HOLA – Highlands Overlook Landowners' Association

HOLA Questions & Answers


Highlands Overlook Landowners Association

Here are some frequently asked questions of the board and chairperson

Q. Is there a resource/person that can assist with our tree questions?

A.  One of our members is a State Licensed-Consulting Arborist.  Kim Syrel-contact  email:tree.tech@tutamail.com

   A Forestry graduate who became a State Licensed-Consulting Arborist.  In the Aroboriculture field for over 30 years.  Specializes in Entomology, Pathology and Tree Disorders.  Experienced with fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides and proper pruning techniques to include Vista pruning.

On January 12, 2015 the HOLA Board contacted Central Maine Power (CMP) to obtain some information on the CMP transmission line that crosses HOLA properties. The following questions were asked. The answers from CMP are in red.

1. Does CMP own the property or does it just have easement rights to the 100 foot wide corridor crossing HOLA lands (through Sandy River, Dallas Plantations)?
CMP does not own the property; they only have easement rights.

2. There is a statement on the CMP website that reads as follows. “Where CMP has easement rights only over a landowner’s property, the landowner may post their property or prohibit all uses as long as it does not conflict or interfere with the maintenance or operation of CMP. No permission is required from CMP.”  Is this statement (from the CMP website) correct? YES

3. Does this mean that a landowner can prohibit foot traffic, bicycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles from crossing their land that is contained within the CMP transmission line easement? YES

4. What can a landowner, whose property is contained within the CMP transmission line easement, do or have on this property.

  • Plant trees, or have a permanent (foundation type-house/garage) structure? NO
  • Construct an active driveway or do excavation on the land? Requires CMP Approval
    For all of the following activities there were no straight-forward “YES” answers. All of these activities required discussion/site visits with CMP and are handled on a “case by case” basis.
  • Plant shrubs, or perform landscaping?
  • Store equipment, material, boats, cars, etc.?
  • Have a shed (non-permanent structure)?
  • Have well or septic system?
  • Construct a fence or barrier?
  • Use the land for agriculture (commercial) or a private garden?
  • Use the land for grazing of animals?

The CMP representative made the following points: a) they are most concerned with things/activities close to the center of the easement, or near the lines or poles, but have fewer issues with things near the outside borders of the easement, b) while the need for site visits and discussion on these various issues may seem overly restrictive, they make every effort to accommodate private landowners. It was noted that there are many septics, wells, sheds, and/or items being stored on their easement corridors.
The CMP Real estate Office that deals with these matters may be reached at: (207) 626-9817.

  1. How do HOLA (residents/renters) SNOWMOBILES get to the lake from the Overlook?
    a. You may ride along the north side Overlook Road – staying close to the road and within the orange cones to reach Route 4 and follow path to the lake.  Access is restricted to HOLA owners/residents/renters within HOLA association. This is NOT a public trail AND NOT FOR ATVs.     See snowmobile only map click here 
  2. How do HOLA (residents/renters) SNOWMOBILES get to the lake from the Highlands?
    a. The trail is marked on Kendall Farm Trail; follow signs for lake access  Access is restricted to HOLA owners/residents/renters within HOLA association. This is NOT a public trail AND NOT FOR ATVs.  See snowmobile only map click here 
  3. Can you tell me about the B & B in the Highlands?
    a. The Douglas Family realizes that many home and land owners in HOLA today did not own properties when we bought our lot in 1996 and therefore were not involved in the town meetings, HOLA discussions and informal opportunities to meet the Douglas Family in person to hear the plans for the property prior to our purchasing it. We did everything with consideration of our neighbors specifically our abutting neighbors when we consider buying land in Rangeley. We were interested in purchasing land that we could build a Bed and Breakfast on. When considering the purchase of the Lakeview Highland’s property, we would only buy it if we received a conditional use permit (CUP) from the town of Rangeley. Our request was for a small B&B (no more than five rooms) in accordance with “residential zoning” laws. There were many folks concerned, many town meetings, even one town meeting that a Senator of the State attended to hear our plans. We answered everyone’s questions with satisfaction and were granted by the town of Rangeley (which our property is in the limits of) the conditional use permit (CUP) for the property and future building which provided us what we required to buy the lot. We have had many guests over the years and have not received one compliant from our neighbors. If you hear of any please let us know so that we may address it in person.
    Dave and Nancy Douglas
  4. What are the requirements for road width within HOLA?
    a. HOLA owned land for the roads (and right of ways) vary between 30 to 60 feet wide.
    b. There is a great variety in suggested road widths. Most of the roads within HOLA are 14-18’ wide.
    c. According to Wiki Answers: In any case, lanes are usually about 7 or 8 feet wide, so a road with two lanes would be between 14 and 16 feet wide. Cars are 5.5 to 6.5 feet wide.
    d. Dallas Hill Road traveling surface is 20 feet
    e. Route 4 traveling surface is 22 feet
  5. Why are the roads crowned so much?
    a. The most important thing to encourage proper drainage on roads located on gentle terrain is to make sure that the road has a “crown” – that it is higher at the center than at its sides – so water will drain to ditches or off onto the surrounding landscape, and not stay on the road. A crown should be 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch high for every foot of the road’s width from centerline to side, according to Lanoie.
  6. Why do we need good ditches?
    a. According to Russ Lanoie of Conway, NH (whose business includes dirt and gravel road construction and maintenance) the problems with dirt and gravel roads can be boiled down to the three principles: Drainage, Drainage, Drainage! Whether you have ruts, roadside erosion, cave-ins, the root of the problem is usually the road’s inability to handle water. The primary outlet for drainage is the roadside ditch and these ditches should not get closer than a foot from the roadside. Maintaining dirt and gravel roads isn’t easy but it is less expensive and easier to maintain than a paved one.
  7. What happens to the dirt that is removed from the ditches?
    a. We are always looking for places to dispose of the dirt that is removed during ditching. It is less expensive for HOLA if we can find a place within the HOLA properties to dispose of the dirt that is removed from the ditches instead of paying for a truck and driver to transport it across town or several miles away to dispose of it. If anyone would like “fill” which contains rocks, roots, dirt etc that is removed from the ditches—just let the board know so your name can go on the list for next year. A location has to be predetermined so that when the work is being done the contractor can just dump it in the correct place.
  8. Does everyone have “deeded water access” if they own property within HOLA?
    a. No, not everyone has chosen to own the waterfront. But, if you purchase property without deeded water access, you may purchase it from the Association. See waterfront page for details.
  9. What do I need to know prior to starting a building project?
    a. HOLA Owners who start a project requiring excavation and/or the use of heavy trucks in the HOLA area are required to forward a non-refundable payment of $1,000 for the construction of a new home and $500 for other projects requiring heavy equipment, 72 hours prior to commencing work, to the HOLA Treasurer. See Road Policy for more details.
  10. Does HOLA have any employees?
    a. No, all work done to take care of the business of the organization is done be volunteers. The Board of Directors volunteer for a 3 year term and are elected at the annual meeting by the membership.
  11. Do you need to be a full time resident to be on the Board of Directors?
    a. No, the board meets 6 times a year, usually Jan. Mar. May, July, Sept. and November on the second Saturday of the month
  12. Does everyone in HOLA have Waterfront Property rights?

a. No, there are 3 categories of waterfront rights.  See details on the HOLA waterfront policies and requirements page.

13.  How do I find an ATV trail? 

   a.  There is NO Access to ATV Trails from the Highlands or Overlook properties! You must transport your ATV to a trial head.  There are two ATV clubs in the area Oquossoc ATV Club (oqcatvclub@gmail.com) and Flagstaff Area ATV Club (www.flagstaffatvclub.com) that maintain trails and have maps available. click for Oquossoc area map.  click for Flagstaff area map  

14. Can ATVs go to the HOLA waterfront?
a. It is illegal for ATVs to travel on Rte 4.  Consequently ATVs are not allowed to access the HOLA waterfront property.

b. “Until such time that it is legal for ATVs to use Route 4 to access the HOLA Waterfront, from both the Highlands and the Overlook, the prohibition of ATVs at the waterfront shall remain intact”.

15. What are policies re: ATV and snowmobiles on HOLA Roads?

a. Please remember that HOLA roads are not to be used for trail riding for ATV’s or Snowmobiles. HOLA roads may be used by members to access trails or to visit other HOLA properties. Please note that the new signs on the power line are there to inform non HOLA members that using the HOLA roads as trails is not allowed.

16. What do I need to know when I plan to build on my property in the Highlands Overlook Landowners Association (HOLA) area?

Please see our website:www.holarangeley.org  for more information

  1. Building permits (for new construction and/or addition to an existing building) must be applied for and received prior to the start of any project.  Please check with Rangeley town office or Land Use Planning Commission for the plantations.
  1. HOLA owns the road right-of-ways and maintains all roads within the Association.  Most road right-of-ways are 50-60 feet wide.
  1. All roads will be posted each spring, as the weather dictates, against travel by heavy trucks hauling materials and equipment (excavating, well drilling, lumber, cement, moving vans over 23,000 GWT, etc.).
  1. HOLA Owners who start a project requiring any excavation involving the use of heavy trucks in the HOLA area are required to forward a non-refundable road fee payment. For the construction of a new home the amount is $1,000. For all other projects involving heavy equipment the payment amount is $500. These payments to HOLA must be made at least 72 hours prior to commencing work.
    Submit the appropriate fee to the HOLA Treasurer, P.O. Box 262, Rangeley, ME 04970 Attn: Jeff Zapolsky
  1. Utilities within HOLA are underground. Owners are responsible to bring all utilities to their property.  Contact CMP for electricity, local contractors will facilitate water and septic installations, Consolidated Communications for telephone or internet, several satellite l TV/internet service providers are available.
  1. No excavation of HOLA roads or within the road right-of-ways may begin without first contacting the HOLA Road Commissioner. (Dave Douglas 443-822-9043). Culverts must be 15” or larger.
  1. No excavating in the road right-of-ways of HOLA may be undertaken without first notifying the agency “Dig Safe”. They must be contacted at least three (3) business days before the proposed time of excavation so that they can mark the location of underground utilities. It is the responsibility of the owner/contractor to mark the proposed excavation site for “Dig Safe”. The “Dig Safe” telephone number is 1-888-344-7233.  Drill, excavate, blast, drive posts or pipes, it’s Maine law that you contact “Dig Safe”.