Just the ticket: Grant Ranch offers residents amenities and security

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By Matt Gunn

Though Grant Ranch Boulevard spans a distance of only 2 miles, drivers should be careful: Within that single neighborhood, one could technically get a speeding ticket from up to four different law enforcement entities.

One of the many things that make Grant Ranch unique is that the community is part Denver, part Lakewood and part unincorporated Jefferson County.

Technically, you could drive through our community which is not a very long street and you could get a ticket from four different jurisdictions, said Donna McNulty, a resident who also works as office and event manager at Grant Ranchs village center. You could get a ticket from Lakewood, Denver, Jefferson County and the State Patrol.

When it was originally built, Grant Ranch appealed to Denver police officers, firefighters and employees who at the time were required to live in the city and county.

Now 10 years old, Grant Ranch maintains a high number of Denver employees, even though the rule no longer exists.

People feel safe letting their kids walk or ride their bikes here, McNulty said. One, because theres a lot of policemen here, and also that its not that big.

Tucked away north of West Bowles Avenue and west of South Wadsworth Boulevard, Grant Ranch has about 1,500 homes within several villages.

Because of its unique political boundaries, the community has a Denver public school, a Jefferson County school and a private school all within walking distance.

And all three of them if you were to measure from boundary to boundary to boundary are within about a tenth of a mile of each other, McNulty said.

Which makes the option of open enrollment appealing to many parents in the area. Especially if its not always easy to tell which jurisdiction one is in.

Its totally weird, said Brigitte Johnson, who lives in the Denver portion. And theres the Jefferson County School District and then theres Denver in a matter of blocks.

Johnson stays at home raising two young children and is an active part of the Grant Ranch community.

I volunteer and teach the music class up there, which is twice a month, she said.

Hers is one of many free programs offered to Grant Ranch residents. Johnson got involved after the last childrens music teacher went on maternity leave.

I think its great, Johnson said. I got to know a lot of people and thats how we met a lot of people is by doing that.

Homeowner association fees, which are $45 a month, open the doors for community members to try new things.

The village center is the neighborhoods hub, offering various classes, activities and recreation.

Along with the more standard amenities, such as a pool and tennis courts, Grant Ranch takes advantage of Bowles Reservoir.

You can actually get scuba certified here on the property, McNulty said. They do some of it in the pool, and then for the open water they take some of them on the lake and certify them right here.

For those who prefer to keep their heads above water, there are other options for enjoying the reservoir.

We have boats here that the residents can use for free, and we have kayaks, canoes, rowboats, pedal boats, and we also have sailboats, which we offer for the summertime, McNulty said.

The community also has special events, such as last weekends Christmas festival, which offered activities and a visit from Santa Claus.

Kevin and Mia Bearley beamed as their 6-month-old daughter, Storm, met Santa for the first time.

Actually, shes pretty excited about the whole thing, Mia Bearley said.

Santa stayed well past his original curtain call, spending time with children who lined up all morning last Saturday to see him.

And the Grant Ranch neighbors were equally as enthusiastic, as they are about many of the things that make the community unique.

I just think that my neighbors and the whole community the village center and all the activities they do (make Grant Ranch worthwhile), Johnson said.

Grant Ranch isnt a large area, but it offers its residents an array of things to do, making it just right for those who live there.

I think whats nice is, if you want to go to an event thats here, you can pretty much walk, McNulty said.

And thats a good way to avoid speeding tickets.

Contact Matt Gunn at matt@evergreenco.com.