Forest Lakes Guide

Welcome to Forest Lakes!

This guide has been developed by the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District to provide home builders with a source of information to assist in the building process and to provide information to residents. This guide provides details on FLMD services and processes; information about utility companies; and other contacts and general information you may need. Specific questions concerning District services should be directed to the District office 970-884-2925. We invite your comments and suggestions to improve this guide. The District office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please contact us for additional information and/or assistance.

Your property may be referred to by the street address and/or unit and lot number. Your monthly Metro bill provides both the property address and the account number, which is your unit and lot number. There are five (5) units in FLMD and approximately 26 miles of gravel road (Units 1, 2, 4, 5).

The Forest Lakes Metro District has neither short- or long-range plans to extend services into Unit 3. We don’t have the budget, manpower, nor time to even begin development in Unit 3. This was recognized by the Board of Directors back in 1985 when they passed a resolution that stated:

“the District would not construct or guarantee the construction of any of the public improvements to be located within Unit 3…”

There are several rudimentary roads that were bulldozed in the 70s, but it is my understanding that little or no survey was done and some portions of the roads were installed across private property; these erroneous alignments would require correction. Also the entire unit 3 area  is basically solid rock. Correction of any erroneous road alignments or installation of additional roads would likely require blasting with dynamite. Installation of anything underground, such as house foundations, water and wastewater piping, septic systems, etc. would certainly require dynamite. Additionally, we advise you to speak with La Plata County about the building permit process and San Juan Basin Public Health about their septic system requirements.


General Overview

The Forest Lakes Metropolitan District is a Special District organized July 18, 1973 in accordance with Colorado statutes to carry out the Public Works aspects for the Forest Lakes community. The District is a quasi-municipal governmental entity with taxing authority responsible for providing water, limited sewer, roads, trash, and recreational services in Units 1, 2, 4 and 5. District services are currently not available to all lots.

A five- (5) member elected Board of Directors governs the District as regulated by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. The Board meets, unless otherwise posted on the Metro bulletin board at the mail stop, the second Tuesday of each month, at 6:00 p.m. in person @ 82 Alpine Forest Drive, Bayfield, CO and  via Zoom. You are encouraged to attend.


The District business offices are in Forest Lakes at 82 Alpine Forest Drive.

Mail: 82 Alpine Forest Drive, Bayfield, CO, 81122

Telephone: (970) 884-2925

Fax: (970) 884-0305

Home Page: visit the site for information, agendas, announcements and calendar of events.

Official Posting Place: Forest Lakes Mail Stop, 257 Alpine Forest Dr.

  • The District maintenance shop is located at 6893 County Road 501, Bayfield, CO 81122. This is on the West Side of County Road 501, North of the main entrance to Forest Lakes; the telephone number for Water/Wastewater is (970)749-5282 and telephone number for RROM (roads, rec, open spaces, and maintenance)(970)398-5366 (For District emergencies call (970)884-2111).


  1. IN ORDER TO OBTAIN WATER/SEWER SERVICES YOU WILL NEED TO COMPLETE A SERVICE AGREEMENT WITH THE METRO DISTRICT. Note that the rates below are In-District Fees for Forest Lakes Subdivision residents. The fees for Out-of-District (River Ranch and The Horseman’s Lodge) services are double that of In-District Fees. Contact the FLMD Office for additional information. Also, Sewer Service or an approved septic system MUST be in place PRIOR to Water Service being turned on
  2. This agreement outlines the services to be provided and the cost associated with them. The District maintains service lines from the main to the meter, clean out or property line, whichever comes first.
  3. All water services require metering which is calculated in the connection charge as outlined in the service agreement. Current 5/8″ service connection charge is $1,550.00.
  4. If your water and/or sewer plant investment/tap fees have not been paid, they will be included in the agreement (current 5/8″ tap fees are $8,500.00/water, $8,500.00/sewer). Please call our office if you need to find out if the tap fees for your lot have been prepaid.
  5. For new building/construction, payment of a SERVICE IMPACT FEE ($2.40/sq. ft. in Units 1, 2, 4 & 5) is required and is based on the floor area square footage as measured from the exterior walls. This fee applies to all new construction including unfinished basements, workshops, etc.; additions to existing structures and garage conversions. Garages will be exempt from the service impact fee up to 650 square feet. Any amount above that will be subject to the fee. Please contact FLMD regarding alterations and/or expansions or questions.
  6. All Metro fees, rates and charges are subject to change without notice. A properly executed service agreement, plans review (including 11X17 site plan), and payment of fees is required before the FLMD will sign your County building permit. All structures must be connected to an approved sewer system and properly maintained for water service.
  7. Physical tapping of water and sewer mains is suspended between November 1st and April 15th (dates subject to weather), please plan accordingly.
  8. DISCHARGES INTO THE DISTRICT SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM shall consist of sanitary sewage only. Industrial wastes and storm waters shall not be permitted to enter the sanitary sewer system. Roof and footing drains shall not be connected to the sanitary sewer system.


Dependent upon location, some lots cannot connect to our central sewer system and will require an ISDS approved by San Juan Basin Health (SJBH contact info. shown below). Please contact our office if you have questions about what type of sewer system your lot requires.

The San Juan Basin Health Department (970) 247-5702, located at 281 Sawyer Dr. (P.O. Box 140), Durango, CO 81302, may be involved with your building. SJBH is responsible for individual sewage disposal system (ISDS) permits and inspections if you are building on a lot not served by the District central sewer collection system. ISDS must be installed and maintained for continued water service from the District.


  1. A pressure-reducing valve (Watts 25AUB o/e) should be installed by you or your contractor on your water service line, which is usually located inside your structure after the service supply valve.
  2. A supply valve with drain down capabilities should be installed in your plumbing system to facilitate draining of your potable water system.
  3. Water saving devices are required on all toilets with a maximum flush of 3.5 gallons or less and all showers shall have a shower restriction device installed per applicable County plumbing codes.


Because services are not available to all Units of Forest Lakes Subdivision, a water or sewer main extension may be required.  Please confirm with FLMD staff if services are/aren’t available before submitting your application, so processing will not be delayed. The following process is illustrated in the Flowchart and highlighted below:

  1. Main Extension Agreement must be submitted to the FLMD Office on or after June 1st  of each year for construction consideration in the following year. In the request, you will provide specific information about your project and review and agree to the terms as defined in the Application.  If the Applicant knows the “Estimated Length of the Extension”, please provide that information.  Otherwise, FLMD staff will provide that information.
  2. Main Extension Requests are reviewed and a response is usually provided within 60 days after FLMD staff and Board of Director’s review has been completed. Please note the following:
  • That all reviews are subject to, but not limited to, existing facilities and systems, other projects in process, and availability of FLMD Impact Fee funds;
  • These requests will be considered on a “first come, first serve” basis;
  • Roads without underground utilities will not be substantially improved until the buried utilities are installed;
  • The District reserves the right to deny, at the Boards sole discretion, any application for a main extension; and
  • Main extensions in Units 1, 2, 4 and 5 will be considered at this time.  Main extension requests Unit 3, will not be considered at this time.
  1. If approved, a Main Extension Agreement, stipulating conditions will be mailed to the Applicant and will require the Applicant’s signature, along with a $400.00 non-refundable processing fee to be delivered to the FLMD office.

Main Extension Review Process Flowchart


It is the property owner’s responsibility to locate and mark the property survey pins to facilitate proper installation of service connections and set back measurements for any building. Please see PROPERTY LINES SET BACKS.


“All of the required FLMD Permits and Specifications are contained in the FLMD Permit Application Handbook“. It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that any driveway or culvert is installed in accordance with the FLMD specifications. In addition, driveways and culverts must also comply with La Plata County Drive Way standards and a copy of County final approval permit is required before FLMD will approve and sign off on FLMD Excavation permit final.

A driveway interchange is defined as that portion of driveway located in the District right-of-way between the roadway edge and the property line, which is designed and used for the interchange of traffic between the roadway and the abutting property.

Paving of the driveway interchange portion is not recommended and should terminate at the property line. District accepts no liability to paving damage that is located on District right-of-way and owners will be billed for damages to District equipment. Paving that impedes District maintenance operations may be removed at owner’s expense.

Cutting or filling of roadway to match driveway interchange portion is prohibited.

All driveway culvert installations require a FLMD excavation permit. An excavation permit can be obtained by completing and submitting an FLMD EXCAVATION PERMIT to our office. The permit fee is $55.00 and the permit will be active for a limited period following approval. Please check with the Metro District for proper sizing and placement before you install the culvert. Installations shall be in accordance with FLMD culvert drawing dated 6/13/90.

The District reserves the right to discontinue water service to the property until an excavation permit is issued, approved and installation is accepted.

Excavation permits are suspended between November 1st and April 15th, dates subject to weather. Please plan accordingly.


  • The roads in FLMD are maintained by FLMD staff. During the months when road work can be performed, FLMD will maintain roads to the best of our ability. Throughout the subdivision, grading and gravel application will be performed to remove rough surfaces and dust suppressant will be applied.
  • FLMD does not perform law enforcement duties on the roads. La Plata County is responsible for monitoring the roads for traffic violations and issuing citations if needed.
  • PLEASE DO NOT PARK OR LEAVE ANY PROPERTY ON THE ROADS. FLMD roads are too narrow to allow safe parking on the street because two opposing travel lanes of traffic are active at all times. Parking on FLMD roads is prohibited.
  • The District is not responsible for accidents that result from vehicles or property left on the roads. We must be able to plow all roads; interference with our ability to perform plowing creates safety issues for all drivers. Please avoid a substantial towing bill by not parking or leaving any property on the roadways.
  • Property owners are responsible for maintaining their culverts and for the removal of snow, ice or sleet upon any portion of the driveway approach even though it may have been deposited in the course of the District snow removal operations.
  • Please do not plow, shovel, or place any snow onto FLMD roads. Moving plowed snow from driveways back into the traveled roadway is not only dangerous to the traveling public but is prohibited under the model traffic code.
  • Only roads serving habitable structures with Metro water service are plowed during winter months.


Large metal trash containers are located at the District maintenance location. The collection facilities entrance is approximately ¼ mile north of the FLMD main entrance on the west side of County Road 501. Residents are required to haul their own trash to this location. Trash services are open Monday(April 1st to November 1st 6:45 p.m.), Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and subject to holiday closures. THIS SERVICE IS FOR FOREST LAKES RESIDENTS ONLY. Access is closed at all other times including Sundays and Holidays to reduce illegal dumping.

Please bring only household trash, do not place construction materials, tree and yard trimmings, appliances, mattresses, furniture, hazardous, toxic or radioactive wastes or hot ashes in the containers see specific list of prohibited waste by clicking Prohibited Waste.

Contact the Bayfield Transfer as they will take items that FLMD will not:

The District will continue to bill you for the District centralized trash facilities in addition to the charges billed by private trash collection services if you choose to use a private service trash service.

FLMD also provides a slash pile that is open to FLMD residents only. This service is provided for residents to drop off limbs, leaves, pine needles, and organic yard waste only (no stumps or logs). This area is located in the same proximity as the central trash service area explained above. Please do not leave garbage of any kind in this area; compliance with the rules will determine the continuation of this service. The slash pile is monitored.

An Ash Barrel is available for you to dispose of your hot/cold ashes from your wood stove. Please do not dump ashes in the trash as they may ignite the trash on fire.

The Bayfield Convenience Center located on La Plata County Road 223 West of Bayfield provides a seasonal yard waste program free to local residents (no grass or sagebrush) and serves as a recycling drop off point. A use fee is imposed on household trash, construction materials, appliances, furnishings, etc. For more information and rates, please call (970) 382-6200 or (970)749-1335 or click here for County Trash & Recycling. You can also check with the City of Durango for recycling events.


UPPER PINE RIVER FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT (UPRFPD)P.O. Box 341, Bayfield, CO 81122, (970) 884-9508 provides fire protection services to Forest Lakes. UPRFPD Station 5 is located less than one mile from the entrance of FLMD. We currently have ISO insurance classifications :  3 areas with hydrants and class 4 areas. Dial 911 for fire and emergency service.


The mail stop for FLMD residents is located at 257 Alpine Forest Dr., in Forest Lakes. Post office boxes are available at the stop for FLMD residents and arrangements to use these boxes can be made by contacting the Bayfield postmaster either at the Bayfield post office or by calling (970) 884-9618. This is also the official posting place of the Metro District. Please look for information posted on the Metro bulletin board located on the south side of the building east of the door.


Forest Lakes is located within La Plata County and regulated by various County departments. Please see website for specific department locations and phone numbers. La Plata County address is P.O. Box 99, Durango, CO 81302 or call (970) 382-6200 for information.



La Plata Electric Association, Inc. provides electricity to property in Forest Lakes. They are located at 45 Stewart, (P.O. Drawer H), Durango, CO 81302, and telephone (970) 247-5786. A utility excavation permit is required from the District for buried electrical installations located on public property, including the District owned right of ways and public utility easements. Owners and/or Contractors should arrange a meeting with the utility provider and the District, which is a requirement of the permit.


Black Hills Energy is the natural gas provider for Forest Lakes. Gas is available to all of the subdivision except in the areas where a water main extension needs to be installed. The number for Black Hills Energy is (888)890-5554. The best method for applying for gas service is to log on to their website:; click on “Start or Stop Services” then click on “Construction Request.” You need to apply here first, if you don’t get a response within a few days then call Kevin Torres at (970)903-6823.

Propane Companies that serve the area are: AmeriGas  (970)884-2629, Bob’s LP  (970)883-2290, Basin Coop  (970)247-3066, Ferrellgas  (970)247-0933, and Arrowhead  (505)327-7224.


CenturyLink continues to upgrade the services available to property in Forest Lakes. The number to call is 800-244-1111 for residential services. 911 emergency dialing is available in Forest Lakes. A utility excavation permit is required from the District for buried telephone installations located on public property, including the District owned right of ways and public utility easements. Owners and/or Contractors should arrange a meeting with the utility provider and the FLMD, which is a requirement of the permit.


CenturyLink  (800)244-1111, Skywerx  (970)731-9790,  Cedar Networks  (970)385-2500, and Visionary Broadband  1(888)682-1884


  • During the winter months, please have your vehicle prepared for mountain driving. The District provides snow plowing, however, some roads have steep grades requiring adequate snow tires or chains. Four Wheel Drive vehicles are highly recommended.
  • When planning, keep in mind the average snow fall is 65” per year so snow removal and storage from driveways, structures, etc. must be considered. Unless you love to shovel snow, plan your structures such that snow sliding off the roof will not interfere with access to both the living areas and garages. The District requires the use of the front set back zones for snow storage; location of structures within these areas should be avoided. The District is not responsible for damages to structures located within these areas resulting from District maintenance activities. To facilitate locating your property please put the street address on the structure facing the road from which access is obtained. Blue Street Numbers are available from La Plata County Building Department. All residents are encouraged to post these numbers at the end of their driveway so you can be located quickly, in the event of an emergency.
  • Please be advised that the state of Colorado requires all wood/pellet stoves sold at the retail level to be EPA certified for efficiency and low emissions. If you are purchasing a stove from a source other than a retailer, check to make sure that the stove meets these requirements. Wise application of this alternate energy source in one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado will assure its continued use.



This is intended as a guide only. Residents & Property Owners are encouraged to research all aspects of Forest Lakes whether they are building or living in Forest Lakes. The contents of this guide are subject to change without notice and ARE NOT INTENDED TO CONTAIN PROMISES ON WHICH YOU CAN UNCONDITIONALLY RELY. (FLMD 03/08/17)