Building Strong Communities

Building Strong

Well-run metro districts and HOAs provide value to Colorado homeowners.  Their primary function is to ensure homeowner lots, common areas and facilities are all being well maintained to help protect the visual appeal of the neighborhood.  However, HOAs and metropolitan districts can provide value to homeowners beyond simply protecting neighborhood visual appeal.  They can provide neighborhoods with (1) the support structure necessary to organize community-building activities and events and (2) a powerful, organized voice at many levels of government

Community Activities and Events

Summer barbeques. Movie nights at the park.  Neighborhood service projects.  Ice cream socials. Neighborhood olympics.  Block parties. Halloween costume competitions. Christmas light competitions….

Community events are a great way to strengthen relationships among homeowners within the neighborhood. Good food and entertainment always attracts a crowd.  Friendly competition and opportunities to provide community

Service can also draw people out of their houses as well! The obvious benefit to holding these events is they are fun! However, one often overlooked benefit neighborhoods receive from such events is that they help increase awareness and familiarity among neighbors which, in turn, inherently helps strengthen neighborhood watch programs. The success of neighborhood watch programs greatly increases in those neighborhoods where homeowners take the initiative to get to know the people who live in their neighborhood.

Building and Maintaining Relationships with Other Local Government Entities

Many quality-of-life issues impacting neighborhoods are outside the control of HOA and metro district boards. City, county, local districts and state governments usually provide many services to HOA- or metro district-operated neighborhoods and often make decisions that directly or indirectly impact the quality of life within these neighborhoods. HOAs and/or metro district boards that work with their government representatives are in a great position to encourage (or discourage) passage of laws, policies, ordinances and other decisions that will improve the quality of life within their respective neighborhoods.

How much time should HOA and/or metro boards invest in cultivating and maintaining relationships with various government organizations? The answer depends on many factors. Reviewing the following list of questions (within each tab below) should help HOA and metro district board members evaluate and answer this question:

City Government

How important are the following to your neighborhood? (Note: Your city may or may not provide all of the services listed below.)


  • maintenance of a nearby city park or the quality of its facilities?
  • quality or cost of the city’s garbage collection services?
  • quality or cost of the city’s water services?
  • quality or frequency of street maintenance (including snow removal) occurring within your neighborhood?
  • need for speed bumps, stop signs and/or speed monitor signs within your neighborhood?
  • development or maintenance of roads and traffic lights within or near your neighborhood?
  • funding for your city’s police department?
  • type of commercial, industrial or residential development that will (or will not) occur in close proximity to your neighborhood

It is important to note that some of the services listed above may be provided through your county government or through one or more special districts. You should identify which services are provided by which of your governments and special districts.

Additional Perspective

To help provide more perspective regarding this last question, which of the following would you and others in your neighborhood like (or not like) to see built near your neighborhood?

  • King Soopers
  • Wal-Mart
  • Taco Bell
  • Goodwill Store
  • Safeway
  • Target
  • McDonalds
  • Home Depot
  • Apartments
  • Townhomes
  • Distribution center
  • Storage sheds
  • Cement plant
  • Car repair shop
  • Chili's Bar & Grill
  • Macaroni Grill
  • Multi-story office space
  • Pawn shop
  • Meat processing plant
  • Parking lot
  • 7-Eleven
  • Shell gas station
  • Bottling plant
  • Golf course
  • Waterpark
  • Church
  • Movie theaters
  • Car dealership



County Government

Certain services provided to your neighborhood (such as garbage collection, street snow plowing and park maintenance) often depend on whether your neighborhood is located within city boundaries. On the other hand, certain services are typically reserved for county governments. Typical services reserved for county governments in Colorado include the following:

  • Valuation of real property (performed by the county assessor’s office for the purpose of calculating property taxes owed by property owners
  • Property tax collection (performed by the county treasurer’s office)
  • Management of Federal and state government elections   
  • Public health management (including establishing regulations, monitoring compliance with health regulations and providing public health-related services)
  • Management of jails and halfway houses (provided through the county sheriff’s department)

Similar to city governments, counties own and maintain various public infrastructure including roads and park facilities and establish zoning and land use restrictions on land not otherwise located within city boundaries. See the questions listed in the “City Government” tab to assess the importance and impact of your county’s services and functions on the quality of life within your neighborhood.

Law Enforcement

How important are the following to your neighborhood?

  • a well-run neighborhood watch program?
  • extra attention and monitoring of the neighborhood and surrounding areas by law enforcement?

Note: Police and Sherriff’s departments can be a great source of training and support for neighborhood watch organizations. They are also the best source for obtaining information regarding the types and frequency of crimes occurring in a neighborhood.

State Representatives

How important are the following to your neighborhood?

  • changes to state laws that impact the powers, restrictions, cost and/or operations of HOAs, common interest communities and/or metro districts?
  • regulation of HOAs and/or metro district’s compliance with state laws?

Note: The State of Colorado is a complex governmental agency that impacts the lives of Colorado homeowners and neighborhoods through its numerous laws and 19 agencies. Colorado laws directly impact the powers, responsibilities and restrictions placed upon HOAs and metro districts.

School District


How important to your neighborhood are the following issues regarding your local schools? 

  • Student-teacher ratios?
  • Student performance on state aptitude tests?
  • Sports and music programs?
  • Lunch programs?
  • School transportation services?
  • After-school programs?
  • Source of funding for school services?
  • Books

Note 1: The quality and extent of local school services are considered by many families to have a direct impact on the quality of life within their neighborhoods. In fact, neighborhoods located within “higher quality” school districts usually enjoy higher and more stable home prices than neighborhoods located within “lower quality districts.”

What factors are considered in differentiating between “high quality” schools and “low quality” schools? For most parents, student achievement is usually the primary differentiating factor between schools. However, parents consider a multitude of other school factors as well. The bulleted list of issues provided above is a good starting point to identifying other factors that help differentiate the quality of services provided across schools. Parents have many different opinions on the significance each factor contributes to determining the quality of services provided by a school.

Note 2: It is important to remember that schools are funded at the district level (rather than at the school level) and the allocation of financial, human capital and other resources occurs at the school district level. Thus, many school-related issues or performance measures are often determined by the policies and funding decisions made by the school district board.

Regional Transit Authority

How important are the following to your neighborhood?

  • Public bus transportation services to/from downtown?
  • Public bus stops in or near your neighborhood?
  • Development of light rail services near your neighborhood?

Note 1: The Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) bus and light rail transportation system serves all or parts of eight counties: Denver, Broomfield, Boulder, Jefferson, western Adams and Arapahoe counties, northern Douglas County, and small areas of Weld County. Click HERE to go to the RTD website and learn more about RTD’s services.

Note 2: The quality and extent of public transportation services are considered by many people to have a direct impact on the quality of life within their neighborhoods. In fact, neighborhoods located near major public transportation routes usually enjoy higher and more stable home prices than neighborhoods not located near public transportation routes.