Ranch Colony Property Owners Association, Inc. Logo

Welcome to Ranch Colony
For New Property Owners and Residents

An Introduction to the Ranch Estates and Ranch Acres Communities


Contents:
Fact Sheet
Welcome to Ranch Colony
A Brief History of Ranch Colony
General Information
Property Owners Association
Rules and Regulations
Neighboring Communities
Community Cooperation
Useful Telephone Numbers


Fact Sheet


RCPOA Total Acreage (including "common land.") ------- 1,180.74
RCPOA Total Individual Lots (excluding "common land") ----- 106
RCPOA "Billing" Acres (for assessment calculation) ---- 1,167.74

Ranch Estates: Total Acreage: 885.78
Number of Lots: 41
Ranch Acres: Total Acreage: 239.73
Number of Lots: 40
Old Trail Section:* Total Acreage: 42.23
Number of Lots: 25

*Note: 42.23 Acres within the Old Trail Community lie inside the RCPOA boundaries. This is a matter that has been settled through the courts. This acreage comprises 25 lots (20.12 acres) and "common land" (22.13 acres). Owners of the 25 properties pay assessments both to RCPOA and Old Trail Homeowners Association, Inc.

"Common Land" Acreage: Park** 13
Old Trail Section 22.13

**This refers to a park dedicated by the developer for joint ownership and use by Ranch Colony POA and Links POA members. It is located on Colony Way at Colony Park Lane.

Distances: Indiantown Road to: Old Indiantown Road 0.6 miles
Martin County Boundary 0.9 miles
Security Gate 1.2 miles
Cypress Creek Bridge 1.9 miles
North End Mack Dairy Road 2.7 miles

Welcome to Ranch Colony!

This document is intended to acquaint you with Ranch Colony in general, and more specifically with the Ranch Estates and Ranch Acres communities.

The information presented here is summary in nature. You are encouraged to read and become familiar with all the official documents affecting your property-namely the Articles of Incorporation, Covenants and Restricted Uses, Ranch Colony Property Owners Association, Inc. By-Laws and Architectural Guidelines. These documents may have been provided to you when you purchased your property. If not, copies can be obtained at the Martin County Clerk's Office in Stuart.

Please let us know if you find this information helpful--and let us know how we may improve its usefulness. The Association Board of Directors welcomes you to our community and is ready to assist you in making your move here as easy and pleasant as possible. Don't hesitate to call our Property Manager, Dickinson Management, at 747-5505 if you have questions or need assistance.

Thank you,
Board of Directors and Architectural Review Board
The Ranch Colony Property Owners Association, Inc.
July, 2002


A Brief History of Ranch Colony


July 2002

The Ranch Colony Area encompasses all of Sections 22, 23 and 27, and approximately of Section 24 in Martin County, Florida. Development of the area was begun in the late 1970's with the platting of ten lots of 20 or more acres in the area south of Cypress Creek Canal (e.g. Phase I of Ranch Estates). About this same time, a large parcel of land within Ranch Colony was sold for the development of Cypress Links Golf Course (now the Dye Preserve Golf Club). The Golf Course developer platted 51 residential lots, mostly 1 acre or less, along the perimeter of the course on Colony Way. This residential area is known as The Links.

Over the next several years 28 additional 20+ acre lots were added north of Cypress Creek Canal (Phase II of Ranch Estates). In 1982 forty lots of 5-10 acres in size were platted by the Developer and designated as the Ranch Acres community. Land was also sold for the development of an airpark community called Tailwinds, and for the development of a second golf course, Jonathan's Landing West golf Club, which included an associated residential community known as Old Trail.

The residential communities of Ranch Estates and Ranch Acres, The Links, Tailwinds, Old Trail, and the two Golf Courses comprise what is presently known as the Ranch Colony Area.

In 1984 Ranch Colony, Inc., the developer's corporation, dedicated the responsibility for the Ranch Estates and Ranch Acres properties, including the "common land" (e.g. a 12 acre park, roads and rights-of-way) to the Ranch Colony Property Owners Association, Inc. Old Trail, The Links, and Tailwinds each have a Property Owners or Homeowners Association representing them.


General Information

Security Gate: The security gate is operated 24 hours a day, every day all year. Ranch Colony residents may enter using a bar code sticker affixed to your vehicle. These stickers for your family vehicles can be obtained from Dickinson Management. Stickers are not provided for non-family members such as maids, service contractors, etc.

To expedite entry for persons visiting frequently, you may provide the security service a "Permanent List" of those names. However, these individuals must stop and be identified prior to entry.

When you are expecting a visit by someone not on your "Permanent List", you can expedite their entry by calling the Automated Guest Authorization System in advance of their arrival and clearing the visitor for entry to your residence. This system requires a security code unique to each residence which is provided by Dickinson Management

You are requested not to ask the guard on duty to perform personal services for you, such as delivering packages to contractors or other residents, etc. Under no circumstances will the guards provide information about the entry and exit of visitors other than your own.

Mail Delivery: Home mail delivery is currently not available within Ranch Colony. Mailboxes for Ranch Estates residents are located in the Park located on Colony Way at Colony Park Lane. Mailboxes for Ranch Acres residents are located on the road connecting Mack Dairy Road and Ranch Acres Circle.

You can obtain a mailbox assignment and keys at the Jupiter Post Office, located on Military Trail approximately 1 mile south of Indiantown Road.

Street Address Signs: Martin County requires that the street address number be clearly displayed at the road entrance to your property, and in numbers at least 4 inches high.

Home Security Gates: Many residents install remotely operated security gates at the entrance to their property. It is strongly recommended that a "Knox Lock" be installed on such gates to permit entry by Fire-Rescue teams in an emergency if no resident is present. These locks can be obtained by contacting the local Fire Department at the telephone number listed in the Useful Telephone Numbers section of this website.

Roads and Drainage: Mack Dairy Road between Old Indiantown Road and the Security Gate, and all roads within Ranch Colony, are considered "Private" roads. The State of Florida and Martin County have no responsibility for these roads. Operation and maintenance of drainage systems within each community is the responsibility of that community. RCPOA is also responsible for Mack Dairy Road drainage between the security gate and Old Indiantown Road.

Hold Harmless Agreement: In 1981 the Ranch Colony developer signed a Maintenance and Hold Harmless Agreement with Palm Beach County which requires Ranch Colony Property Owners Association and Links Property Owners Association to maintain and provide liability insurance for the section of Mack Dairy Road between Indiantown Road and Old Indiantown Road. All of this section of the road lies within Palm Beach County. The cost of maintenance and insurance is shared equally between the two Associations.

Utility and Drainage Easements: A certified survey is one of the official documents required at the time your property was purchased. This survey map will indicate any drainage, road right-of-way, or utility easements that exist on your land. You should be aware that the agency governing those easements has a right to access that portion of your property for legitimate purposes.

Such access may require the removal of fences, walls, landscaping or other encroachments in the easement. Under Florida law, the removal and any subsequent replacement is your responsibility.


Property Owners Association

Organization: The Ranch Colony Deed of Dedication mandated the establishment of the Ranch Colony Property Owners Association, Inc. (RCPOA). The purpose of the RCPOA is stated in the Articles of Incorporation, and includes the maintenance of roads and drainage systems, and the enforcement of covenants, restrictions, and By-Law provisions.

Each property owner or joint owner is a member of the RCPOA. The membership meets annually, usually in October or November to discuss community matters, hear reports from the officers, and to elect members to the RCPOA Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors consists of 7 members elected from and by the membership for 2-year terms. Property owners cast one vote for each acre they own. Four and three board positions, respectively, are open for election on alternate years. The Board annually elects officers (e.g. President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer), who serve 1-year terms.

The Board appoints persons from the membership to serve on the Architectural Review Board (ARB). The ARB serves "at the pleasure" of the Board of Directors and is charged with administering and enforcing the RCPOA Architectural Guidelines. The ARB elects a Chairman from its membership and meets as required.

The Board of Directors meets as required, but usually monthly. Advance notice of time, location, and agenda for meetings is posted at the mailbox locations both in Ranch Estates and Ranch Acres. All RCPOA members are welcome to attend these meetings, and you are cordially invited to do so.

Budget and Assessments: The Board of Directors establishes the RCPOA budget annually, normally in November. The budget consists of two parts: Operations and Security.

The Operations budget funds all maintenance and improvement items, legal and outside management fees, insurance costs, and reserve accounts for the future refurbishment of roads. The Security budget provides funds for contracted security services and maintenance of the security gate facilities.

Your annual assessment is the sum of the Operations and Security budgets. The Operations budget is divided by the total combined acreage of Ranch Estates and Ranch Acres properties to produce a "per acre" unit amount. You will be assessed one unit amount for each acre you own.

The Securities budget is divided by the combined total number of lots in Ranch Estates and Ranch Acres to yield a "per lot" unit amount. Each property is assessed one unit amount. The sum of the Operations and Security assessments for each property will be billed to you over the ensuing year on a quarterly basis, beginning in January. In December you will receive a copy of the annual budget and assessment for the following calendar year.


Rules and Regulations

  1. Covenants and Restrictions - Ranch Estates: These items are listed in Paragraph 2 of the Amendment to Ranch Colony Permitted Uses and Restrictions and Deed of Dedication (Martin County Official Records Book 505, Pgs. 1676-76A).
  2. Covenants and Restrictions - Ranch Acres: The covenants, restrictions and architectural guidelines for Ranch Acres properties are contained in The Declaration of Protective Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions Affecting The Real Property of Ranch Colony, Inc., Known as The "Ranch Acres" of Martin County, Florida (Martin County Official Records Book 557, pgs. 2674-83; Book 567, pgs 819; Book 597, pgs.192-3.)
  3. Architectural Guidelines: The architectural guidelines for both Ranch Estates and Ranch Acres have been combined into a single document, the Ranch Colony Property Owners Association Architectural Control Guidelines (Revised June 5, 1996). This document lists the actions you must take and the approvals you must obtain prior to making certain improvements to your property and/or your residence, including the initial construction of your home. The Guidelines are recorded in Martin County Official Records Book 1187, pgs. 766-72.
  4. Preservation of Wetlands: Many Ranch Estates and Ranch Acres properties contain controlled wetlands, as defined by Federal, State and County statutes and regulations. Preservation of these wetlands is the responsibility of the property owner.
    The filling, excavation, mowing or other disturbance of the wetland may be a violation of law and punishable by fines and/or the cost of restoration. You should determine the location and extent of any wetlands on your property, as well as the applicable regulations, and coordinate with the appropriate agency, usually Martin County, regarding any intrusion into those areas.
    You should also be aware that you might be held responsible for the correction of any destruction of wetlands caused by a previous owner of your property. If you have any question regarding possible wetlands on your lot, you are advised to contact an environmental firm or Martin County for advice.
  5. Easements and Rights-of-Way: You should examine the survey of your property to determine if any easements exist. The purpose of these areas is to allow access for utility or drainage system construction, maintenance, or repair. The controlling agency has a legal right to unrestricted access to the area.
    Although there is no restriction specifically prohibiting the construction of fences or other structures inside easements, under Florida Statutes you are responsible for the removal (and subsequent replacement, if you desire) of such items if access to the area is required. The same rules apply to road rights-of-way, however these areas are normally subject to frequent mowing, etc., and are not usually suitable locations for any structures other than culverts.
  6. Animal Control: Pet animals are not allowed to run free and are to be kept within your property boundary at all times except when properly controlled on a leash.
  7. Use of Roads: All roads within Ranch Colony are classified as "Private" and are for vehicular and pedestrian use by all residents and authorized visitors. Road use by Golf Carts and similar small utility vehicles is permitted but the operator must have a valid drivers license.
  8. Signage: Any signs displayed on a property must be approved in advance by the Architectural Review Board. "For Sale" signs must be a standard size and shape and may be purchased through Dickinson Management Company. A "For Sale" sign must be located on the property side of the road swale. "Inside" lots may display only one sign. Corner lots may display one sign on each adjacent roadway.

Neighboring Communities

The Links: This community comprises 51 lots, each approximately one acre in size, situated on Colony Way along the northern and western border of the Dye Preserve Golf Course (formerly known as the Cypress Links Golf Course). The Ranch Colony Property Owners Association owns the eastern 0.7 miles of Colony Way, while The Links and the Golf Course own the remaining 1.5 miles. The road is jointly maintained by all three of these entities under a Three Party Agreement.

The Links Property Owners Association, Inc. (LPOA) represents links property owners, and is independent of the Golf Course. Under a Two Party Agreement, the LPOA and the Ranch Colony Property Owners Association share the cost of maintaining the 13-acre park on Colony Way.

Old Trail: This community comprises 74 lots interspersed within and around the Jonathan's Landing West Golf Club. The community and Golf Club are independent of each other, although the Club subsidizes a portion of the annual assessments levied on the property owners by the Old Trail Homeowners Association. Access to Old Trail and the Golf Course from Mack Dairy Road is east along Tailwinds Road. This road is owned by Tailwinds Homeowners Association but is maintained jointly by Tailwinds and Old Trail.

Tailwinds: Tailwinds is an airpark community consisting of 51 lots approximately 5 acres in size. Each lot is connected by grass taxiways to a central east-west asphalt runway designed for light general aviation aircraft. The runway is for use only by Tailwinds residents and their invited guests. It is equipped with landing lights and a rotating beacon for night operations.


Community Cooperation

The four Associations representing the Ranch Colony communities share in the cost and management of community security and Mack Dairy Road maintenance. This cooperation is achieved through a Four Party Committee established in 1999 and consisting of representatives from each Association's board of directors.

The Four Party Committee coordinates the community security requirements and procedures, determine the type, level and schedule of maintenance for Ranch Colony's central thoroughfare, Mack Dairy Road, and other issues that affect all our residents and owners. The Committee's recommendations are submitted to each community's board of directors for approval prior to implementation.

Under terms established at the time Ranch Colony was developed, each community shares the cost of "common" requirements on the basis of the percentage of total Ranch Colony acreage occupied by that community.

Under a waiver granted by the Developer at the time Ranch Colony was formed, The Dye Preserve Golf Club (formerly The Cypress Links Golf Club) makes no contribution to community "common" costs, including security.

At the present time Jonathan's Landing West Golf Course indirectly participates in cost sharing by subsidizing of a portion of the Old Trail Homeowners Association annual assessment.

With the exception of Mack Dairy Road, as mentioned above, all maintenance and refurbishment of the roads contained within a community boundary are the responsibility of the individual community Associations. As noted in the section of this booklet titled "Neighboring Communities", in those instances where an access road is shared, the costs are also shared in accordance with established legal agreements.


Emergency Telephone Numbers

All Emergencies: 911
Fire Department: (561) 746-1192
Sheriff's Department: (561) 220-7000

Other Useful Telephone Numbers

Automated Guest Authorization System: (561) 743-0209
Ranch Colony Security Gate: (phone) (561) 744-2673
Ranch Colony Security Gate: (fax) (561) 744-1604
Trash/Garbage Pickup: (Nichols Sanitation) (772) 546-7700
Jupiter Farms Publix Pharmacy: (561) 744-6822
Martin County (County Clerk): (772) 288-5576
Animal Control: (772) 287-1656
Drivers Licenses: (772) 546-6136
Mosquito Control: (772) 288-5696
Hazardous Waste Disposal: (772) 288-5700
Poison Control: 1-800-282-3171