Frequently Asked Questions

Living in Valley West

Where exactly is Valley West?

Valley West is located in the city of Bozeman, Montana, about 3 miles west of downtown. The original Valley West community is bounded to the north by Durston Road, to the east by Ferguson Avenue, to the south by Babcock Street, to the west by Cottonwood Road, and centers around the large Valley West Park and Meyers Lake. (Within these bounds, Valley West does not include the BronzeLeaf Condominiums in the northwest corner nor the campus of Heritage Christian School.)

The Lakes, the newest section of Valley West, is located south of Durston Road and north of Vaughn Drive, from Westgate Avenue to Westmorland Drive. The community centers around Laurel Parkway and includes two lakes totaling 12 acres.

What kind of homes are in Valley West and the Lakes?

The original Valley West community includes condominiums, duplexes, row houses, and small and large single family homes, some with accessory dwelling units. In the Lakes, residences include single family homes (some with ADUs) and duplexes.

How I can I buy a home in Valley West?

All development lots in the community have been sold by the developer, and the final phases of development (in the Lakes) were completed in 2022. A small number of lots remain undeveloped and may occasionally be offered for sale. Existing homes, as well as the remaining new homes under construction by individual builders, are often listed for sale.

Can I rent in Valley West and The Lakes?

Yes. Subject to restrictions in the community’s Covenants, individual homeowners can rent out either their residence or accessory dwelling unit, but not both. The Valley West Homeowners Association does not manage this process. Additionally, the City of Bozeman has a number of restrictions on short-term rentals (like Airbnb or VRBO). See the HOA FAQs for more information about rentals in Valley West and The Lakes. 

Does Valley West have an HOA?

Yes. Homeowners in Valley West and The Lakes are Members of the Valley West Homeowners Association (HOA), which actively works to maintain HOA property and enhance the quality of life in the Valley West community. Learn more about the Valley West HOA

Do I need permission to make changes to my property or home?

Yes. Homeowners in Valley West and The Lakes must get approval for any plans to add, improve, or modify a structure on their lot. Learn more about the architectural review process

I don’t live in Valley West. Can I still visit?

Yes! Valley West Park (on the east side of Clifden Drive) and the East Lake (east of Laurel Parkway in The Lakes) are Bozeman City Parks. The parks, playgrounds, and pavilions are open to the public, and the pavilions can be reserved. Valley West and The Lakes also offer walking trails (shown in blue on the maps below) and shared use paths (shown in orange).

Parks and Ponds

What is the story with "parks" and "open spaces" in Valley West and The Lakes?

Good question. Valley West Park and the area around the East Lake in The Lakes are Bozeman city parks. There are also numerous open spaces in Valley West and The Lakes, which are shared HOA property and are managed by the Valley West Homeowners Association (this includes the area around the West Lake in The Lakes). These maps show the Bozeman city parks (green) and open spaces (yellow) in Valley West and The Lakes. The HOA manages the open spaces for the benefit of residents, while the city of Bozeman provides landscaping and irrigation services in the parks.

Can I reserve a pavilion?

Yes! The pavilions in Valley West and The Lakes are contained in Bozeman city parks and can be reserved for private events. Information about reserving a pavilion, including fees, can be found at the Bozeman Parks and Recreation website. Follow these links to reserve pavilions in Valley West Park and The Lakes

Will the HOA replace all the dead trees?

The harsh winter of 2022-23 took a toll on the trees in our HOA open spaces. A total of 58 trees were lost: 18 in The Lakes and 40 in original Valley West. In The Lakes, trees had previously been lost due to faulty irrigation systems (that have since been repaired). Unfortunately, the HOA's budget for tree maintenance is not sufficient to replace all of the dead trees immediately. Our landscaping partners have compiled a list of locations where new trees should be planted, and the HOA will replace many of the dead trees in coming years, budget permitting.

In the meantime, the city Parks Division is responsible for removing dead trees from city parks in Valley West and The Lakes. Valley West HOA does not have sufficient budget to maintain trees in the city parks. 

Can I replace those dead trees myself?

Thank you for asking! The HOA is happy for members to contribute by replacing dead trees in HOA open spaces (and adjacent boulevards) at their own expense, as long as they observe the following requirements:

  • Before taking any action, the member notifies the HOA's property manager of the location of the tree to be replaced, and the location is approved by the HOA.
  • The new tree is a species approved by the city for boulevard planting. (Some species of trees, such as aspens, do not hold up well or contribute to the HOA open spaces.)
  • The HOA is informed in advance of the date the new tree will be planted. 
  • The member is responsible for any damage that occurs to the HOA irrigation system in planting the tree.
  • The member is responsible for adequately watering the new tree so it survives. (Normally the HOA's landscaping crews use watering bags to establish new trees, but they will be unable to do this for individual trees planted by members.)

Please note that this policy applies only in HOA open spaces. The HOA has no ability to approve tree projects in city park space.

Thanks for your contribution!

Can I fish in the lakes? Are they stocked?

Meyers Lake (in Valley West Park) and the East Lake (in The Lakes) are contained in Bozeman city parks and are sometimes stocked by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Meyers Lake was stocked with bass in 2021 and rainbow trout in 2023. FWP is evaluating The Lakes for potential stocking in 2023. All of the lakes are public fisheries. As long as you follow Montana guidelines for fishing and license requirements, fishing is permitted. Montana fishing regulations permit anglers to keep 5 trout and 5 bass per day.

Can I float or swim in the ponds? Is the water safe?

Meyers Lake (in Valley West Park) and the East Lake (in The Lakes) are contained in Bozeman City Parks, and the Parks department is ultimately responsible for their upkeep. Floating and swimming are permitted in all three ponds (including the West Lake in The Lakes, which is on HOA property). These are natural water bodies, not swimming pools with carefully calibrated chemicals. The ponds host many kinds of wildlife, including fish, muskrats, insects, leeches, and water fowl. Bird poop can result in growth of E coli and fungus. Algae sometimes grows on the water surface in warm months, despite our HOA's efforts to limit this with our pond maintenance efforts. Obviously don't drink the water, and needless to say, open bodies of water always pose risks of drowning. Otherwise, while the HOA is not aware of any toxic conditions, each person needs to make their own choices about water activities in natural settings. 

What is being done to address water quality in the lakes?

Meyers Lake (in Valley West Park) and the East Lake (in The Lakes) are contained in Bozeman city parks. The Valley West HOA is coordinating with the Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department to address water quality issues in Meyers Lake and The Lakes.

At the 2022 Annual Meeting, HOA members endorsed a reserve project to remediate water quality in Meyers Lake through a variety of interventions, including removal of dead vegetation, water treatments, and installation of an aerator. Our pond maintenance vendor began in Fall 2022 to remove dead vegetation and apply natural treatments to improve water quality. An aerator was installed in Meyers Lake in April 2023.

A comprehensive program of water quality maintenance is being implemented in Meyers Lake in Summer 2023, and the HOA's ponds vendor is also undertaking work in The Lakes to keep the water clear of dead vegetation (which promotes algage growth). The pond maintenance program promotes beneficial bacteria and other natural processes to improve the health of the pond, avoiding the use of chemicals.

HOA operating budgets beginning in 2023-24 include a budget line for Pond Maintenance in Meyers Lake and The Lakes.

What is the water source for Meyers Lake and The Lakes?

All three ponds (Meyers Lake in Valley West and the two ponds in The Lakes) are fed by natural springs and water rising up from the water table. In addition, water is sometimes diverted from Maynard Border Ditch into Meyers Lake. Water exits Meyers Lake into Maynard Ditch via a facility that maintains the water level. In the Lakes, water flows from the East Lake to the West Lake through a pipe under Laurel Parkway, and excess water flows out of the West Lake through a facility on Durston Road that maintains the water level. 

Did you see all those thistles around Meyers Lake?

Many residents commented on the seeming explosion of thistles around Meyers Lake in Summer 2022. Meyers Lake is contained in Valley West Park, therefore landscaping and control of noxious weeds around Meyers Lake is managed by City Parks. 

The City Parks department has let Valley West HOA know that a certified/licensed specialist in weed control in aquatic areas implemented a spraying application for Canadian thistle/Invasive weeds in or near the aquatic areas by Meyers Lake in September 2022. This application/control was specifically targeted for an autumn application to accomplish best practice guidelines and achieve desired results. Additional Native Area Weed Control spraying was completed all the way from Durston Rd. to Babcock St. in Valley West Park. 

City Parks notes that complete eradication of the well-established thistles in this park is very unlikely. The City will continue on an as-needed basis to regularly assess the conditions and utilize the control measures necessary to mitigate/minimize invasive/noxious weeds. Also in October 2022, the city’s landscape contractor established a mowing line closer to Meyers Lake to help keep weeds down. In Spring 2023, City Parks communicated to Valley West HOA, "Our intention will be to hold that line for mowing this season and continue to monitor and treat weeds as needed, utilizing best practices to time effective control measures."

As mentioned elsewhere, Valley West HOA has engaged a pond maintenance company to implement various measures to improve water quality in Meyers Lake, including removing dead vegetation from the water. The HOA appreciates the opportunity to work with the city in maintaining this beautiful facility.

Parking & RVs

Where can I park my car or pick-up truck?

The Valley West Covenants define an “automobile” as “a two, three, or four door passenger vehicle, sports utility vehicle, or pick-up truck with or without a canopy cover or topper, or a moped or motorcycle, which is primarily used for transporting a small number of people over public highways.”

You can park an automobile, thus defined, in your garage, in your driveway, along streets (unless otherwise marked), on designated parking spaces in the woonerfs of The Lakes, and on concrete/gravel pads installed with approval of the Architectural Review Committee.

How long can I park my car in the same place?

Cars and trucks are subject to the City of Bozeman parking ordinances on both the city streets and in designated parking spaces in the HOA's alleys and woonerfs. If automobiles are not moved at least every 72 hours, owners are subject to fines and towing. If you need to park your car for long-term storage, you must do so on your own property (in your driveway or garage). This policy is intended to keep limited parking spaces available for the shared use of all residents and their visitors. 

Where can I park/store my camper or other recreational vehicle?

Most residents of Valley West and The Lakes are NOT permitted to park/store their recreational vehicle outdoors, either on or near their property. (You can always store a recreational vehicle in your garage.)

The Valley West Covenants define a “vehicle” as “any boat, trailer, snowmobile, motor home, mobile home, recreational vehicle, off-highway vehicle, or other similar equipment.”

You can store a vehicle, thus defined, in your garage. Otherwise, one vehicle per lot can be parked on a designated concrete or gravel pad that is installed with the approval of the Architectural Review Committee. RV pads can only be installed on alleys (in original Valley West) and in certain locations on woonerfs (in The Lakes).

According to the Covenants, “No vehicle shall be parked/stored in a driveway or in front of a house.” You can be fined by the HOA for parking/storing a recreational vehicle in your driveway, on the street or woonerf in front of your house, or on a pad that was not approved by the Architectural Review Committee.

What do you mean by “streets,” “alleys,” and “woonerfs?”

Good question! In the original Valley West community (east of Cottonwood Road), the garages and driveways of many residences are located on “alleys” behind the homes. Alleys are narrow, asphalt-paved, and do not have street names. Alleys are maintained by the HOA.

In The Lakes, the garages and driveways of many residences, either behind or in front of the homes, are located on “woonerfs.” Woonerf is a Dutch term referring to a street designed to be pedestrian friendly and function as a social space. Woonerfs in The Lakes have blue street signs with names including “Lane” or “Way,” and they are maintained by the HOA. Sidewalks along woonerfs are level with the road surface, and parking is permitted only in driveways or on designated parking pads.

The remaining asphalt-paved roadways in each community (that are not alleys or woonerfs) are referred to as “streets” in the HOA documents and have green street signs. Streets in our community are public streets maintained by the city of Bozeman.

The Covenants and the Lakes Design Manual include many specifications about permitted installations on and uses of alleys, woonerfs, and streets in our community.

Community Engagement

I love living in Valley West and The Lakes. How can I get more involved?

The Valley West Homeowners Association welcomes your ideas and energy. Join a group of volunteers to help guide our tree planting program. Help form a group to advise the Board on repair and maintenance needs. Suggest any other community activity or interest group, and we’ll publicize it on this website. Contact Us to offer your ideas

I am concerned about a situation in Valley West or The Lakes. Whom should I contact?

For concerns and complaints, contact the HOA's property management company. The property manager can handle many routine issues and will refer complex matters to the Valley West HOA Board for consideration.

How can I learn more about the Covenants and other rules governing Valley West and The Lakes?

See our Documents section for the current Covenants, Rules and Regulations, and the Lakes Design Manual.

What happens at the Annual Meeting of the HOA? Should I attend?

Yes! Homeowners in Valley West and The Lakes are enthusiastically invited to join us at the Annual Meeting of the HOA, held each year in late June. At the Annual Meeting you will learn about activities of the HOA over the past year and plans for the upcoming year. A financial report for the previous fiscal year and proposed budget for the next fiscal year will be presented. Watch your mail and this website for notice of the date and time of the Annual Meeting.

Can I see the minutes of Annual Meetings and HOA Board meetings? Can I review the HOA’s budget and reports of income and expenditures?

All of this information is available to Members of the Valley West Homeowners Association. You will find these documents in the "Shared Documents" section of your Appfolio account. Please contact Legacy Properties to activate your account on Appfolio.

Who manages this website?

Thanks for asking! This website launched in 2022 and is an initiative of the Valley West HOA Board. The website was designed and is hosted by Metcalfe Media. Content of the website is managed by HOA Board members, who are volunteers (and definitely not professional website managers!).

If you have suggestions for this website or would like to help us improve it, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us

Can I submit announcements to share on the website?

Yes! Please contact us with announcements that may be of interest to residents in Valley West and The Lakes, and we’ll share them as appropriate.

We especially welcome announcements of public events taking place in Valley West and The Lakes, which we will post on the Community page. Book club? Block party? Walking group? Let your neighbors know!

I have a question that isn’t answered here. Can you add it to the FAQs?

The professionals at our property management company can answer most of your questions. Beyond that, we appreciate your suggestions for FAQs (or any other content) to add to this website. Contact Us.

Do you have any obnoxious fine print regarding these FAQs?

You bet we do! The contents of this website have not been reviewed by legal counsel and are not legally binding on the HOA, its Board members, or its representatives. Please consult community Documents for guidance regarding requirements of the Valley West Homeowners Association.

Please attend the HOA Annual Meeting June 25 at 6 pm More info

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