Government Overlay Of Metro Denver - or "What About That Zip Code?

100 Real Estate Tips in 100 Days (Day 33)

by Guest Blogger, Larry D. McGee, The Berkshire Group, REALTORS
Metropolitan Denver can be extraordinarily confusing when it comes to government service delivery and city denvergovernmentoverlayboundaries. Denver itself is really easy to understand, if somewhat unique. First, Denver is a Home Rule City, the top of the legal food chain in Colorado. In addition to being a City, Denver is also a County, and Denver is generally referred to as "The City and County of Denver". Denver also shares a compatible school district, so all children in Denver that attend public schools attend Denver Schools. It is also true that water in Denver is supplied by the Denver Board of Water Commissioners. The Commissioners are appointed by Denver's Mayor, although the Water Board sells water to many of the surrounding suburban communities.

Now it gets a bit messy. Some of the near northern suburbs have Denver zip codes, even though they are not in Denver. Littleton, a suburb south of Denver and the Arapahoe County seat, has a zip code zone that extends into Jefferson County and Douglas County, so Highlands Ranch and large area of south Jefferson County have Littleton address, even though they are not in Littleton.

Englewood, a small suburb located between Littleton and Denver has a zip code zone that includes much of the Denver Technological Center (DTC), which is largely located in the City oif Greenwood Village, except for a part located in Denver. Parks and street maintenance in DTC are supported in part by the Goldsmith Metropolitan District. Greenwood Village provides police protection for that part of DTC not located in Denver, however fire protection is provided by South Metro District, and the school district is Cherry Creek School District #5, Arapahoe County.

Please do not confuse Cherry Hills Village with Cherry Creek Schools or the Cherry Creek Neighborhood. The Village is located in Arapahoe County, bordering Denver, has Cherry Creek Schools, gets water from Denver, and maintains its own police department. (but not a fire department, that is South Metro again). The Cherry Creek School District is large, and serves the cities of Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, Centennial, Aurora, Foxridge, Glendale, and large areas of unincorporated Arapahoe County.

Are you with me so far? If not, do not be too concerned. Half the people that live here do not understand the various government overlay districts. There are over 200 of them in Metro Denver. Just do not assume zip codes relate to cities, or that the names of school districts relate to the areas served. There are library districts, water districts, recreational districts, cultural districts, fire districts, metropolitan districts, school districts, cities, counties (7), and it mostly works pretty seamlessly for residents and visitors alike. Just be certain before you buy a home, you know which government is providing what services for the tax dollar you pay.

Copyright Kristal Kraft ~ all Rights Reserved

About 100 Real Estate and Relocation Tips In 100 Days

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