WESTCLIFFE — Bob Wire’s dream home sits behind the gates of The Eagles, a deed-restricted community of 20 nearly identical homes in southwest Custer County, in the shadow of Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains and in the heart of the Wet Mountain Valley.
At 3,800 square feet, it has four bedrooms, a game room, a swimming pool and a driveway big enough for his Ford F-350. He moved in ten years ago.
But, as time went on, there was a problem: the cows next door were not keeping up their home.
“As cows go, they seem very nice,” he says. “But as President of The Eagles HOA, I have to enforce the rules. And the rules say you’ve got to maintain the exterior of all structures that are lawfully allowed to be on your property. Holy cow, just look at that place! It’s deplorable!”
Pete Moss, his neighbor, agrees. “We’ve asked them over and over: Please make the necessary repairs to bring your home up to code. The place is falling apart. Time takes its toll. The cows may be good producers, and they keep the grass nice and short, and they don't have loud parties . . . but they’re terrible caretakers of their property!”
Uncowed by their behavior, Jim Nasium, another resident, goes further: “I think they're just lazy. We can sue them till the cows come home, but until we make them REALLY pay, nothing will change. Those bovine beasts live like animals!”
On this day, at least, when asked "How now, brown cows?", the cows had no comment.
Nearly eight years, two judges, five lawyers and more than $100,000 later, there's still no resolution. A Circuit Court judge sided with the cows last year. The Eagles Master Association has now filed another appeal.
"When we first moved here," Bob Wire says sadly, "we thought our beautiful home would be a cash cow. But now it seems we're left with nothing but cow chips."
Shown here, Crestone Peak (elevation 14,294 ft / 4,357 m) is Colorado's seventh highest mountain.
Wet Mountain Valley
Sangre de Cristo Mountains
The image was made using a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV digital body, a Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens, at f/16 for 1/25 second at 100 ISO.
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