Vol. 8, Issue 5
Vol. 8 Issue 5
STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS The official publication of the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association, Inc.
Photo Gallery Summertime Fun Ahead
Stay Informed with Texts
Almost 1,000 SRCA homeowners have opted in so far!
Why Sign Up?
What Makes a Good Neighbor?
Register today for a private online account with CMA
Curb Appeal Corner
Origin Story: The History of Stonebridge Ranch
Save the Date June 2020 Events
For Your Safety
Events and Amenities Closed Through May 31st
Copyright ÂŠ 2020. All rights reserved. Published by Community Matters, Inc., this magazine is produced at no cost to the Association and is mailed monthly to all Stonebridge Ranch residences free of charge.
Cover Photo by Erica Lee
Anecdotes shared by residents to warm your heart
Bluebonnets are synonymous with Texas. When the conditions are just right, weâ€™re lucky enough to see them bloom in various Stonebridge Ranch common areas. We love to see such hopeful signs of spring!
Our annual meeting was held on March 5, 2020 at the Crosspoint church. The Power Point presentation made by the Board and Mayor George Fuller are available on our website (www. stonebridgeranch.com). At the annual meeting, Treasurer Michael Kaltenbaugh pointed out that the Association continues to remain in a very strong financial position. Our financial statements for 2019 have been audited and we have a clean opinion. March 12, 2020 Organizational Board Meeting
Our annual organizational meeting was called to order at 12:28 PM on March 12, 2020 to elect the officers of the Board for the coming year. All Board members were present. Unanimously elected were: President: Jon Dell’Antonia; Vice President: Norm Counts; Secretary: Jim Norton; and Treasurer: Michael Kaltenbaugh. Next was the appointment of Directors as liaisons to the standing committees of the Board: Amenities Committee: Vice President Norm Counts Communications Committee: Director Amanda Batson Finance Committee: Treasurer Michael Kaltenbaugh Landscape & Grounds Committee: Secretary Jim Norton Modifications & Master Architectural Review Committees: Director Kristen Vartian Social Committee: Director Joe Closs Appeals Committee: Jim Norton, Amanda Batson, Joe Closs, Kristen Vartian Collections Committee: Jon Dell’Antonia, Norm Counts, Michael Kaltenbaugh Other items discussed at the meeting: We reviewed the annual meeting and election process to discuss improvements for the future. We also discussed the Coronavirus and actions we are going to take on future events, meetings and office procedures. The meeting adjourned at 2:00 PM. Board Meeting, March 19, 2020
The Board meeting of March 19, 2020 was called to order at 12:57 PM. All Board members were present along with our Director of Operations and CMA’s CFO and President. The meeting began with a Homeowners Open Forum. No homeowners appeared. The next item of business was to ratify the minutes of the previous Board meeting, the Organizational meeting, and all decisions made since the last Board meeting. The Board also approved the appointments of Sheryl Elk and Lisa Porter to the Amenities Committee. Old Business
We reviewed the status of our irrigation system and our efforts to improve its operation. In our continuing review of operational guidelines, we reviewed and updated the guidelines for the Appeals Committee and the Modifications Chair role and responsibilities.
New Business F ROM T HE P RESIDENT We discussed the Covid-19 to decide what actions to take during the next several weeks* and made the following decisions: > Social events scheduled between March 19 and May 3 are cancelled or postponed. > Parks owned by the SRCA remain open at this time. However, in keeping with the City of McKinney orders, playground equipment is NOT to be used. Residents are expected to follow social distancing guidelines when using these facilities. Tennis and Pickleball courts are closed. > Community Room will be closed thru May 4, 2020, all scheduled rentals cancelled, and monies refunded. > Committee Meetings should be conducted by teleconference or web meeting platform thru May 4, 2020. The Director of Operations is authorized to obtain a license for a web-based meeting system. > The Community office is closed to walk in traffic. > Subsequent to the meeting, the office was closed on March 26, 2020 until further notice and the staff is working from home. These decisions will be updated as conditions change and new governmental orders are issued. Executive Session
The Board reviewed and approved the Foreclosure Report and approved the Report of the Appeals Committee. We also reviewed and accepted the Collections Committee Report, the Violations Report, and the Project Expenditures Report. The Board also directed the Director of Operations to work with our Collections firm to work cases in accordance with federal government orders in conjunction with Covid-19. The Director of Operations updated the Board on several legal issues and the status of our negotiations with our irrigation contractor. The Board approved moving forward with the dredging of Winer Haven pond. Work is anticipated to begin in April or May (Covid-19 may delay the start) and take about 12 weeks to complete. Association Reports We reviewed and approved the Financial Reports including the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Reserve Budget Report, Accounts Receivable Report and the Investment Portfolio results. Board Liaisons presented updates on committee activities reflected in Committee minutes. The Director of Operations updated the Board about a possible future annexation, H2B worker availability for our landscape vendors, and the tree rejuvenation pruning project. The meeting adjourned at 3:52 PM. Jon Dell’Antonia President, Board of Directors
*The dates noted in the President’s Letter reflect decisions made at the March Board meeting. Event and amenity closures were further extended at the April Board meeting. See details p. 13.
STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
Vol. 8 Issue 5
STONEBRIDGE RANCH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, INC. 6201 Virginia Parkway, McKinney, TX 75071 Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ph: (214) 733-5800 Fax: (214) 778-0595 website: www.stonebridgeranch.com Courtesy Patrol: (214) 794-4945
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE Jon Dell’Antonia, Erica Lee, Dave Wiest
BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Jon Dell’Antonia
Vice President Norm Counts
Treasurer Michael Kaltenbaugh Secretary Jim Norton
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Director Kristen Vartian Director Joe Closs
Director Amanda Batson
STAFF Professional management by RTI/Community Management Associates Inc. (CMA) Director of Operations Greg Herbst
Maintenance Supervisor Michael Cawley
Landscape & Grounds Manager Brock Whetstone Lifestyle Director David Wiest
Executive Assistant Rony Peterson
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Maintenance Assistant Eric Ortega, Jeff Torres Compliance Supervisor Kara Robinson
Compliance Coordinators Gwen Burns, Randy Cain, Pat Liles, Jarred Mercer
Administrative Assistant Melba Siebel
Community Services Coordinator Tamra Collins Communications Specialist Erica Lee
Operations Support Representative Allison Bedgood
PUBLISHER To place an advertisement, please contact: Community Matters, Inc., PO Box 5900, Frisco, TX 75035 Ph: (972) 370-1778
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Stonebridge Ranch News is the only authorized publication of the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association, Inc. It is published on behalf of residents for informational purposes only. The Association does not guarantee any work or claims made by advertisers herein and claims no responsibility or liability for statements made in the publication. The Association does not support or take responsibility for services, whether paid or volunteer, mentioned herein, nor for statements published in articles or letters herein which are not endorsed by group decision of the Board of Directors.
SRCA Offers Opt-in Broadcast Text Messages We want to help you stay informed about our community in the way that best suits you. The Communications Committee is excited to announce that the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association (SRCA) has added a new communication channel to support homeowners: broadcast text messaging! The program is available only to homeowners via their private online accounts with CMA, our professional management company. Homeowners must subscribe their preferred phone number(s) to the program. We will not send text messages without permission. Read ahead for details, including how to sign up! WHAT TO EXPECT > Our best practice will be to send up to (5) texts each month. The number will depend on what is newsworthy in a given month. > Our texts will cover topics of general SRCA
SRCA broadcast texts will be short, sweet and to the point. Most will be between 100-200 characters or less!
STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
interest, such as assessment and voting reminders, closures of our amenities or events due to repair or crisis, tips following a damaging hailstorm event, etc. Our short messages will include text only (no images). They will contain 200 characters or less. The texts will be a one-way form of alert. The system does not accept replies. (As always, to get knowledgeable answers to your SRCA questions within 24 business hours, contact staff directly. Call 214.733.5800, email srca@cmamanagement. com, or fill out the Submit a Question form at www.stonebridgeranch.com.) Text messages will be sent during business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 5 PM). This is NOT an emergency or weather-alert system. The service will NOT be used to inform residents regarding local crime, weather warnings, lost pets, etc. Data rates apply (dependent on your carrier, payable by you). We plan to offer this as a pilot program for a year. The Communications Committee will review usage rates and user feedback to determine if the program should be renewed in 2021.
REGISTERING YOUR ACCOUNT Only homeowners with a private online account with CMA (https://cma.cincwebaxis.com/) can opt in. (If you already have an account, skip ahead to the section on p. 10 titled “Opting In.) To register an online account with CMA, you need: > To be the homeowner of record listed on the property deed, and; > The Account Number CMA generated for you
2780 Virginia Pkwy., Ste. #401 • McKinney, TX 75071 firstname.lastname@example.org
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upon receiving your paperwork at closing. (You can find your Account Number at the top of any official SRCA correspondence, such as your welcome letter, annual assessment, notice of the annual meeting, or a compliance notice. If you can’t locate yours, contact CMA’s Customer Care team at 972.943.2828 or customercare@ cmamanagement.com. The team is available M-F, 8:30 AM to 5 PM.) Next, with your account number in hand: > Go to https://cma.cincwebaxis.com. At the top right, click the “Register” button to see the Login Registration form. > Fill in all fields and click the “Register” button at the bottom of the form. (Note: the fields with an asterisk* are required. You’ll need to input your Account Number exactly as it appears on your official SRCA correspondence.) > You should receive a login email within the same day. If you can’t locate the email in your Inbox within 24 hours, don’t forget to check your spam/ junk mail folder. The email will include your username (which is the email address you entered in the register form) and a password reset link. > Click the password reset link in the email to create your new, private password. After setting your password successfully, log in using your new credentials at https://cma.cincwebaxis.com.
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STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
OPTING IN To begin receiving SRCA broadcast texts: > Sign into your account at https://cma.cincwebaxis. com. > Under the drop-down menu titled “Account Info”, select “My Profile”. > Within your profile, scroll down to the section titled “Telephone numbers”. Add your preferred phone numbers in the provided boxes AND check the box(es) for the number(s) you opt to receive SRCA Broadcast Texts. CHECKING THE BOXES IS A REQUIRED STEP TO OPT IN. > In theory, given this set-up, you can subscribe up to three phone numbers to receive the texts. However, if your home and work phone numbers are land lines (not smartphones), you will not receive the SMS messages at those numbers. > If more than one owner is listed on the property deed and each has separate sign in credentials at https://cma.cincwebaxis.com, each owner can subscribe up to three numbers. OPTING OUT A user can opt out voluntarily at any time. Per industry best practices, an unsubscribe link will be attached to every single text we send. Alternatively, you can unsubscribe in your private online account by unchecking the box(es) next to your phone number(s). A homeowner moving out of Stonebridge Ranch is automatically unsubscribed when their private online account is deactivated. MULTIPLE CHANNELS If you have subscribed to our bi-weekly E-News
blasts*, you may recall we sent a survey via E-News asking residents if they were interested in receiving these broadcast texts from us. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Thanks to all our respondents—we heard you! The Board of Directors and Communications Committee are excited to add this program to our other channels, which include the website at www. stonebridgeranch.com, the Stonebridge Ranch News magazine, and our E-News blasts. Homeowners can stay informed via their preferred method(s), although we hope you find each valuable in its own way. We are able to provide deeper analysis of our operations in magazine articles, for example, but we’ll be able to send out broadcast texts much more quickly. Our E-News blasts enable us to provide many useful links to the website, which contains our most comprehensive repository of SRCA information. The Communications Committee is actively researching other communication channels to add as well. GOT QUESTIONS? If you have questions about registering for an online account with CMA, contact the corporate Customer Care team at 972.943.2828 or customercare@ cmamanagement.com. If you have questions regarding the Broadcast Text program, call our onsite staff at 214.733.5800. ◀ *To subscribe to E-News, scroll to the bottom of any page at www.stonebridgeranch.com. Fill out and submit the “Stay Connected” form. We follow industry-standard best practices in the maintenance of our E-News blast list. Only you can opt yourself in—it is completely voluntary. We do not share your info with third parties, and we use it only to send public info related to Stonebridge Ranch. Though you can opt out any time by hitting the “Unsubscribe” button (located at the bottom of any email we send), we encourage you to stay in the list. Even if some blasts contain info that isn’t pertinent to your household, you may miss important community declarations by unsubscribing. Note: E-News is used to send public information only. The subscription list is kept separate from the private online accounts maintained by CMA. To receive both public and private info related to your Stonebridge Ranch membership and property, you need to use the E-News “Stay Connected” form AND provide your email address in your private online account.
Why Sign Up for a Private Online Account? Being able to receive broadcast text messages is not the only reason to sign up for a private online account with our professional management company, Community Management Associates (CMA). Creating an account is a good idea for many reasons, such as: • You have real-time access to your SRCA account. At the CMA website, you can conveniently pay your annual assessment, review compliance notices, and more. Such access enables homeowners to complete many functions outside of business hours without waiting to go through the association office. (Our professional management staff are available to support homeowners Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 5 PM). • You can easily maintain up-to-date contact information. You protect yourself from potential issues by making sure we can notify you when
needed. The association sends time-sensitive violation notices via mail after posting them to an account, so updating your current mailing address and other contact info is especially important. If you are worried about missing mailed correspondence, you can sign in and check your online profile once a month to ensure no violations have been issued regarding your property. • You can upload Modification Applications directly to the CMA site at any time. Just be sure to upload a complete application with all required supporting documentation. Applications with missing items are automatically denied and must be resubmitted. For comprehensive info regarding the Modification Application process, check out the pages linked under the dropdown tab ‘Home Improvements’ at www.stonebridgeranch.com.
You can perform many vital functions in your private online account with CMA, including paying annual assessments, providing current contact info, and monitoring violation notices if any are ever posted to your account.
STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
LEASING HOMEOWNERS Are you a renter living in a single-family home here in Stonebridge Ranch? If so, you might ask your leasing homeowner if they have a private online account with CMA. Doing so can ensure efficient communication related to the property you rent and help prevent costly compliance issues. The most crucial piece of information a homeowner can update in their online account is their personal mailing address. As noted above, we send communications regarding each SRCA account to the property address we have on file. If the address on file is not the homeowner’s current mailing address, we will mail notices to the Stonebridge Ranch property address. This can lead to miscommunications between homeowners and renters regarding property violations. It can also lead to delays in correcting violations, which can lead to escalations, possible fines, and other issues. Accounts must have a zero balance in order for residents to access Stonebridge Ranch amenities, including the Beach Club
and Aquatic Center. If a property owner has a balance on their account and has transferred amenity privileges to their tenant, the tenant will not be able to access amenities until the homeowner as corrected the balance. Thus, we encourage all homeowners to stay ahead of correspondence by providing current personal mailing information and also checking their private online account once a month. ◀
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Events Cancelled and Amenities Closed Through May 31st In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of our daily lives have shifted. Our “new normal” means we must adapt to rapidly changing circumstances; adopt new technologies; and employ creative solutions to neverbefore-seen challenges. On April 16th, the Board of Directors of the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association (SRCA) met via virtual meeting for the first time in the community’s history. Like many of our residents now working from home, staff and volunteers collaborated in a digital environment to ensure we keep operations running smoothly in Stonebridge Ranch. The Board is closely monitoring city, county, state, and federal guidelines. They also review recommendations by organizations related to our amenities, such as the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Above all, the safety of our residents is paramount as we look toward the future with cautious optimism. With your protection in mind, the Board voted in favor of these measures at their April meeting: > Social Events. All SRCA social event gatherings are cancelled through May 31st, with two exceptions. See pp. 28-29 in this issue. > Pools. The Aquatic Center and Beach Club are closed through May 31st. We hope to open our pools for swimming and social events on June 1st. > Community Room. The Community Room may not be reserved through May 31st. > Sports Courts. In light of USTA recommendations, the Pickleball and Tennis Courts are closed through May 31st. > Parks, Playgrounds and Lakes. When following social distancing recommendations, our residents may use SRCA common area to exercise (walk, run, bicycle, etc.) within their household groups. Fishing is also permitted. However, the play equipment is closed, since we are unable to ensure all areas are disinfected between each use. Parents, please restrict your children from playing on the swings, slides, etc. > Meetings. The May Board meeting has been moved up a week from the 28th to the 21st. The Board will review these cancellations and closures at that time. They may reverse some of these decisions
if the situation has improved and as permitted by government regulations. Stay tuned to the homepage at www.stonebridgeranch.com and SRCA E-News blasts for updates. > Committees. Our volunteers set the meeting times for their committees. In the month of May, each committee will either meet virtually, communicate via email, or postpone their meeting until the next month. > Office closed to walk-ins. The association office staff are working remotely from home (M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) until further notice. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance (Email is preferred, but you can also call 214-733 5800.) Several staff are onsite to perform essential activities, such as cleaning common area, emptying trash cans, and prepping our pools following some recent repairs. Our compliance team members continue to inspect our villages from their cars. During this unusual time, they are paying attention to health and safety issues (such as unsecured trash or trash cans), unsafe bulk items left out on curbs, etc. Notes to keep in mind: > The adjacent golf courses are private businesses. They are not overseen or managed by the SRCA, nor are they Stonebridge Ranch amenities. > Residents are responsible for their own behavior. Please use your best judgement and practice social distancing guidelines when using common area. > Looking ahead. We have many events still scheduled in 2020, including Stonebridge Ranch Day on Saturday, Sept. 19. We’ve posted the list at https:/ www.stonebridgeranch.com/social-committee/ Please check it out to lift your spirits—we’re planning lots of fun for our residents! Says Jon Dell’Antonia, Board President, “The Board of Directors takes the Covid-19 virus and its impact on our homeowners seriously. We are closely monitoring the situation with government recommendations to guide us. We are going to review our status again at our May 21 Board meeting (or sooner if conditions change), so we can relax some of these restrictions as soon as we can.” ◀ STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
What Makes a Good Neighbor? For better or worse, when we live in proximity to others, our actions have an impact. Of the many lessons we’ve gained from the Covid-19 pandemic, one hits close to home: we’ve learned just how connected we are as neighbors. Our staff and volunteers are thankful for the many ways neighbors in Stonebridge Ranch have supported each other during this unprecedented time. Among the selfless acts, we’ve heard reports of: > Healthy folks picking up groceries for immunocompromised and elderly neighbors. > Residents sharing personal stashes of toilet paper, paper towels, sanitizers, and more. > Creatives drawing chalk art obstacle courses on sidewalks and posting scavengers hunts for neighbor kids to enjoy while practicing social distancing. > Neighbors quickly bringing in their barking dogs so people working from home won’t have noise distraction. > And the list goes on! These reports highlight why Stonebridge Ranch is such a special place to live. It’s not just the hard work of so many people to construct and maintain our amenities and common areas; the countless hours of service of our committee and Board volunteers; the decades of homeowner adherence to shared design guidelines and standards of curb appeal; nor the 30+ years of collecting
annual assessments to manage our operating budget and buffer our reserves. Instead, the spark at the center of our community is the people who live here. It’s YOU! NEIGHBORLY SURVEY In hopes of highlighting this fact, the Communications Committee sent a survey via an E-News blast in January of this year. We asked, “What Makes a Good Neighbor?” We’ve been waiting for the perfect time to share some of the uplifting responses, so we’re happy to have space in this edition of Stonebridge Ranch News! Read ahead for a reprint of some of the anonymous survey answers. ( Just be prepared with tissues—one or two of these tales may bring tears to your eyes.) Whether an act of kindness is highlighted here or not, we honor ALL acts of kindness exhibited within our borders, from helping a neighbor with a mundane housekeeping chore to providing truly next-level moral support. DESCRIBE A TIME SOMEONE WHO LIVES (OR LIVED) IN STONEBRIDGE RANCH WAS A GOOD NEIGHBOR TO YOU. “We have the best neighbors! We moved here 1.5 years ago as first-time homeowners, and I was 6 months pregnant with our first baby. We were greeted with cookies and a warm welcome from our neighbors, Jatonna and David. A couple of weeks later our other neighbors moved in. We passed on the kindness and greeted them with cookies. Since then, all three houses of neighbors get together at least monthly for dinners that rotate between our houses. All three sets of neighbors are in three different life stages: retired grandparents, married with a baby, and single young adults. God blessed us that we all get along, look out for each other, and enjoy being together!” “So many examples—it’s hard to pick one! We have one especially wonderful neighbor who has helped us tremendously just picking up unexpected deliveries while we were out of town and holding them for us until we get home.” “Every Christmas an anonymous neighbor in Tanglewood Crossing hangs decorations at our entrances.”
“We met Bill shortly after we moved. Our lawnmower had broken, and he had a landscaping business and lived down the street. We never did buy a new mower after that! We never will forget his kindness on one of our worst days. We were expecting our first child, but at my 18week appointment, we found out he had passed away. My husband was leaving the house to come pick me up from the doctor and take me to the hospital, and Bill was outside mowing. Bill stopped to tell my husband hello and when my husband told him with tears in his eyes about our baby, Bill wrapped him up in a big hug and prayed with him. When we got back from the hospital the next day, Bill had a giant plate of BBQ waiting for us. He and his wife Glenda have since celebrated our son Kirk’s arrival. Their kindness was a much-needed beacon of light in a dark time.”
“I had a hard time starting my lawn mower one crisp fall day. Someone I had never met before was on a walk with his daughter and puppy. He stopped by and gave me a couple of pointers. When he came back ten minutes later, I was still out there fighting this thing. Then my neighbor who I knew well joined in and together the two of them kept trying different things. We then drained the tank and my neighbor gave me fresh gas. It started sounding better but still did not start. By now, forty-five minutes had gone by, and my neighbor missed his workout helping me out. Before he left, he suggested I try with starting fluid. I got myself some starting fluid and it worked. So how many guys does it take to start a lawn mower? Three guys, forty-five minutes of precious time, and a whole lot of good neighborliness.”
“We were out of town and our neighbors checked on a package delivery for us.”
“My neighbor routinely helps me with projects such as replacing rotted wood around my windows or sundry plumbing issues.”
“When I first moved here 6.5 years ago for my husband’s new job, my daughter was two, and we knew absolutely no one. I had just quit my job to move out here and be a stay-at-home mom. I felt so lost in this new place with zero friends, a toddler, and a husband who was traveling back and forth to Dallas for work. One weekend we took our daughter and yellow lab on a bike ride to explore the many parks around here and wound up at Woodhaven. There was another mom with two boys around my daughter’s age there. She asked if her boys could walk our dog, and I asked if she liked to run. Before we left, we had exchanged numbers. She invited me to her neighborhood wine night, where I met some of the people I’m closest with now. That entire summer she included me in all her activities and really made Stonebridge Ranch, and Texas, feel like home. I will forever be grateful for her willingness to be neighborly and reach out to a struggling mom. She is still one of my best friends.”
“My husband and I moved to Wren Creek in June. How welcome we felt when three different neighbors stopped by to introduce themselves and brought us cookies! Such a great place to live!” “A neighbor who works from home takes surrounding neighbors’ trash/recycle bins off the street when each bin is emptied. Puts them on each driveway where they can be easily returned behind each fence.”
“In LaCima, we have the best neighbors. We all look out for one another. We have a group on Facebook and a group text where we make each other aware of anything going on, ask for help, offer help, etc. I have an awesome next-door neighbor who will grab my mail, pull in my cans or anything I ask if I am not around.”
STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
“ When I am sick, she ALWAYS makes me a pot of chicken soup.” “Stratford Manor hit the jackpot when Laura moved to her home. Her efforts and kindness have truly made our neighborhood such a warm, fun and friendly place to live. She started a ladies’ lunch group so we could get to know one another and explore new places in the community. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to meet your neighbors and develop new Texas friends. She also has an annual holiday party for all the ladies and keeps us updated with contact info. Consequently, Laura has opened the door for Stratford Manor ladies to easily make new friends and
not feel so all alone when you first move here. The group has now added a book club, a Mahjong group and numerous movie outings and game nights. As my mother would say, she has added many stars to her halo from her thoughtful and kind actions. I will forever be indebted to her for making it so easy to move to Stonebridge Ranch and feel right at home within a week.” “There isn’t just a single time that my neighbors, Chris and Kellie, have been good neighbors—it’s all the time. From passing cooking ingredients over the fence, to pumpkin carving contests and group dinners, they’ve helped form a family within our neighborhood that not only reflects the values Stonebridge Ranch wishes to
represent, but also creates a fantastic environment in which to raise their son. We love having them as our neighbors!” IN GENERAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES SOMEONE A GOOD NEIGHBOR? DESCRIBE THE QUALITIES, CHARACTERISTICS, ETC. “Neighbors who are friendly, respect others and the HOA rules, and those who pick up after their dogs while on walks.” “Treat your neighbors the way you’d like to be treated—with kindness and consideration. Keep noise levels down, pick up after yourself, keep your property clean and maintained, etc.” “Friendly, trustworthy, respectful, fun.” “First, taking care of your yard work and home maintenance, bringing in garbage bins, not leaving dogs out to bark incessantly, picking up garbage, generally having pride in your neighborhood. Also, just being neighborly, saying hello, offering to pick up mail. Keeping an eye out for neighborhood children and checking on the seniors.” “Someone who greets you when they see you, or introduces themselves after they move in.” “Being quiet, especially at night. Loud gatherings in your backyard late at night, even if it’s just loud talking, can be VERY irritating to neighbors.”
“Caring, respectful, willing to help in times of need.” “Notices things that look off (like an open trash can lid), is willing to help, keeps the noise level down, respects privacy while being open to conversation.” “Someone who selflessly gives his or her time out of the goodness of their heart and getting nothing back in return.” “A good neighbor is friendly and respectful of his neighbors. He might keep an eye on your property while you’re away. He/she would be helpful if a neighbor needed something he could assist with.” “Someone who keeps house in good repair, lawn looking good, pool clean.” “Friendly, sociable and helpful. Most importantly, avoids politics.” “Trustworthy, helpful, quiet, inviting, tidy.” “A good neighbor is an extension of your family, another friendly face when you’re getting home and built-in best friends! To be a good neighbor is to be friendly, caring, empathetic towards their needs and happy to help in any way you can.”
“Not allowing your dog to bark and bark and bark. If it is barking, let it inside ASAP.”
WHAT ACTIONS, BEHAVIORS, ETC. DO YOU PERSONALLY EXHIBIT TO BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR? EXAMPLES WELCOME! “I walk my dog regularly and always pick up after her. I wave to my neighbors and treat others with respect. I follow the HOA rules.”
“A good neighbor will watch your house when you’re gone on vacation, pick up your mail, and watch for packages.”
“Drive through the neighborhood at posted speed limits and watch out for children playing. Turn down
STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
“Keep yard mowed, weeded, beds mulched. Maintain exterior of home with regular painting, staining garage door, etc. Watch out for neighborhood children, checking on neighbors, taking occasional meal or baked treat over, not leaving dog out to bark, bringing garbage bins inside promptly, stopping for a chat when the opportunity presents itself, picking up garbage as well as my pet’s waste when out walking. Picking up mail, volunteering to help a neighbor out with a big yard project.” “I try to greet all my neighbors or offer assistance if I think they need it.” my car radio when driving through the neighborhood, especially at night. Pick up trash in the street after the garbage/recycling trucks come through, regardless of whose can it came out of. Since I work from home, I keep an eye out for the safety of my neighborhood.” “Start conversations when you see neighbors outside, text to check in when you haven’t seen them in a while, invite them over for coffee or meals.”
“If a neighbor on a local website asks a question or wants a recommendation, I post what I know. I’m also glad to pick up my neighbor’s mail for them when they’re on vacation or take in their garbage cans.” “I try to make a Christmas treat for my neighbors. I try to keep our lawn nice, [and I] wave or talk when our paths cross.” “Keeping the noise level down, only parking in front of our house, only having our trash cans out on Tuesdays.”
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“I stop and chat taking time to get to know my neighbors. When a neighbor’s kid could not get in because he forgot his keys, I welcomed him into my house until he got back in.”
“Offer to keep an eye on their property when they are out of town.”
I have cleared my neighbors’ leaves in the fall.”
IN CONCLUSION There are so many ways, big and small, that we can look out for each other. Who knows if our actions will brighten just one person’s day or help protect the value of our entire neighborhood? As one survey respondent hinted, the neighborliness of an HOA—just like the maintenance of common areas and home and yard upkeep—can impact everyone’s property values. We’ll close with this thought…. “Good neighbors treat you like family, helping you out along the way when you didn’t even know you needed it. Surprise gifts like dinners or desserts, help with holiday decorating, and simply loving your neighbors not only improves your life but improves the quality of the neighborhood and community, which helps bring more families to Stonebridge Ranch!” ◀
“Let them know if trash day moved.”
“Keep lawn looking good, house in good repair.” “Deliver mail that has been mis-delivered to me, which happens quite often. Same with FedEx and UPS deliveries. Retrieve trash totes, mail and/or packages when people are out of town.” “Bring in my neighbors trash cans if I see them out.” “Pick up newspapers laying on the ground.” “Keep my dog quiet.” “Keep my property well-kept and tidy.” “Check in with my neighbors to be sure they are ok.”
Curb Appeal Corner
LET’S WORK TOGETHER! Maintaining the premier appearance of Stonebridge Ranch is a team effort for which we are all responsible. Our common areas are maintained by professional partners, of course, but multiple people play a role in helping you protect your OWN home’s curb appeal. Who are your teammates?
HOMEOWNERS When a homeowner first moves into Stonebridge Ranch, there is a lot of info to absorb. You can prevent compliance headaches down the road by familiarizing yourself with SRCA design guidelines + our process for approving home exterior modifications. Please do so BEFORE you make your first curb appeal repair or replacement. For an overview of everything you need to know, visit the “I’m a Resident Homeowner” hub at www.stonebridgeranch.com. The website is the best place to get started!
professional staff Staff are here to support and collaborate with homeowners. They familiarize themselves with all of our design and village guidelines so they can help you find the info you need, when you need it. Their intent is to help protect you against costly compliance mistakes and protect the cohesive appeal of your village. One of their vital functions is to review all home exteriors on a regular basis to look for curb appeal issues. They may spot a problem needing repair or attention before you do! If they send you a friendly reminder postcard, please understand that they are trying to help you. Why not give them a call so they can help you address any issues?
The Board of Directors and members of the Modifications Committee are all volunteer homeowners. As your neighbors, they are invested in protecting everyone’s property values and maintaining SRCA as the premier master-planned community in North Texas. Among many, one of their tasks is to uphold design guidelines which are central to the look and feel of our neighborhoods. To that end, they review all community guidelines and policies on a regular schedule and oversee our compliance staff. If you have ideas for our community, why not start by joining a committee? Serving as a volunteer is one of the best ways to learn and contribute!
STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
Origin Story: The History of Stonebridge Ranch This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of Stonebridge Ranch News as part of our 30th Anniversary celebrations. In these uncertain times, it can be comforting to look back at other challenges our community has weathered to become what it is today. The article describes our community as busy and bustling. We look forward to the time when this again will be our reality. Someday soon we hope to see hundreds of residents gathered for social events. Following weeks of social distancing, we are more thankful than ever for the enduring spirit and dedication of all our residents, past and present. Together, we will ensure the future of Stonebridge Ranch for years to come!
The next time you stroll the sidewalk across Stonebridge Lake dam (6201 Virginia Parkway), take a moment to stop and look all around you. There is so much to see: to the west, the villas and shops of Adriatica; to the north, the busy six-lane road that is Virginia Parkway; to the east, the bustling Stonebridge Ranch Beach and association office; to the south, the homes of Kings Lake and Waterbury. On any given day, by turning a complete 360 degrees, you might see hundreds of people enjoying the premier Stonebridge Ranch lifestyle—some paddleboating or sailing in the lake; some competing in a fierce game of tennis, basketball, or sand volleyball; some leisurely swimming or sunning at the Beach lagoon. But over 30 years ago, the land beneath your feet teemed with a different kind of life—with animal and vegetative species common to North Texas ranch land. Imagine standing in the same spot over three decades ago, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a field enjoying a country view. Here 30 years ago, you’d likely see a herd of lumbering cattle grazing in the distance, or the occasional farm truck jostling along a nearby dirt road, a plume of dust rising behind it. Beneath your feet, there might be Bushy Bluestem and Texas Grama grasses dotted by bright patches of Upright Prairie Coneflowers and Mealy Sage. Overhead, perhaps you would spot a RedShouldered Hawk or an American Kestrel circling in the hunt for Deer Mice and Swamp Rabbits. As one of the oldest master-planned communities in the United States, Stonebridge Ranch has weathered a stonebridgeranch.com
number of incredible changes to become the community it is today. Let’s take a look back in time to see how we became one of the largest and most well-known homeowners associations in the state of Texas. In the Beginning Just up Highway 75 about 35 miles north of Dallas, Collin County in the 1970’s was predominantly farm and ranch land.* At the time, the 1,357 acres at the heart of Stonebridge Ranch was a tract known as the Flying M Ranch. Located outside the city limits of the small town of McKinney, the ranch wasn’t part of any suburb and had no paved streets. Instead, it was owned by a successful Dallas businessman and avid amateur pilot named M. Martin, who used it as his own private getaway. Records show that exotic game birds and horses had long been kept at the ranch, including the first recorded American Paint Horse (a black-and-white tobiano stallion named Bandits Pinto, who was registered by Rebecca Lockhart, the founder of the American Paint Horse Association, in 1962).†
But the Flying M wouldn’t remain a working ranch for much longer. Conveniently situated between Frisco to the west, and McKinney (the Collin County seat) to the east, the tract of land was “ground zero” for the development boom that lay ahead for zip code 75071. In 1970, the recorded population of Collin County was only 66,920 people. But with the area’s proximity to Dallas, and the breadth of open land still stretching to the north, the Flying M Ranch and everything around it was a
prime location for real estate development. In 2017, the county’s population hovered at just under a million with 969,603 residents—a nearly 1,350% increase! In 1971, Martin sold the Flying M Ranch to the Gulf National Land Corporation, a subsidiary of a large insurance holding company. Jack Worley, a Gulf employee, worked on the land acquisition. He recalled that the company hoped to acquire up to 7,000 acres in Collin Country stretching between Frisco and I-75. That first development team zeroed in on the land that could be developed in the natural drainage basin of Wilson Creek. The investors hired Phillips Brandt Reddick (PBR) architectural firm of Newport Beach, California, to develop the land plan. The firm had an impressive track record, having designed the plan for the very successful Woodlands development in Houston. In the early 80s, the ownership of the property changed hands again, when RCS Investments, Inc. (Rick Strauss) bought the whole 7,000+ acre parcel Gulf had put together for $133 million. The company hired Jerry Ragsdale to oversee development and began constructing the infrastructure for Stonebridge Ranch. To locals, it soon became clear that something big was taking shape as streets, sewer and utilities, golf courses and a beach and tennis club began to emerge. A big selling feature of the development was the fact that prospective buyers saw active construction rather than a sign saying, “Future Home of the Stonebridge Ranch.” “RCS’s investment in infrastructure and amenities paid off,” said Worley. “Utilities and municipal government gave it the edge over neighboring Frisco as the developers worked closely with the city of McKinney to set up utilities and future zoning.” The groundwork was laid for the success of Stonebridge Ranch. What’s in a Name? In the earliest phases of development the tract of land destined to become Stonebridge Ranch retained its former identity as the Flying M Ranch. A small private air strip was located on the land where the Village of Isleworth now lies. When RCS Investments, Inc., acquired the property in the 80s, the idea of a ranch was very much in keeping with the longing for a Texas lifestyle of wide open spaces away from the bustle of the city. However, feedback from early marketing efforts caused the developers to rethink the Flying M Ranch name. It seemed that prospective homeowners erroneously assumed the Flying M was an airstrip rather than exclusive residential real estate. The developers changed the name STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
to correct this misconception. RCS developer Art Hewitt had grown up in North Dallas and remembered a street name that spoke of stability, longevity, and timeless appeal: Stonebridge Drive, which intersects Blackburn near Turtle Creek in Highland Park. It was RCS developer Jerry Ragsdale who came up with the names of the first residential phases of the project. He drew inspiration by observing the topology and features of the land as he walked it. A scattering covey of quail near the creek prompted the name Quail Creek Village. A hike through a brambled pasture to a ridge in search of the old cemetery later inspired Briar Ridge. In its first phase, Stonebridge marketed lots in five villages, and soon added two more. These were: Quail Creek, Spring Hill, Briar Ridge, Summer Point, Meadow Ridge, Hill Creek and The Village of Wellington Point. Generating Excitement Real estate developers faced a number of challenges in the 80s, including a savings and loan crisis. Developer Jerry Ragsdale recalls one of the more enjoyable marketing challenges of his job. His employer, RCS Investments, Inc. was building 6000 houses on former pasture land in McKinney. It was “wilderness” as far as many Dallas residents were concerned. How were they going to entice thousands of people to head out to McKinney to look at the property?
Ragsdale recalled the excitement of rolling out creative promotional events for a wonderful new concept for North Texas, enticing landlocked Texans to buy into a California-influenced leisure lifestyle—with a beach club. RCS Investment principal Rick Strauss was a friend of local KVIL radio personality Ron Chapman. They collaborated to pull off a Labor Day fireworks festival, with Stonebridge Ranch as the venue. Featuring hot air balloons, the Dallas Symphony orchestra, and a presunrise fireworks show, the event had holiday traffic on I-75 backed up in a massive traffic jam as city dwellers converged on what is now the site of the Adriatica development. Grocery checkers in the local market were abuzz about all the folks who showed up, some in campers and mobile homes, to stake out a vantage point for the extravaganza starting around midnight on Sunday evening. The late 1980s might have dimmed the future of Stonebridge Ranch when financial partner Gibraltar Savings and Loan was taken over by the FDIC as a result of the failures that swept through the savings and loan industry. However, buyers were not deterred. They embraced the ambience of a home on the range and Stonebridge Ranch flourished, from that first home sold in 1989 to more than 9,000 homes today. A Lifestyle that Fit to a Tee Synonymous with a leisure lifestyle community, land was
carved out to construct two top-tier golf courses, plus a tennis and beach club and miles upon miles of hike and bike trails. The allure of lush green fairways and manicured greens drew golf enthusiasts and recreationminded families who sought the good life. Private golf courses in proximity to the homeowner’s association sold homes, and the Beach and tennis club offered fun for the whole family. The Stonebridge Ranch Country Club course was designed to appeal to players who wanted a challenging course. Noted golf course architect Pete Dye designed the regulation 18-hole PGA course to complement and coexist with the unspoiled natural landscape and its numerous bodies of water. Dye was known for designing devilishly difficult greens surrounded by water. On weekends in the early days, he could be seen behind the controls of a bulldozer, pushing around dirt to sculpt the course. Those who’ve played it know the SRCC course bears the traits of championship golf at its finest, including the 13th hole—bad luck for the golfer whose swing strays off course. Art Hills designed the beautiful, gently undulating fairways of the Ranch Course. From its original 18 holes, it was subsequently expanded to 27 holes. Locally based national pro, Hank Haney, served as the director of both courses. The Beach and Tennis Club featured a 1/2 acre, 500,000 gallon pool with a sand beach, a unique amenity for North Texas. Early promoters would hire guest “beachgoers” to come in and swim at the beach to capture photos of North Texans enjoying the California beach experience in McKinney. Yet more outdoor appeal lay in the bike trails which curled around undulating hills to connect the original 7 villages of SBR. The “underpass” design of the intersections with major thoroughfares was a safety feature incorporated by the original California-based land planner and designer of the Woodlands development in Houston, Phillips, Brant, Reddick (PBR). These “underpasses” can be seen at intersections such as Glen Oaks at Ridge Rd and Stonebridge Drive at Virginia Parkway. Families could ride their bikes from Briar Ridge Village to the Tennis and Beach Club without crossing a major road. This system of sidewalks and trails continues to be a favorite amenity for many active residents of all ages. ◀
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*Portions of this article were excerpted from “A Look Back in Time for SRCA”, Stonebridge Ranch News July 2013. †American Paint Horse Association, www.apha.com.
STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
Your Neighborhood Expert
214-544-7653 972-658-6007 www.TheMilsteadTeam.com Info@TheMilsteadTeam.com
DISCLAIMER: At the time this issue went to print, all SRCA social events had been cancelled through Sunday, May 31st. The Board of Directors is monitoring the situation and might reinstate some May events if the situation improves (pending city, county, state, or federal guidelines). Stay tuned to the homepage at www.stonebridgeranch.com for updates. Please also subscribe to SRCA E-News blasts to receive timely information. To opt in, scroll to the bottom of any page at www. stonebridgeranch.com and fill out the “Stay Connected” form.
May Book Club Monday, May 11 7 to 8 p.m. Virtual Meeting
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214-592-0855 6710 Virginia Pkwy., Suite 215 • McKinney, TX 75071
At the May meeting, we’ll casually discuss Isaac’s Storm: A Man, A Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson. The story takes place in 1900. America was strong, and the continent was settled from coast to coast. It seemed like nothing could shake the city of Galveston, TX—destined to become the New York of the Gulf—until one man’s arrogance was tested by nature’s fury. You are welcome to join our virtual meeting even if you have not read our book selection. We plan
NOTE: this event will be conducted following social distancing guidelines. Please read all the instructions below carefully. You must follow the guidance in order to drop off items. If you do not, for the safety of our staff and vendor partners, you will be turned awayâ€”no exceptions.
to use the Zoom platform (https://zoom.us/). You can join online or via phone. For details to sign into the meeting, email Lifestyle Director Dave Wiest at email@example.com. NOTE: Book Club will not meet during June, July, or August. Prep for September by reading The Overstory, a novel by Richard Powers.
Electronic & Paper Recycling Saturday, May 23 9:30 a.m. to Noon, Beach & Tennis Club 6201 Virginia Parkway
Is it time to do some spring cleaning? Stonebridge Ranch is partnering with United Electronic Recycling (UER) to help reduce, reuse, and recycle electronic equipment. Bring your old, broken, or unwanted electronic equipment (including CRT televisions). UER will make sure they are properly recycled. In addition, we will provide a shredding truck for on-site paper and document destruction. There is no charge for dropping off any type of accepted item. To view the accepted list, visit the Events Calendar at www.stonebridgeranch.com. Please contact Jason Keller (jkeller@unitedelectronicrecycling. com) if you have any questions about the accepted items list. Social Distancing Guidelines: > All residents will remain in their cars. > All items (electronic equipment or paper for shredding) must be placed in the open bed of a truck OR in the trunk area of your vehicle. We will NOT accept items via the side doors of any vehicle. STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS
| May 2020
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> Paper must be in a cardboard box or plastic storage bin. We will NOT accept paper via plastic or paper bags or other storage device. Be sure to remove all paper clips (staples are permitted). UER staff will deposit the paper into a recycling bin for transfer into the shredder. They will return your cardboard box or plastic storage bin to your car. We will NOT accept cardboard or plastic for recycling. > Wait your turn and follow the event signage when you arrive. There will be separate lanes for electronic drop-off (go to the left) and paper shredding (go to the right). If you have both types of items, you will first enter the paper shredding lane to the right. We plan to host another Electronic Recycling and Paper Shredding event on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Beach & Tennis Club.