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community information
Artesian Lakes Community Association


Amenities Artesian Lakes Community Association is a gated community adjacent to The Retreat at Artesian Lakes. The Retreat is not part of the Artesian Lakes Community Association.

Owners have access to the boathouse that is shared with the resort, at the corner of  Smith Loop N and Smith Loop W. The boathouse is open-air with a  small kitchen and restrooms. There are several picnic tables. Boat slips may be rented through the resort for a small monthly fee. Electric motors only, please! There are no gas motors permitted on the lakes at any time. There are 3 artesian wells installed by the Association that run at all times to keep the lake levels high. The wells are owned by the Association.

Swimming Pool and Fitness Center
Swimming Pool and Fitness Center The resort has an artesian-fed swim lake with 2 giant slides along with a saltwater swimming pool. There is also a 12-person hot tub, bathhouse, roof-top sunning deck, shaded sand terrace, a large tent with picnic tables, and a fire ring.

These are all owned by the resort but residents have access to the fitness center, swimming pool and other amenities via an agreement with the adjacent Retreat at Artesian Lakes.

Fishing There are several hundred acres of private lakes, most of which are interconnected. Fishing is permitted in the lakes. Sportfish are stocked periodically and solar-powered fish feeders are installed in several areas to ensure healthy growth. Most fish are catch and release; however, catfish and crappie may be kept. ***BASS ARE STRICTLY CATCH AND RELEASE***

There is a special fishing area just for kids. Blue Gill Pond is heavily stocked and children are "almost guaranteed" to catch fish.

Bait and limited fishing supplies are available for purchase at the store in The Hospitality House at the resort.

Canoe and Boat Rentals
Canoe and Boat Rentals Canoe and Electric powered boat rentals are available through Tempe Creek Ranch who has an office onsite. They may be contacted at 936-967-0719 or

Important Information

Wildlife There are numerous varieties of wildlife throughout the area including alligator turtles, alligators, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, snakes, rabbits, deer, armadillos, possum, owls and more. There is also abundant birds and waterfowl.

The alligator population in the lakes is quite high and no removal efforts will be made unless an alligator becomes a problem or nuisance. If, after reading the following, you determine that an alligator on your property is a "nuisance”, please contact the Texas Game Warden office at 281-842-8100 or Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) law enforcement communications center in Austin at (512) 389-4848.  If the nuisance alligator is located within the Artesian Lakes Common Area, please notify either Wyatt or Jimmy Smith as they have the responsibility of contacting TPWD to obtain the permit to remove alligators from the Common Area.

Alligators will generally avoid people if possible. it is illegal to intentionally or unintentionally feed an alligator. This includes throwing fish scraps from cleaning into the lakes.

MUTUAL RESPECT (how to coexist):

The American alligator was once very common in rivers, creeks, and backwater sloughs of East and South Texas.  Unregulated market hunting and habitat alteration resulted in near extirpation of the species in Texas by the 1950’s. Legal protection, enhanced habitat conditions, and new water impoundment projects have resulted in a rapid repopulation of Texas by alligators during the past 20 years. To complicate matters, an ever-expanding human population continues to encroach upon the alligator’s domain. These factors contribute to increased encounters between alligators and people. Most Texans in "gator country" will live in close proximity to these native reptiles with no confrontations. However, there are occasions when certain alligators become "a nuisance" and must be handled by the proper authorities.  What is needed is a better-educated populace more able to recognize the few nuisance alligators and to coexist safely with the majority of alligators that are not nuisances. The current legal definition of a nuisance gator is "an alligator that is depredating [killing livestock or pets] or a threat to human health or safety" under definitions laid out in the Texas Administrative Code (Title 31, Part 2, Chapter 65, Section 65.352). The following information should help you determine if the observed alligator may pose a threat to you or your property.  

· If you hear an alligator hiss, it’s a warning that you are too close.

· If the alligator is not approaching people or otherwise posing an obvious threat, wait a few days if possible - even up to a week - before contacting TPWD. In spring and summer, alligators are moving to breed and find new habitats. Most of the alligators moving around are smaller ones that have been pushed out of their normal habitat by larger alligators. Usually, these smaller alligators will move further on in a week or two.

Alligators have a natural fear of humans and usually begin a quick retreat when approached by people. Some alligators in Artesian Lakes have lost much of this natural fear due to frequent feeding by guests. If you have a close encounter with an alligator a few yards away, back away slowly. It is extremely rare for wild alligators to chase people, but they can run up to 35 miles per hour for short distances on land. Never make the mistake of thinking that an alligator is slow and lethargic. Alligators are extremely quick and agile and will defend themselves when cornered. A female protecting her nest might charge a person who gets too close to the nest, but she would quickly return to the nest after the intruder left.

· It is not uncommon for alligators to bask along the banks of a pond or stream for extended periods of time. These alligators are usually warming their bodies; they are not actively hunting. Often times a basking alligator may be seen with its mouth open; this is a way to cool its body temperature down since alligators do not pant or sweat. An approaching human should cause these alligators to retreat into the water. In some cases, the alligator may be protecting a nest. However, an alligator may be considered a nuisance if it leaves the banks of the water body to spend time near homes, livestock pens, or other structures.

· If you walk near the water and an alligator comes straight toward you, especially if it comes out of the water, it is definitely a nuisance alligator that needs to be reported to TPWD. In many cases, these are alligators that have been fed by people or have been allowed to eat human food.

· If you see an alligator while walking a pet make sure that your pet is on a leash and under your control. Your pet will naturally be curious and the alligator may see an easy food source. Alligators have a keen sense of smell. In areas near alligator sightings, which is virtually everywhere within Artesian Lakes, it is wise to keep pets and small children inside a fenced area or in the house for a few days, during which the alligator will often move on.

· If you see an alligator in the roadway, DO NOT approach it or attempt to move it. Notify RAL so the alligator can be handled safely. The alligators at Artesian Lakes frequently move between lakes across roadways.

· It is wise not to swim in the lakes – the community pool and Swim Lake are safer. If you see an alligator, DO NOT swim with it. Although alligator attacks in Texas are rare, it can happen. “Attack” reports are usually more accurately described as “encounters”. As with all outdoor activities, realize that wildlife encounters are always a possibility. 

· It is not uncommon for alligators to pursue top-water fishing lures, and this activity does not constitute a threat to humans. As with fish, alligators are attracted to these lures because they mimic natural food. Most alligators can be easily scared away from boats or fishing lures. However, alligators that repeatedly follow boats, canoes, or other watercraft, and/or maintain a close distance without submerging may be considered a nuisance.

· If you see a nuisance alligator, consider why it is there. Did someone clean fish and throw the remains into the water there? If so, they created a potential alligator problem and could be breaking Texas state regulations. Since October 1, 2003, it has been a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 for anyone caught feeding an alligator. Private communities, such as Artesian Lakes, are not exempt from this regulation.

DO’S and DON’Ts (for the humans):

Do – enjoy viewing and photographing wild alligators from a safe distance of at least 30 feet or more. Remember that they’re an important part of Texas’s natural history, as well as an integral component of many wetland ecosystems.

Don’t – kill, harass, molest, or attempt to move alligators. State law prohibits such actions, and the potential is high for being bitten or injured by a provoked alligator.

Do – call Artesian Lakes personnel or TPWD if you encounter a nuisance alligator that constitutes a real danger.

Don’t – allow small children or pets to be by themselves without supervision near the lakes.

Do – swim ONLY in Swim Lake or the community pool, which are provided for that purpose.

Don’t – swim at night or during dusk or dawn when alligators most actively feed.

Do – use ordinary common care. Swim only during daylight hours.

Don’t – feed or entice alligators, as they will overcome their natural shyness and become accustomed to or attracted by humans when fed.

Do – inform others that feeding alligators creates problems for those who want to use the lakes for recreational purposes.

Don’t – throw fish scraps into the water or leave them on shore; although not intentionally feeding alligators, the end result can be the same.

Do – dispose of fish scraps in trash cans.

Don’t – remove any alligators from their natural habitat. It is a violation of state law to do so. Alligators do not become tame in captivity and handling even small ones may result in bites. In particular, never go near baby alligators or pick them up; they may seem cute and harmless, but their mother will be nearby and will protect her clutch for a least two years.


Adult alligators are usually solitary but can become quite social during certain periods. At dusk, they become more active, but activity can be seen during all periods of the day. Peak levels of courtship, for instance, occur in the early morning. An alligator will eat any animal it can overcome. Hunting strategies include waiting unseen for prey to stray too close or moving slowly toward prey without being detected. Large animals are usually taken while drinking at the water’s edge.

Alligators swim with their legs tucked against their body, moving forward quietly by sweeping their powerful tail from side to side. While swimming on the surface of the water, an alligator can often approach its prey without being noticed because it so closely resembles a floating log.

While an alligator is swimming on the surface, only its head and part of its back are visible. Important senses are still at work – they can breathe, see, hear, and smell.

When an alligator cruises around slowly and submerges simply to disappear or rest beneath the water, it can remain there from one to several hours, provided it stays still or moves slowly. More activity or higher temperatures require the alligator to surface more often in order to breathe. During exceptionally cool weather, alligators may stay submerged for more than eight hours.

The breeding season corresponds to warming temperatures and lengthening days from mid-April through mid-May. Water levels and temperatures can affect breeding and nesting activities. As courtship progresses, one alligator will allow a close and peaceful approach by another of the opposite sex. Courting pairs may swim in the same vicinity for several days prior to mating and may even sun together. The female will allow a male to stroke her back or head with his forearm. Usually, the smaller female will swim to the male, and she will try to press the male underwater. If she is able to accomplish this without the male pressing her underwater, she will leave the area in search of another mate. The female may swim around the male, touching or bumping his head or neck. Either may submerge to blow a stream of bubbles past the other’s head. Eventually, the male swims alongside the female, bending his body and tail beneath hers while holding onto her neck with one forelimb. Both submerge, and copulation occurs underwater. The two may remain in the same vicinity for a short while after mating. Both sexes may mate with several partners during the same season.

About two months after mating, the female builds her nest by scraping together a mound of earth and plant debris about two to three feet high and six to seven feet in diameter. When she is ready, she digs a hole in the nest mound with her back feet, straddles the nest and lays between 15 and 60 eggs in the cavity of the nest, using her hind feet to break the fall of the eggs. Most female alligators in the wild begin reproducing at eight to ten years of age, but under ideal conditions, they can reproduce a few years earlier.

The female alligator guards her nest carefully, spending many hours resting with her chin on top of it. If an intruder approaches, she turns to face the threat, hisses, and lunges with an open mouth if the intruder comes too close. The female stays on or very near the nest until the young are ready to hatch, and she often assists the babies in escaping from the nest and eggs. The young may stay near their nest area for up to a year, but as they grow older, adult females will chase them from the area, as they are a threat to any newly hatched babies. As they reach maturity, they will roam widely in search of suitable habitats not occupied by larger alligators. Females between the ages of 5 and 10 years of age will establish a nesting territory and rarely roam more than 0.5 miles away from this site. Males usually wander more and may have a home range of 2,000 acres.

Alligators change their dietary habits as they age. The young feed primarily on aquatic invertebrates, small fish and frogs. As they grow older, they eat larger frogs, snakes, small rodents and fish. Mature adults eat primarily fish, turtles, snakes, wading birds, and small mammals. They will catch muskrats, turtles, waterfowl and small mammals that get close to the water’s edge, preferring to gulp down these small portions whole. Very large alligators may occasionally pull in and drown larger mammals such as deer or wild pigs, but even adults may continue to feed on insects.

Vocalizations change as juveniles mature. Grunts are replaced with hisses, head slaps, and bellows. Hisses are created as the alligator passes air through its throat. Head slaps are magnificent displays in which the alligator raises its head and tail several feet out of the water, then quickly opens its mouth and slams its entire head down onto the surface of the water, making a loud splash. Immediately after the splash, the males thrash their tails violently from side to side and emit a low growling noise. They may produce the water dance as well, a series of sub-audible “pulses” of sound so strong that they cause the water to literally “dance” in droplets 10 or 15 inches off the surface of the alligator’s back. This head slap is often heard at the onset of the mating season and is associated with males staking out territories. Bellows sound like the rumbling of thunder and can be heard up to half a mile away. To bellow, the alligator assumes a high floating posture with its head and tail elevated above the surface, and then it produces the sub-audible vibrations and the water dance, followed a few seconds later by the low bellow.

Alligators also communicate by watching each other. Usually, a hierarchy exists. Larger, more powerful alligators, simply by their presence, induce smaller ones to give up sunning or resting spots. Subtle changes in an alligator’s posture, such as raising the body slightly above the water’s surface, can have unmistakable meanings. Dominant individuals consistently display more of their body above the surface, while subordinate animals will sink below the surface as dominant animals approach. This clear social signaling prevents many “negative” encounters, reducing the chance of injury.

Adaptations: Sharp teeth, claws, and tough, scaly skin add both protection and efficiency.

Alligators are often seen dragging themselves forward on their bellies as they slide off a bank into the water. For this reason, many people do not know that alligators usually get around on land by raising their bellies off the ground and walking on all four legs. They can also run, and some crocodilians have even been known to gallop for short distances. They are not adapted for running long distances, but are capable of sudden bursts of speed, either to retreat into the water or to charge out of the water and onto shore to grab a morsel such as a discarded fish. A nesting female usually charges anyone who walks too close to her nest.

Alligator jaws are designed for catching, killing, and hanging on to prey and not for chewing food. Alligators swallow small morsels whole and will dismember larger prey. Like a bird, the alligator ingests stones and pebbles to aid in breaking down food particles for digestion. The stones are held in a pouch-like muscular portion of the stomach.

The eyes of an alligator sit well back on the top of the head so that they can take in a wide field of view. Alligators have excellent vision, even at night. Their eyes have two sets of eyelids. The outer set closes like ours, from top to bottom. The inner eyelid, called the “nictitating membrane,” closes from rear to front and is transparent. This membrane covers and protects the sensitive eyeball like built-in goggles, permitting the gator to see clearly underwater.

Crocodilians possess a four-chambered heart that provides more efficient blood circulation. The more complex circulatory system is beneficial when alligators stay submerged for long periods. While they hold their breath, blood is routed through the heart to bypass the lungs as no fresh oxygen can be added to the blood supply. This conserves oxygen for the remaining organs. The amount of time an alligator can stay submerged depends on the animal’s size and the temperature of the water. On warm days, they can stay underwater for approximately 45 minutes. On cooler days, their metabolism slows, and they may stay submerged for much longer periods of time.

Socketed teeth that grow from openings in the jawbone are conical, with a hollow root. The exposed portion of the tooth is solid. New teeth begin forming inside the hollow root of the older teeth and will eventually replace them at regular intervals. Alligators may grow more than 6000 teeth during their lifespan.

Crocodilian brains possess a small cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that controls conscious thought, an adaptation that adds efficiency and survivability in the wild.

Eggshells have two layers: 1) the outer part is hard and thick like a chicken egg, and 2) the inner layer is a thick membrane. During the seventh week of incubation, the shell begins to develop a network of tiny cracks. It is thought that bacteria from the moist nest aids in the deterioration of the tough outer shell. Just before hatching, a small “egg tooth” develops on the end of the baby’s snout. When incubation is complete, the baby uses its egg tooth to tear through the membrane.


Board of Directors
Board of Directors The Association is operated by a 5 member Board of Directors who volunteer their time for the benefit of the community. 

The Board members are elected by the membership at the annual meeting. The terms held are determined by the position. The Annual Meeting is held in December of each year. If a director is unable to complete their full term, the Board will appoint someone to fill that seat until that term expires. 

A list of the current board members is available on the Key Personnel page. 

The Board of Directors elects the officers after the annual meeting. The term of all officers is staggered. A description of each position is available on the Become a Volunteer page. 

The Board of Directors meets quarterly. Meetings are held at the homes of the Board Members and it rotates from member to member. The meeting agenda is posted at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. 

All meetings are open to residents. If there is a specific topic you would like placed on the agenda, please contact your community representative at least ten days in advance.

Exterior Modifications
Exterior Modifications All exterior alterations or improvements to property in Artesian Lakes must be reviewed and approved in advance of construction by the Architectural Review Committee (ARC). Residents must submit a home improvement application describing the work to be performed. The ARC will review the request and render a decision within 30 days. If it is not approved as submitted, the ARC may provide suggestions for making changes so it can be resubmitted for approval.   

To complete your application, click on Ask. Request. Submit. There you will enter all of the information needed in order for the committee to make an informed decision. Any applications dealing with the exterior appearance of the house (such as painting or roofing) must be accompanied with project details or the application might be disapproved for lack of information. Also include a plat map or survey of the property that indicates the project in conjunction with the property lines and easements when applicable. 

As soon as you have gathered your information, you are ready to get started.

Visit the Community Documents page to review all of the Artesian Lakes governing documents or click Modification Guidelines.

Assessments The assessments are due on January 1st of each year and provide for services in the community. Every owner has an obligation to pay the annual assessment. If you do not receive a statement, please submit an accounts receivable request to C.I.A. Services to confirm your balance and ensure it is paid on time. 

You may submit your payment by mail, in person, or online.

Lost Pet Flyers
Lost Pet Flyers Losing a pet is traumatic and quickly posting flyers is effective. Here are a few tips for what information you should and should NOT include on a flyer, for your own safety. Please remove flyers as soon as you’ve located your pet. 

DO NOT include your name, your address, or a specific reward amount on your flyer! The type of people that you hope will call are animal lovers who don’t care about the money and not folks looking to make a quick buck. Whenever you go to claim your pet, be sure to take someone with you, and do not pay any reward until you actually have your pet back. If someone asks you to wire money because he or she found your pet but is now in a different city, DO NOT BELIEVE IT, as this is a common scam.

Services and Utilities

Mailboxes and Newspapers
Mailboxes and Newspapers Mailboxes are located on the east side of the Hospitality House. Boxes are a one-time fee of $100 which includes 2 keys. Owners are responsible for ordering nameplates for the boxes by calling Ron’s Trophies at 281-592-9350.

Outgoing mail may be dropped in the "Outgoing Mail" slot in the mailboxes. Mail is picked daily except on Sundays and holidays.

The Romayer post office is located on the main street behind the Romayor Grocery and Valero (CR 2150).

FedEx/UPS deliveries must go to your house. The Hospitality House does NOT accept mail or packages for residents. The address for your home is your lot # and street name, Cleveland, TX 77327.

Houston Chronicle delivers to the gate on FM 787.
The Cleveland Advocate is available, along with the Chronicle, at the Valero in Romayer.

Cable TV
Cable TV Cable service is provided by DirecTV or Dish.

Propane Propane is delivered by Lambert Propane (281-592-3700) or Lamb Propane (936-653-3537). You must contact them to set up your account.

Water Service
Water Service Artesian Lakes has a private water source that is shared with the resort.

Trash Services
Trash Services Piney Woods Sanitation 

Weekly pickup on Tuesdays. Trash bins are picked up from the edge of the road. Only 1 (one) bin per home will be provided by Piney Woods Sanitation, additional bins can be purchased for $12.00/per month for each additional bin.

Operation Refuge at 904 E. Houston (across from Brookshire Brothers) takes recycling with the exception of glass.

Important Contacts

Cleveland Police Dept.: 281-592-2621
Cleveland Animal Control: 281-592-2622
North Liberty County Vol. Fire Dept.: 281-592-2050
Liberty County Game Warden: 936-336-4586
Forest Service (fire reporting): 888-434-7389
Poison Control: 800-222-1222
Post Office (behind Romayor Grocery): 281-592-2050


Overall Calendar

Community Map


Emergencies and Medical Treatment

Emergencies and Medical Treatment

**Defibrillator is located at the home of Cindy and Charlie Jackson. It is just inside the garage, look for the sign on the door.**

• For major emergencies, dial 911.
  (Ambulance, Fire, or Police/Sheriff)
• Report minor emergencies to:
   Cindy Jackson: 281-433-2714 or
   The Retreat Front desk: 832-397-4008
• Cleveland Regional Medical Center
   300 East Crockett
   Cleveland, TX 77327
   281-593-1811 (non-emergency)

   Security (normal hours) 832-397-4004
   Security (after hours) 832-588-0851

House Call Onsite Services

House Call Onsite Services

Artesian Lakes has a contract for periodic weekend patrol services, especially during the height of the rental season. House calls are on-site services provided by 3 designated officers: David Hunter, Hugh Bishop and James Garner.

Officer Contact Numbers
David Hunter:   281-761-5749
Hugh Bishop:   281-639-9490
James Garner: 281-761-1163

Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement

Liberty County Constable’s Office
Precinct 6
306 Campbell Street
Cleveland, TX 77327
Phone: 281-593-8418

Liberty County Sheriff’s Office
304 Campbell Street
Cleveland, TX 77327
Phone: 281-593-8440

Fire Department

Fire Department

North Liberty County Volunteer Fire Dept.
Highway 787 & FM 2610
Romayor, TX 77368
Ph: 911 or 281-592-2050


Hardin Independent School District

Hardin Independent School District

Hardin ISD
290 County Road 2003 North,
Hardin, TX 77561
Phone: 936-298-2112
Fax: 936-298-9161

Hardin Elementary School
11285 Hwy 146 North,
Hardin, TX 77561
Phone: 936-298-2114
Fax: 936-298-9153

Hardin Junior High School
395 FM 834 East,
Hardin, TX 77561
Phone: 936-298-2054
Fax: 936-298-3264

Hardin High School
501 FM 834 East,
Hardin, TX 77561
Phone: 936-298-2118
Fax: 936-298-3612

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