ZHA Annual Meeting


The Zapata Homeowners Association held its Annual Meeting at 10:00 AM on Saturday, August 1, 2015, at Jim Jones’ property at 214 Big Bear Road. Prior to opening the meeting, a new member orientation was given by Anna Dvorak for Jack and Stacie Wrobel and Eugene and Velva De Leon. Board members present were: Chairman Jack Zeman, Co-Chairman Erin Smith, Treasurer Wayne Ross, Secretary Tyra Barnes, Members Anna Dvorak and John White. Member Troy Campbell was absent. Administrator Cindy Chapman was also in attendance. The following property owners attended: Jack and Stacie Wrobel, Eugene and Velva De Leon, Jim Jones, Bob Schultz, Blair and Lindsay Lockwood, John Barnes, Nancy Starling Ross, Peter and Anneliese Bekius, George Russum, Doug and Pam George, Joe Funk, Patti Carr, Carole Bieshaar and Jacqui Poe. Those members present, either in person or by proxy, constitutes a quorum.


Chairman Jack Zeman opened the meeting and acted as facilitator for the meeting. Jack welcomed everyone in attendance and thanked them for coming. Introductions of current board members in attendance were made. Jack stated that there are two, 3-year board positions open for election at this meeting.

Jack presented the main accomplishments of the ZHA over the past year:

The ZHA continues to operate from a strong financial standpoint. Delinquent dues are continuing to be cleared up. Aggressive pine beetle fight continues. Applying to have the subdivision classified as a “firewise community.” The main benefit from this would be lower insurance premiums. Working with the USDA-NRCS to recognize the subdivision as a privately owned forest area to apply for 10-15 year funding to continue with forest management and mitigation.



The terms of Tyra Barnes and Anna Dvorak expire at today’s meeting but both have agreed to serve another 3-year term. Jack stated that the responsibilities of the ZHA board are to oversee ongoing operations of the Zapata subdivision. Yearly budget development is also a requirement of the Board. The committees now in place are there to support the Board and are becoming more active as well as proactive in their approach of committee duties.

 There being no other candidates to come forward for a board

position, Erin Smith moved to accept the following nominations by acclimation: Tyra Barnes and Anna Dvorak will each serve a 3-year term. Wayne Ross seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Jack stated that the strategic plan is a list of the goals for the Board to accomplish over a one-year period of time. It also outlines specific goals and objectives to be achieved for individual committees to be implemented. This plan follows the budget line items submitted by committee chairmen for a one-year period. A new mission statement was developed and adopted in 2015. It reads as follows: “It is the desire and intent of the Board to interpret the spirit, keeping in mind the letter, of the governing documents as they apply to the needs and character of our past, present, and future rural, mountain community.”


Fire: Jack Zeman and Wayne Ross are currently co-chairing this committee. Jack recognized Adam Moore for the tremendous amount of assistance he has offered the ZHA community over the past year. A written forest management plan has been discussed and will be developed over the next year. This will aid in the ZHA becoming a “firewise community” and to apply for USDA-NRCS funding. The upper lake landscape is changing as there are many dead and dying trees on bordering BLM lands that could create a fire hazard to the subdivision. Adam and his assistant are currently working with the BLM on this issue.

A southern escape route off the subdivision in case of a fire has been completed thanks to an easement donated by Erin Smith for a road to be completed to exit the subdivision and on to an access trail out to Highway 150. A northern escape route is in development. Signage is being developed to easily identify these escape routes. Tyra Barnes was thanked for her tireless efforts on getting these escape routes in place.

An aspen harvest was recently done due to the decline in healthy aspen stands especially on Greenbelt U and Greenbelt G near California Circle. A resource to buy the harvested aspen had been found until the discovery of heart rot in many of the aspen and these logs cannot be used for building purposes. The harvest has been halted. Jack stated that he has a meeting scheduled with a potential buyer, Excelsior out of Hooper, who make log booms with chipped aspen that are used in oil spill cleanup. Joe Funk was thanked to giving this information to Jack.

There is currently one fire trailer on the subdivision with another one being built. These will both be housed in a shed offered by Wayne and Nancy Starling Ross. These trailers can be moved, should a fire occur, to the fire location.

Adam Moore, State Forester, then gave an informative talk on the following topics:

Outlined what is required to become a firewise community. First, an assessment must be completed to show beginning baselines. This assessment is being drafted now. Second, a task force committee must be identified in the community. Third, a yearly education event, engaging community members, must be conducted. Fourth, an annual report documenting activities must be filed. By becoming a firewise community, it reduces the ISO rating by 5.5 points, which is a huge benefit for savings on insurance premiums. Adam stated that the recent aspen harvest was a good, positive step in managing forest resources and eliminating aging aspen. There is much diversity of tree species on the subdivision which is good but this diversity also creates added issues. The program offered through the USDA-NRCS program has been in place for a number of years but forest management on subdivisions is a new area in the San Luis Valley. Being a non-profit HOA will also help when applying for these funds.

Nancy Starling Ross asked what the plan is for remediation to clean up from this harvest. Jack stated that the logs will be removed and the slash cleaned up. After efforts to sell the wood are exhausted the wood will be offered to members first to begin the cleanup and then the remainder will be removed from the subdivision.

Also a new grant through the Colorado Department of Natural Resources for individual home owners has been obtained. This will be a cost-share program to establish defensible space around individual homes.

Architecture: Committee Chairman Tyra Barnes stated that two sheds and one garage have been approved over the past year. Also, an addition was approved to an existing garage for living space. Tyra also mentioned that work has begun to find a remedy for sub-acre lot owners on the subdivision.

Communication: Committee Chairman Anna Dvorak stated that her committee will be putting out a Request for Proposal for a new website development due to ongoing problems with the current website. Jacqui Poe suggested a community Facebook page might be an option and would cost nothing. Discussion followed with Jack stating that the ZHA has to follow laws in place concerning notification of members and compliance.

Fees and Budget: Committee Chairman Wayne Ross stated that the ZHA is in a healthy financial situation. There has been a $13,000.00 Operating Reserve and a $22,000.00 Replacement Reserve account created. The operating reserve account amount is roughly 5% of the current operating budget and the replacement reserve account is to mainly cover the cost of culverts. There are currently 82 culverts on the subdivision and a schedule has been created to track what culverts will need to be replaced and when. This schedule is reviewed yearly.

Wayne shared that there are approximately 274 sub-acre lots on the subdivision. Of this number, there are 40 “orphans.” These are lots owned by individuals that do not adjoin other lots that could be consolidated. Currently about 20% of the delinquent dues are related to sub-acre lots.

The 2015 budget was recently amended to move monies around to cover the aspen harvest and beetle control patches, which were over budget. Wayne pointed out that when the 2015 budget was adopted, his committee projected ($19,000.00) net income. To date, the net income is $51,000.00.

When questioned as to how many beetle kill trees remain on the subdivision, the answer was “minimal.” A close watch will be kept on the areas where these infested trees were located.

Governance: Committee Chairman Erin Smith stated that she has a very active committee and thanked those committee members present. Erin also took this opportunity to thank Jack Zeman for all of his efforts over and above what is expected of a Caretaker and Board Chairman.

During the past year, her committee reviewed the Bylaws and Covenants to make sure the Association is compliant with recent state statutes. Revised policy on vehicles on greenbelts; budget process policy to reflect the meeting times a year the board now meets, from 12 to 6; revised camping policy; revised the residential and commercial architectural guidelines addressing outside storage and inserting wording to address culverts; suggested that when a property owner lodges a complaint about violations that the Board ask the property owner to cite the violation in the Covenants, Bylaws, Policy, and/or state statute. Several of these have a third, and final, reading at the August board meeting and the complaint issue will be addressed for the first time at that meeting.

Erin spoke about recent findings concerning a Covenants revision to bring the current 1975 and 1981 Covenants into a 21st century application. There is a new state law that was recently found by Nancy Starling Ross that may allow the ZHA options and the Governance Committee will begin research into this possibility. Doug George asked that the actual specific revisions be outlined prior to a revision. He and members present were assured that this will be a lengthy process but it is important that the Board show their attempts made and that these attempts are documented. There was a good response from the postcards that were recently mailed out to the membership along with the conviction letter showing the majority of property owners are in favor of revising the current sets of Covenants into one document more in line with how the subdivision is today. Carole Bieshaar stated that this has been an issue for the last 20 years and she would like to see a resolution made.

Sub-acre lots were again discussed. These lots are not buildable according to county requirements and consolidating can be costly. An ad hoc committee lead by John White will be looking into different scenarios and will report their findings to the membership…so stay tuned.

Physical Improvements: Committee Chairman Troy Campbell was absent but Jack gave a brief report on his behalf. This committee is charged with maintaining roads, culverts and water structures. There are three scheduled road gradings annually with some budgeted road improvements done as well.

Water: Committee Chairman John White stated that his committee had reviewed their directives for the year, evaluated where the ZHA is with these directives and were found to be in compliance. A summary judgment concerning commercial water in Unit 3 has yet to be completed. The pipeline at the upper lake, owned by TNC, was damaged but the repairs have been completed. The annual “Call for Water” has been filed with Water Division III. A mineral rights clarification was asked for and has been received. The spring runoff has been very good with a little light flooding. The water augmentation is being done for the year. The ZHA works with TNC to resolve water issues. This has been a good relationship over the past few years. The water is controlled by TNC but by letting South Zapata Creek run, as per Jack’s suggestion, provides a benefit to ZHA, TNC, and Alamosa County.

Welcome: Committee Chairman Troy Campbell was absent but in his stead, Anna Dvorak welcomed everyone to the subdivision for the Annual Meeting.


There was nothing under New Business to discuss but Nancy Starling Ross asked for a brief explanation on culturally modified trees. These are Ponderosa trees that have been identified as having human modifications done to them. These modifications were made by the Ute Indians as they made their migrations to mark and identify trails. Recently Ute elders visited the subdivision and examined such trees on the subdivision and have identified them as being culturally modified trees. A significant law is in place that states culturally modified trees found on federal lands cannot be destroyed whether alive or dead. The ZHA has no intention of destroying any of these trees found on the subdivision.

There have been sightings of bear and bobcat on the subdivision.

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business to come before the membership, the meeting was adjourned for members to enjoy a potluck luncheon.

Tyra Barnes, Secretary