Granby Ranch special districts amend founding documents
December 6, 2016
Grand County has known more than its fair share of complex development agreements.
In early Nov. the Granby Board of Trustees approved a set changes to one of those very complex agreements governing the mill levy rate, service plan and intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the Town of Granby, the multiple Granby Ranch Metropolitan Districts and the Headwaters Metropolitan District.
The issue initially came before the Granby Board in early Oct. and was tabled until Nov. when the Board approved the changes. During the early Oct. meeting Granby Town Attorney Scott Krob described the overall changes broadly saying, "This is a complicated set of issues."
The agreement in question is not a single document but is instead made up of multiple IGAs and service plans all pertaining to the special districts formed as part of the broader Granby Ranch development. The issue was brought before the Granby Town Board because the Town of Granby serves as the local governing body with quasi-jurisdiction over the collection of Granby Ranch special districts. The Town of Granby does not write the service plans or set the mill levy rate for the various districts but the districts must get approval from the Town Board to move forward with any changes.
The most notable change, and one homeowners of the area could feel in their checkbooks, is an increase in the maximum mill levy rate that can potentially be assessed on the homeowners of the various Granby Ranch metro districts. Previously the maximum mill levy rate, also known as a mill levy cap, that could be assessed on the homeowners of the Granby Ranch special districts was 50 mills, with an additional five mills potentially assessed for transportation fees. The Granby Board approved increasing the cap to 60 mills along with the potential five mill assessment for transportation remaining in the formal text of the governing documents.
The changes made are complex and multifaceted but in essence the Granby Ranch Metro District was looking to refinance the District's outstanding bond debt. According to legal representatives of the District increasing the mill levy cap would allow the District to refinance their debt. To do so though the District was required to be able to pledge 50 mills to debt service. The 60 mill cap would allow for the pledging of 50 mills while retaining 10 mills for operations and maintenance, the historic number of mills the district has relied upon for operations and maintenance.
Additionally legal counsel for the Granby Ranch Metropolitan District requested approval of amendments to the service plan that dictates the responsibilities of the various special districts and ancillary entities to include provisions allowing for the mill levy increase as well as termination of the formal relationship between the Headwaters Metropolitan District and the Granby Ranch Metropolitan District.
The Granby Ranch Metropolitan District contains the vast majority of all actual homeowners within the larger Granby Ranch development accounting for approximately 480 homes and lots while the land developer largely controls the Headwaters Metropolitan District, which is a service district. Previously the developer also largely controlled the Granby Ranch Metro District, however special district elections held in the spring of this year installed several new Board members who are local homeowners.
The new set of Board Directors brought significant changes to the relationship between Granby Ranch Metro and Headwaters Metro this year. When the District's homeowners took control of the District Board this past spring they determined they wanted to break up the previously existing structure between the various special districts that make up the larger Granby Ranch development. That desire resulted in a settlement agreement between Granby Ranch Metro and Headwaters Metro earlier this year.
The previous service plan language required Granby Ranch Metro and Headwaters Metro to enter into a formal agreement but the amended language makes any future agreements between the two special districts entirely optional.