimal water footprint and I am doing my best to teach the same to my daughter. We live in a dry state with complicated water laws and contracts, sending much of our water on to other arid Western states. The influx of new residents over recent years brought new developments with new green yards, golf courses and beautifully landscaped neighborhood entrances on land which was once brown / tan prairie land. This land wasn’t meant to be green, like it is on the coasts. Green grass looks lovely and don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a great lawn to run on + pretty neighborhood amenities, but I also worry about killing our water supply. What will the world look like for our children and children’s children, too if we don’t have enough water? I love this state and I want it to remain a lovely, livable place for generations to come. I’m not getting paid to advocate on behalf of minimizing your water usage and I’m not trying to tell anyone how to live their lives, but I am asking each and every Colorado resident to please think about your personal water consumption.
How do I make a difference? Here are some ideas:
Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and/or shave
Don’t throw out unwanted water glasses, give your plants or yard a drink instead
Buy drought resistant plants when landscaping
Consider a rain barrel to gather storm water and snow melt from your roof, to be reused in your yard during dry stretches. We love ours, no joke!
If you’ve read this far, you get a blue heart. Thanks for trying your best to be a good steward of our beautiful Colorado land! If you’d like to participate further, sign the #OneWaterPledge : https://imagineadaywithoutwater.org/pledge
A reminder to all as we enjoy pumpkin patches, leafing and corn maze season, that any time now we could get a freezing gust of winds, followed by that first major freeze. According to KDVR-Fox 31 News, "The average date of the first freeze of the season in Denver is Oct. 7. The earliest first freeze on record was Sept. 8, 1962. The record for the latest first freeze was Nov. 15, 1944."
Colorado State University Extension explained that "when temperatures hit 32 degrees and below, water will expand as it turns to ice and that can cause pipes and fittings to burst, valves to crack, and sprinkler and pump cases to split open."
How to prepare: To have a blowout done with an air compressor, I recommend calling your go to lawn care crew. This is a popular request at this time of year, so landscapers get busy. Here is a list of recommended crews from KDVR Fox 31 news:
"If you would rather get professional help winterizing your home for winter, here are some of the top rated lawn care providers in the metro Denver area, according toGoogle reviews:"
Or, a few pointers from Home Depot, if you decide to go the do it yourself way:
Sprinkler systems have different types of drainage either automatic or manual.
Manual: Per Home Depot,
"These systems allow you to empty excess water from the system by simply opening a valve.
If you have manual drain irrigation, follow these steps:
Shut off the water supply to the system.
Then, look for the manual valves at the ends and low points of the piping.
Open all the valves and drain the water from the system.
Make sure you also drain the backflow device.
Some sprinklers are equipped with check valves. These devices allow water to only flow one way. If you’ve got check valves on your system, try raising the sprinkler heads. This should let water drain out of those mechanisms. Once you’ve drained the entire system, close all the valves."
Home Depot says, "An auto drain system has valves that automatically drain water from the pipes. This happens only when the water pressure falls below a certain number of pounds per square inch.
To activate an automatic drain function, follow these steps:
Turn off the water supply.
Briefly run one of the sprinkler heads to relieve the water pressure in the system.
Automatic draining should begin, clearing the pipes of excess water.
You may still need to drain the water between the shut-off valve and the backflow device. If the sprinkler heads are equipped with check valves, empty them separately.
Curious about SOLAR? We're seeing more and more solar panels across sunny Colorado. Builders are placing panels on 100% of certain new home communities in places like Erie. Many individual homeowners have opted to add solar to their existing homes. So, how do SOLAR PANELS play into the real estate deal? Who bears the brunt of the cost? Do they add value? Is there a ROI?
Being green is a value of many Coloradans, so there is much interest in solar in a sunny state. It's hard to make it through Costco, without the solar rep calling out to you.
When purchasing solar in new home communities, there are a few options for payment of the system, as it is a separate charge from the rest of the home. Homeowners can either purchase out right, lease or acquire a Power Purchase Agreement, which is paid off by the homeowner at the end of the typically 20 year depreciation. These are intended to be transferred upon the sale of the home and can be negotiated in the sales process.
Homeowners who've added solar aftermarket, can offer to pay off the system prior to closing and transfer of the solar system -OR- sometimes, depending on the situation, Sellers will ask for the Buyer to take on a lease. This can work sometimes, or can complicate the deal's financing. In the current shifting market, a Seller asking for a Buyer to take on such an extra expense would likely be a barrier from selling in a timely fashion. Each deal is different.
One other note regarding solar is that appraisers unfortunately most often don't give much value to solar. If you're considering adding them to your current home, make sure you do the math and weigh in how long you plan to be in the home. This is a nice investment in reducing your carbon footprint, but won't necessarily bring you a huge return when you go to sell your home. Also, some buyers may not want a home with solar. Removing panels can damage a roof.
Solar is a huge purchase and should be well researched, before making the investment. There's a lot of confusion over solar and many real estate agents don't understand it. I have experience in deals involving solar and I've done my research. If you're considering purchasing a home with solar, or adding it to your home, let's talk as I might be able to offer some insight.
Jackass Hill Journal - Breaking News- Littleton City Council unanimously voted last night 2/1/22, to bring Aspen Grove Redevelopment issue to a vote. Last fall, the issue went to council and narrowly passed with a 4-3 vote. The redevelopment would have taken some of it's current 268,00 retail square footage (140k in current usage), kept 125,000 retail sqft and transitioned it to 2,000 new residential units. Some buildings within the development were planned to be a mountain blocking 85ft, not in the character of the city. Neighbors attended the fall meetings in strong numbers and were concerned for the overly dense nature of the project on a small 33 acre lot. They also shared concern over traffic issues at an already bad Santa Fe & Mineral intersection, worries about caring for wild life at the Carson Nature Center, which backs up to the property, loss of retail sales tax revenue and noise.
After council passed the initiative, neighbors banded together to get enough needed signatures on a referendum petition, approved by the city in early January, which gave council two options -- to either rescind plans or to allow a vote. Council has three new members as of 2022 who were not part of the 2021 negotiations. New council members, including new Mayor, Kyle Schlachter and Mayor Pro Tem, Gretchen Rydin discussed how their absence from that discussion made it a conflict for them to get involved in rescinding it now and thus they felt it made the most sense to go to a public vote. The election is now planned for November 8, 2022. More info to follow. Want to chat about it? Questions -- Call Megan at 303.946.6007!
Jackass Hill Journal Littleton Neighborly News: I wanted to relay that your efforts to sign the Aspen Grove Redevelopment Referendum Petition worked. Mark your calendars for tomorrow, February 1st at 6:30pm. Littleton City Council will revisit this issue. They have two options— 1) Adopt a new ordinance, repealing the one slimly voted on last fall -OR- 2) Refer to Littleton citizens for a vote.
All Littleton City Council meetings are currently happening remotely, due to Covid. To view / participate: watch live telecast on Comcast or Century Link channel 8, live on Facebook (wwwfacebook.com/CityofLittleton), or visit www.littletongov.org/channel8 to watch the live stream. To provide written remarks during the Public Comment part of the agenda, or to comment on an agenda item during a Public Hearing, submit a statement using the Adgenda Item Comment Form at www.littletongov.org/agenda-comment. Comments received prior to 4pm on the date of the council meeting will be presented to the mayor and council members. To provide live comments during the meeting, please call 669-900-6833 and when prompted, enter the Webinar ID: 960 1815 0586. Contact the City Clerk’s Office at 303-795-3780 w any ??s regarding this process.
Curious to see what happens next! Call or email to chat! (303)946-6007