Kipling Villas offers a green and safe location

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By Matt Gunn

Residents of Kipling Villas find benefits in location. On the one hand is the system of greenbelts bisecting the neighborhood. On the other, easy access to the restaurants and retail of South Jeffco has appeal.

“We’ve lived here about 15 years now, and one of the reasons we moved here at the time was we wanted to be closer to Clement Park,” said Ken Schauer, an active Kipling Villas resident. “The prices in Kipling Villas were lower than the prices in Woodmar, so we ended up buying a house here so we could get more for our money.”

Kipling Villas consists of about 800 homes between West Bowles Avenue to the north, West Coal Mine Avenue on the south, South Kipling Street to the west and South Wadsworth Boulevard to the east.

The neighborhood is near such shopping amenities as Southwest Plaza and the many retailers along Wadsworth, and a number of options for entertainment and recreation.

“A lot of the houses here — I don’t know what percentage — back to the greenbelt, which is Lilley Gulch,” said Mark Donohue, president of the Kipling Villas homeowner association. “All the ball fields back into there, too.”

Several years ago, Kipling Villas set itself apart by becoming one of the first areas in the state to hold an election to become a special tax district, thereby funding additional care of its greenbelts and amenities offered by the Foothills Park and Recreation District.

“It was one of the first because the laws had changed with the state where you could create subdistricts, or improvement districts as they called them, so the entire district wouldn’t be paying for an improvement that’s really going to help a small portion of your district,” said Colin Insley, Foothills director of parks, planning and construction.

Voters approved the measure in May 2002, providing a bond and mill levy to improve and then maintain its greenbelts. The result was new stone signage, irrigation and new grass and trees.

“It’s one of those things where some of the neighborhoods don’t have a central focus as far as the neighborhood,” Schauer said. “And we do in the greenbelts.”

Within Kipling Villas is also the Lilley Gulch Recreation Center and Pool, a 25-year-old Foothills facility that offers swimming, gymnastics and a full gym. The recreation center was remodeled recently and provides year-round indoor activities.

The neighborhood itself was built in the 1970s and has a distinct feel.

“There’s a lot of good people here, and there’s a lot of established people here who are original owners,” Donohue said.

Membership in the Kipling Villas Homeowners Association is voluntary. There are no strict rules on what color to paint a house or what landscaping to use, and the group gets more general questions about tidiness and vehicles.

And while the neighborhood is diverse, those who live there feel safe.

“I’m hard-pressed to say there’s much crime that I know of,” Donohue said. “There’s the odd reprobate around, but I’ve left the keys in my truck a dozen times.”

Three Kipling Villas schools

Colorow Elementary

Address: 6317 S. Estes St.

Principal: Sandy Burch

School day: 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Grades: Kindergarten-6

Mascot: Ute Bear

Colors: Red and white

Articulation area: Dakota Ridge

Summit Ridge Middle School

Address: 11809 W. Coal Mine Ave.

Principal: Lisa Myles

School day: 7:55 a.m. to 3:30p.m.

Grades: 7-8

Mascot: Hawks

Colors: Forest green and silver

Articulation: Dakota Ridge

Dakota Ridge High School

Address: 13399 W. Coal Mine Ave.

Principal: Jim Jelinek

School day: 7:10 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

Grades: 9-12

Mascot: Eagles

Colors: Cardinal, navy and white

Articulation: Dakota Ridge

Contact Matt Gunn at matt@evergreenco.com.