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  • Writer's pictureMariel Megan Ross

Let's talk about rain barrels in Sterling Ranch

In a water conscious community, rain barrels are a great idea - and allowed by the CAB

A rain barrel in Sterling Ranch

I'm often asked what you can and can't do with your Sterling Ranch home. We thought the Sterling Ranch Roundup would be a helpful forum to answer FAQs. Keep in mind that rules do change so check first with the Community Authority Board (the CAB is Sterling Ranch's equivalent to a HOA) about your particular issue.

With that said, on to today's question!

Question: Can I install a rain barrel in my yard?

Saving water - and saving money on your CAB water bill - is always an area of focus in Sterling Ranch. Rain barrels are always a great option.

What are the CAB rules on rain barrels?

Here's what the Owners Guidebook (Aug. 2020) has to say:

"Rain barrels shall be installed in the rear yard of the lot and shall not be visible from the street-facing elevations of the home. Rain barrels shall appear natural and blend in with the surrounding landscape and architecture of the home. Colors shall be earth tones, wood tones, or muted colors; primary colors are not permitted."

Residents are allowed two 55-gallon rain barrels to collect rainwater for irrigation of their personal gardens and landscaping.

Rain barrels are not permitted to fall into disrepair. Nothing herein shall relieve any Owner from compliance with any plumbing or building requirements, whether local, state or federal."

But do you need the CAB's design review committee (DRC) to approve your rain barrels before you install them?

Vent on a rainbarrel

Here's more from the guidebook:

"DRC approval is not required if ALL the following conditions are met:

(1) the rain barrel(s) is installed in the rear yard,

(2) is 55-gallon capacity or less per barrel,

(3) precipitation is collected only from the rooftop of the residence,

(4) has a minimum setback from the side property line of 5 feet,

(5) is not located within any easement(s), and

(6) is placed to minimize exposure when viewed from any other lot, open space, or street.

If you have a question you'd like the Roundup to look into, feel free to e-mail me at As your Sterling Ranch real estate expert, I'm just as interested in finding out the answers to your questions as you are! We will continue to post FAQs, and answers to those FAQs, from time to time so please check back with the Roundup often!

Last but not least, keep in mind we can't provide legal or other advice to you, and please don't rely on this Roundup post. Check with the CAB if you have any questions.


Mariel Ross is a real estate broker who specializes in helping clients budget for, design, and build their dream homes. We also list and sell homes in Denver for a 1.5% listing commission and love helping resale buyers as well.

At Focus Real Estate we've helped clients build hundreds of new homes around Denver with Lennar, Parkwood, Richmond, Wonderland, Shea, and many other builders. Our 8 brokers have also listed many beautiful homes and represented buyers throughout Denver on resales.

Learn more about what I do here, as well as the cost. In short, if you build in Sterling Ranch or just about every other new neighborhood in Denver your builder pays your realtor, not you, so our services are at no additional cost to you - which is how we're able to offer our free New Home Package.

If you'd like to chat, shoot me a note at and be sure to "Like" the Roundup on Facebook.

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