Why isn’t my Alley Plowed?

The Lowry Community Master Association (LCMA) often gets asked why the alleys aren’t plowed when it snows.  In light of the recent increase in the HOA dues and Alley IPA (Individual Purpose Assessment – that’s the additional $28 per quarter you folks who live on an alley pay), the community wants to know why this isn’t covering snow removal.

To start, 100% of the Alley IPA’s collected go towards alley maintenance.  Did you know that maintaining the alleys throughout Lowry consumes almost half of our total maintenance reserve budget?  Maintenance like seal coating, crack filling and curb repair are highly dependent on petroleum products and are therefore very expensive.

The LCMA has explored providing snow plowing to alleys in the past, even going so far as having a “test area” of Lowry where the alleys were plowed to determine the cost to provide the service to all of Lowry.  Plowing an alley requires a minimum of two trips thru each alley with a snowplow.  Then, each driveway along the alley must be hand shoveled.  In cases where there is more than 4-6″ of snowfall, there is the question of where to put the snow that’s been plowed and can require the use of  dumptrucks and front loader equipment.

Every couple of years, the LCMA gets new quotes for snow removal in Lowry.  Most recent figures are that to snowplow all of the LCMA-owned alleys in Lowry would cost a whopping $40,000 per storm with 4-7″ of snowfall.  For a storm with 12″ or more, the cost would be $80-100,000.  Most snow removal companies estimate that Denver has seven snowfalls each year of 4″ or more (requiring plowing).  Using the figures above, this would increase the Alley IPA by at least $500 per homeowner per year.  In other words, your $28 quarterly Alley IPA would increase to $153 per quarter.

Can a block hire its own snowplowing contractor?  The short answer is yes, and some do.  Because the alleys are owned by the LCMA, the contractor must sign an agreement that holds them responsible for any damage done to the alleys in the course of plowing.  To get a copy of this agreement, please contact Community Manager Karen Becker at (720) 974-4147 or kbecker@msihoa.com.

How should I maintain my Alley?

Alleys should be kept weed-free.  Look along the outside of your fence line and on the sides of your driveway to make sure there are no weeds.  Nothing may be stored in view of the alley – recycle bins and trash cans must be stored out of view – behind your fence or in the garage – and only put in the alley the evening before trash pickup.  Things like construction materials, storage bins, ladders, landscaping materials and debris may be not be stored long-term in the alleyways, outside of and along your back fence or in your driveway.  Campers, boats, recreational vehicles, utility trailers and commercial trucks and trailers may not be parked along the alley at all and may not be parked in your driveway for more than 48 hours.  Any trees or plants hanging over your rear fence into the alley must be trimmed back to the fence line.