Jefferson County Neighborhoods:
South Jeffco - Ken-Caryl Ranch
Unincorporated JeffCo, south of Lakewood, north of Littleton, East & West of C470
Littleton zip code 80127 • 303-979-1876
Seventeen different Native American tribes have lived near JeffCo’s red rock formations. In 1859, Robert Bradford purchased a stone cabin and built a toll road into the mountains on an old Ute Trail. It operated until 1867 when pioneers preferred traveling through Turkey Creek (today’s Hwy 285). Remnants of the Bradford House Hotel have been preserved by the Ken-Caryl Historical Society.
In 1914, industrialist and newspaper tycoon (Rocky Mountain News & Chicago Tribune), John Shaffer built a American-Georgian, Southern-style mansion (Manor House) at the highest point of his 10,000 acres, where he bred Hereford cattle. He named his estate Ken-Caryl Ranch after his two sons, Kent and Carroll. Ownership changed many times during the Depression and after World War II. Johns-Manville Corporation acquired the land in 1971 for its world headquarters. Jefferson County Commissioners approved an Official Development Plan for a build-out of 5,200 homes and preservation of 4,000 of the overall 9,197 acres in 1974.
To date, 4,187 homes have been built in 31 neighborhoods east and west of C-470, for a population of 12,000. The original development east of the highway has winding streets and maintained greenbelt trails behind backyards. Shopping, schools, and a commercial development are east of the highway. Homes in the “Valley” west of C-470 are off winding roads with trails through native plant parks. The community owns 4,800 acres of open space land, including 1,500 acres declared a Colorado Natural Area by Colorado State Parks.
Ken-Caryl Water and Sanitation District distributes Denver-purchased water, collects no tax, and provides service for a minimum of $45 per month per household. West Metro Fire District serves the area. The community includes a JeffCo Sheriff satellite.
The Ken-Caryl Ranch Master Association is managed by an elected board of seven residents who declare and maintain covenants. MA dues are $38 per month to manage open space, trash removal/recycling, and the bi-weekly newspaper, Life at Ken Caryl. The MA manages 4,800 acres of open space that include 20 miles of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails. The 2006 budget is $3.5 million. Executive Director since 1984 is Chris Pacetti. The MA manages an Equestrian Center with indoor and outdoor boarding, riding arenas and lessons. The staff cares for 125 horses (113 boarded) and provides lessons for more than 100 kids. The center’s ranch houses, barns, cabins, outbuildings, and indoor arena are designated Jefferson County Historical Landmarks.
The Ken-Caryl Ranch Metro District is a Colorado government managed by an elected board of five residents responsible for maintaining parks, greenbelts, and extensive recreation programs and facilities. Revenue is generated through a property tax of 14.42 mil and program fees for a 2006 budget of $3 million. The Metro District and Master Association combined employ 120 full-time and seasonal people.
Community facilities are the Ken-Caryl Ranch Community Center in the valley is a former private tennis club and swimming pool acquired and remodeled by the Metro District with financial assistance from Jefferson County Open Space. The multi-level facility (nursery, weight room, aerobics & yoga classes, racquetball & tennis courts and a swimming pool) is available for all Jefferson County residents. MA and Metro District offices are within a rambling red Ranch House built in 1978 to resemble a western antique. It stands on 17 acres of greenbelt and ball parks, tennis courts, and swimming pool within the original east development. A third swimming pool is at Bradford Park next to tennis courts, volleyball court and hiking trails in the valley.
Organized: Ken-Caryl Ranch Foundation raises funds for scholarships and community programs. The Historical Society encourages preservation; A wide variety of landscape workshops and trail maintenance programs, child and youth activities, and numerous “clubs” are available.
Traditions: Ice cream socials, golf tournaments, “Pride Day” (community clean up and trail maintenance), celebrations at Easter, Fall Fest, Arts & Crafts Fair, Halloween, Christmas, etc.
Public JeffCo Schools: Bradford, Shaffer, and Ute Meadows Elementary, Deer Creek Middle and Chatfield & Dakota Ridge High Schools. Collegiate Academy is a public charter school.
Real estate values: $200,000 to $3 million.
Plus: Easy commute to most metro jobs and shopping. Chatfield State Park is only five miles away.
Minus: The Master Association board controls all content of the bi-weekly community newspaper.