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Are Gravel Roads Making a Comeback?

As tax revenues continue to drop, towns and municipalities everywhere are trimming their budgets and looking for places to make cuts- in some cases by converting paved roads to gravel.

Here are excerpts from a recent article I came across at the Denver Post (Clarke Canfield, AP), on this emerging trend:

Ever since the invention of the automobile, paved roads have meant progress. Now some cash-strapped towns and counties are finding progress too expensive, and they are tearing up battered roads and putting down gravel.

The high price of pavement and the sour economy have driven municipalities in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Vermont to roll up the asphalt — a mile here, a few miles there, mostly on back roads — rather than repave. (more…)

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Developers turn to Uniquely Themed Communities in Difficult Housing Market

Here are excerpts from an interesting article from USA Today (Larry Olmstead), on the trend of specialized themed communities, including several located in Colorado and the west:

Themed communities now are targeted at hunters and anglers, cyclists and equestrians, pilots and gardeners, even oenophiles. “Developments are becoming more specialized,” says Orlando real estate broker Scott Kauffman of, an expert on master planned communities. “People have different passions.” (more…)

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Collecting Rainwater Still Illegal in Much of Colorado

UPDATE: Collecting Rainwater in Colorado will be legal beginning on August 10, 2016. Please see our new post regarding the use of Rain Barrels in Colorado, and House Bill 16-1005.

Two new legislative bills were passed in Colorado this summer that seem to be causing some confusion regarding water rights.  Senate Bill 09-080 and House Bill 09-1129 allow for the collection of rainwater- but only in very limited circumstances.

Many businesses and homeowners are looking for ways to be more sustainable, to save water, and to conserve resources to help their bottom line.  I have been surprised to find that many people are not aware that collecting rainwater- even in a simple “rain barrel” system from your roof for use in watering a garden, is illegal in Colorado.

Historical Precedent

I think the Colorado Division of Water Resources website summarizes well the historical precedent in layman’s terms:  “Colorado water law declares that the state of Colorado claims the right to all moisture in the atmosphere that falls within its borders and that ‘said moisture is declared to be the property of the people of this state, dedicated to their use pursuant’ to the Colorado constitution.  As a result, in much of the state, it is illegal to divert rainwater falling on your property expressly for a certain use unless you have a very old water right or during occasional periods when there is a surplus of water in the river system.  This is especially true in the urban, suburban, and rural areas along the Front Range.  This system of water allocation plays an important role in protecting the owners of senior water rights that are entitled to appropriate the full amount of their decreed water right, particularly when there is not enough to satisfy them and parties whose water right is junior ro them.” (more…)

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