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October 2020

Vol. 8, Issue 10

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October 2020

Vol. 8, Issue 10

STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS The official publication of the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association (SRCA) This monthly magazine is published at no cost to the SRCA and is mailed free of charge to all Stonebridge Ranch residences.

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Community Calendar

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Cartoon Ranch

Cover Photo Winner Announced

With thanks to all our contest participants

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Savings Protect Property Values

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Fencing Guidelines 101

Oversight by Finance Committee safeguards our future

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Curb Appeal Corner

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Social Scene

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Save the Date November 2020 Events

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Meet Jim Buerkle

Board of Directors appoints new homeowner volunteer

Learn the standards that keep our fences looking great

Cover Photo by Chad Prahl Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. Published by Community Matters, Inc.

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Chad Prahl, the winner of the ‘Spirit of Stonebridge’ photography contest, snapped this pic of his wife, Skye, in 2019. Flip to page 7 of this issue to read why the Communications Committee chose it as our magazine cover.


The Coronavirus is still with us. I hope you and your family are safe and healthy. School has started and this year is particularly challenging with the advent of both in person and remote classes. It also makes scheduling events difficult due to the changing nature of governmental restrictions. However, we continue to schedule some community events by following updated health protocols. Watch for E-blasts and check the association’s website, www.stonebridgeranch.com, and its Facebook group, Stonebridge Ranch Community Association (SRCA), for regular updates and current information. Our pools closed at the end of September. We were able to have them open for the past four months at 50% capacity and have had a steady attendance. Using both our pools, we did not have to turn anyone away that wanted to use the pools. In this month’s issue, there is an article about the work of our Finance Committee, fencing requirements and our cover photo contest. Board Meeting, August 20, 2020 The Board meeting of August 20, 2020 was called to order at 12:30 PM. This Board meeting was held in our HOA office Board room. All Board members were present ( Joe Closs and Amanda Batson via Zoom), along with our Director of Operations and, also by phone, CMA’s CFO and Vice President. The meeting began with a Homeowners Open Forum. Four homeowners appeared, three via Zoom. One discussed the proposed Event Center at Virginia Parkway and Lake Forest and requested the Board take a position opposing the construction, and three listened in on the meeting. No action was taken. The next item of business was to ratify the minutes of the previous Board meeting and all decisions made since the last Board meeting. Old Business We discussed the Covid-19 virus to decide what actions to take during the next several weeks. > The office is open. Appointments are still required for meetings with a specific individual. You can “walk in” for an ID. > Facemasks are required to enter the office. > The Community Room is reopened at 50% capacity for rental and use. We approved (subject to change) the following events for September: > Labor Day at the Beach club on Sept 7 with a DJ. > Evening on the Veranda on Sept. 11. > Stonebridge Ranch Day on Sept. 19. > Wine tasting event on Sept. 28. Check our web site regularly and watch for E-blasts for the latest information from the Association. These decisions are subject to changing conditions and are updated to comply with any new governmental orders issued. In our continuing review of operational guidelines, we reviewed and updated guidelines for Commitments and Disbursements and the Long- and Short-Term Investment Policies. New Business The first order of business was for the Board to unanimously appoint Jim Buerkle to the Board to fill the remaining term of resigned Board member Michael Kaltenbaugh. Jim has recently

been the Secretary F ROM T HE P RESIDENT of the Amenities Committee. We look forward to his service on the Board. We also made some Board liaison assignment changes. Joe Closs will be the new Amenities Committee liaison and Jim Buerkle will be the liaison to the Social Committee and a member of the Appeals Committee. We approved the design guidelines for use of polycarbonate (Polygol) as a roof covering for pergolas/arbors. These guidelines are available now for anyone interested in installing this product. A submission for approval is required. Executive Session The Board reviewed and approved the Foreclosure Report. We approved the recommendations of the Appeals Committee. We also reviewed and accepted the Collections Committee Report, the Violations Report, and the Project Expenditures Report. We changed our contract with OLM who performs the monthly inspections of our landscaping to use them for only one day instead of two during the months of November-February. We updated our Enforcement and Fining Policy to define when it is appropriate to use daily fines for Priority violations. We also voted to participate in funding a portion of the purchase and installation of one fountain located in Stonebridge Lake in the Adriatica area, as well as the addition of a sidewalk on the north edge of Adriatica Villas. Adriatica Villas will be responsible for all future repair and/or replacement of the fountain. Treasurer Counts updated the Board on our current financial condition and water usage so far this year. The Director of Operations updated us on pending legal issues and on the Winter Haven dredging project which is now completed. Association Reports We reviewed and approved the Financial Reports, including the Balance Sheet and Income Statement. Board Liaisons presented updates on committee activities reflected in Committee minutes, as well as updates to our Strategic plan. We also updated the Board on the very positive outcome of a recent meeting with the City Water Dept to discuss ways we could assist one another with reporting and working together. The meeting adjourned at 5:30 PM. Jon Dell’Antonia President, Board of Directors

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October 2020

Vol. 8, Issue 10

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 & Treasurer Norm Counts Secretary Jim Norton

Director Kristen Vartian Director Joe Closs

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Ph: (972) 370-1778 website: www.communitymattersinc.com

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.


Committee Announces Winner in the ‘Spirit of Stonebridge’ Photo Contest When the volunteers of the Communications Committee brainstormed the theme for our Cover Photo Contest, they could not have known that the summer of 2020 would usher in a ‘new normal’ for us all. Though we had anticipated many entries showing summertime fun at large-scale Stonebridge Ranch events and amenities, the shutdowns related to COVID-19 changed the expected flow of everyday life in our community—and perhaps the results of this contest. Of course, if we look hard enough, we can find value and learn lessons during times of change. Because of Covid-19, we received photos taken in years past, as well as many others which show the slower side of life and small-town charm that is central to the ‘Spirit of Stonebridge.’ Some of the submitted images highlight the kindness of human

connection between neighbors. Others celebrate the magic of the countless childhoods that have been lived here. Still others illustrate the value of our varied amenities portfolio: during these uncertain times, many residents use our walking trails and fishing ponds to enjoy nature while socially distancing. With gratitude to our all our participants, the volunteers of the committee are happy to announce our contest winner, Stonebridge Ranch homeowner Chad Prahl. You can see his photo on the cover of this issue of Stonebridge Ranch News, and he also won a $50 Visa gift card. Regarding his photo, Chad notes: “My wife, Skye Prahl, and I enjoy running and walking on the well-kept sidewalks and trails around our community. Morning temperatures invited a stroll along Cotton Ridge Road in 2019.”

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Though Chad took his photo last year, his bright image of a resident utilizing our walking trails reminds us of the Spring 2020 shutdowns. When so many other activities were not possible, many of us felt hope to see our neighbors out and about, safely walking their pets and exercising. Again, to our all participants: thank you for sharing a bit of your Stonebridge Ranch lives with us! Engaged and invested neighbors like you are the heart of any great community. All entries in the contest have been posted to the Photo Gallery page at www.stonebridgeranch.com. Read ahead to learn the circumstances behind several honorable mentions. Photo by Kellie Adams “Stonebridge Ranch through the eyes of a child near the Hills golf course and Quail Creek Pond. Pictured: 20-month-old Jack on May 10, 2020.”

Photo by Victoria Chase “I took this refraction photo at Adriatica. It was a very hot, but beautiful, evening with lots of people out enjoying walks or dinner on Harry’s patio. This is also a favorite spot for many photo shoots for brides, graduates, and prom couples.”

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YOUR PARTNER ON THE PATH TO A

Photo by Santina Rita Cinicolo “I took this photo on April 1, 2020 on one of my walks with my friend and her dog, Addie. We were walking through our beautiful community during the Covid-19 shelter-in-place. Here is Miss Addie taking in the beautiful view of Adriatica Village.’ Photo by Sherry Ellis “I’ve been in my house for 28 years, so I remember when Stonebridge was a very young neighborhood!�

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Photo by Nikolett FĂźlĂśp “I took this picture when my daughter and her friends from the neighborhood (Fieldstone Place) played Rock Band outside. It was real street music, and they def initely felt the ‘Spirit of Stonebridge.’ They were the ‘Superhero Band ’ as you can see by their costumes.â€?

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Photo by Candice Gawley “ This is a picture of my daughter, Isabella.�

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Photo by Darlene Jules “Our sweet 4-year-old neighbor asked his mom and dad for a ‘Santa birthday.’ As you can imagine, Christmas party supplies are unavailable in May. His mom posted on our Arbor Glen Facebook group, asking if anyone knew a Santa who could join in on his Birthday Parade. To mom’s surprise, Arbor Glen neighbors from one street over (Rich and Amanda) had a Santa costume. Under short notice, Santa was the finale at the parade...and even brought a gift! To top it off, the Neighborhood Pink Unicorn (Constance) had been spreading neighborhood cheer. She also joined in the fun. Now let’s just hope he doesn’t recognize Santa’s sleigh...one street over. �

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Photo by Diana Guarin “Stonebridge Spirit is being able to enjoy the top amenities in a ‘new normal,’ and the smiles of my kiddos playing while my husband and I rested under the sun on a lovely day.”

Photo by Chuck Kaylor “Location: Bella Donna Chapel at Sunset, Adriatica. Taken: January 26, 2020. Titled: ‘ That peaceful, easy feeling.’”

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Photo by Maredith Laude “Summer fun! Hailey and Olivia pictured in our backyard.” Photo by Nikki Ovens “Harvey enjoying his f irst time back this summer at the Stonebridge Ranch Beach Club (July 14th).”

Photo by Cecilia Lelina “[This is a] photo of the Bradford Pear Tree on Ridge Road in front of the YMCA, taken in the Fall of 2019. I love Stonebridge Ranch in Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. In Winter, the bare trees pose elegant silhouettes at dusk and dawn. In Spring, the earth comes alive and the freshest of greens burst forth from the previously slumbering tree limbs. In Summer, the cheerful Crape Myrtle blossoms in different hues and greets us as we drive around our streets. But in Autumn...what glorious golds, oranges and browns soothe our souls when the Bradford Pear Tree displays its Fall Foliage! I stood under this tree, charmed and mesmerized by every beautiful branch of rich colors. I was sad to see the leaves drop one by one, but on the ground by my feet, a blanket of fall leaves cushioned my steps. Stonebridge is a lovely community and we are blessed to have many trees surrounding us.” stonebridgeranch.com


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Photo by Thomas Mitchell “ This picture was taken on 3/18/19 in Creekline Park in Stonebridge. It shows my grandson, Luke, enjoying one of the many amenities at Stonebridge while trying his luck at f ishing.”

Photo by Rebekah Rapoza “ This is Stormy. This photo was taken by me on my iPhone on April 28. Stormy is an inside cat but loves to come outside and just relax on the front steps. We live in Fairway Village. It’s a nice quiet neighborhood, so it’s not scary for her to be outside.”

Photo by Linda Reed “I’m happy to submit this photo because I think it really does capture our ‘Spirit of Stonebridge.’

Photo by Kim Pereira “I took a picture of the newest member of our family, Rex, a Long Hair Syrian Hamster. We off icially adopted Rex on May 19, 2020 from Alex, who was looking to re-home her hamster. She explained to us that she was traveling quite a bit from her apartment in Austin to her mom’s house here in Stonebridge Ranch. My family and I were wanting to get a pet, and Rex was the perfect match. My husband (Larry) and I moved to Stonebridge Ranch in 1996, which was the year we got married. We have three boys (Joshua is 19, Stephen is 14, and Matthew is 10). We love Stonebridge Ranch because of the amenities, schools, and the special events throughout the year.”

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Photo by Susan White “I took the attached photo on April 12 of our next-door neighbors, Michelle and Ron. They were blowing leaves and then bagging them from another neighbor’s yard because the house was vacant. They did this on numerous occasions! They are wonderful neighbors!”

Photo by Jesus Vergeldedios “ This picture was taken on a nice breezy day by the Beach Club with my two daughters: Samantha and Lauren.” Photo by Kellie Williams “My two sons (ages 8 and 9) were f ishing at the pond at Falcon Creek park. We didn’t catch any f ish, but we caught this amazing sunset. (No f ilter!) Date: 7/29/2020.” Photo by Olivia Wing, submitted on her behalf by her father, Brian. “Photo taken by Olivia Wing, age 11, at W.B. Finney park (next to Glen Oaks elementary school) on May 31, 2020. Story surrounding the photo: We were playing kickball as a family at the park at dusk, and Olivia noticed this amazing sunset to the west that completely covered the entire sky. Olivia took several photos, and this was her favorite one. No f ilters used at all. It was neat seeing Olivia sitting in the grass, appreciating the beauty of what was a truly amazing sight and seeing such bright colors across the entire sky.” ◀ STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS

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STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS

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Finance Committee Serves to Protect the Future of Stonebridge Ranch In the September edition of Stonebridge Ranch News, we printed a Top 10 list of resident responses to the question: “What is your favorite thing about Stonebridge Ranch?” Most of the answers revolved around things we can see with our eyes, such as the natural beauty of our walking trails or the quality of our landscaping. No one noted the financial security of the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association (SRCA) as their favorite aspect of life in this community. However, this intangible aspect is one of our greatest strengths as an association, and it would not be possible without the dedicated oversight provided by our Finance Committee volunteers. So—what exactly does it mean for a homeowners association to be financially secure? To put it simply, it means that we have savings in the bank. Sometimes residents ask: why do we need savings? Why collect annual assessments if we have money in reserves? One important reason is the protection of our property values. When it comes time for any owner to sell their home here, we want their buyers to see a community which is well-maintained in the present—and which also has a secure future. The upkeep of all of our assets is an essential calling card, and we certainly have an extensive portfolio to care for: over 20 bodies of water, 500+ acres of green space, 14 playground areas, multiple sports

As one of the largest homeowners associations in Texas, Stonebridge Ranch has hundreds of shared assets to protect through daily oversight and thoughtful planning for the future.

courts, two pools, an impressive tree canopy, miles of common fencing, over 200 sections of hardscaping and monuments, and more! Thus, our savings are meant to do two things. First, we use them to rectify normal wear and tear to our shared assets over time. Second, we can be assured our savings will help protect our community in case of the proverbial “rainy day”—an unforeseen repair, crisis or catastrophic event. When financial experts review the stability of a homeowners association, among other things they might look for a Repair & Replacement (R&R) Study, reserve savings consistent with recommendations in the study, and strong long- and short-term investment policies. How does the SRCA fare in these areas? REPAIR & REPLACEMENT R&R reserves are separate from an annual operating budget, which covers ongoing costs for services such as common area irrigation, daily management operations, and insurance and legal fees. In our association, we set R&R funds aside to pay for the fixed costs of upkeep for all our shared assets—everything from replacing light bulbs at entrance monuments to replacing many miles of common area fencing every year. How big does this fund need to be, and how do we arrive at that number? First, we look at the total value of everything the SRCA owns. Then we calculate the estimated cost of repairing and/or replacing each asset, accounting for the life expectancy of specific materials and factoring in rising costs year over year. To help in this area, the SRCA contracts a certified Reserve Study Engineer to inspect all our assets. The engineer produces a report (the R&R Study), predicting when each item will need to be repaired and replaced. From there, we can estimate how much money we will need on an ongoing basis to cover our asset maintenance costs. Says homeowner Bill Marley, the Chair of the Finance Committee, “The goal is for our R&R to be 80% funded, and I’m happy STONEBRIDGE RANCH NEWS

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The volunteers of the Finance Committee serve our community in part by protecting it for future generations.

we need to think about. Our association faces risks in other areas, too. For example, our investment portfolio return might not meet the anticipated benchmark over a 3- or 5-year period. Due to inflation or the rising cost of materials and labor, the real-world fees to keep our assets in good repair could exceed the numbers estimated in the Reserve Study. Or, what if our insurance coverage were not enough to address a natural event such as a tornado? These are just some of the things we need to think about.” Many smaller and younger associations cannot offer this level of security and assurance to their homeowners. How did the SRCA arrive at such a strong position by comparison? The answer is sound investment policy over the course of years.

to say that we are. We’ve calculated what it would take to replace each item in our portfolio, and we’ve put aside 80% of that total in the bank.” Why is this amount so important? With funds like these in savings, homeowners can trust that we have the means to complete large-scale repairs if and when they become necessary (for example, a critical lake dam repair or a major lake dredging project). We could also cover our insurance deductible costs if we experienced a catastrophic natural event. With such foresight and planning, the need for a special assessment billed to homeowners (separate from the expected annual fee) becomes much less likely. Notes Bill: “This is a critical piece to our financial well-being. In a way, our R&R reserves function like an endowment that we must protect and grow year over year. These savings should last as long as Stonebridge Ranch lasts. Without them, we’d be in a world of hurt if an unplanned need arose.” Further, he adds, “It’s not just natural events that

INVESTMENT POLICY As one of the longest-serving SRCA volunteers, Bill has a unique perspective on the growth of our financial security. “I’ve been involved with the Finance Committee in some capacity since 2000,” he says. “The committee started with two other homeowners and me.” At that time, the SRCA was still under developer (not homeowner) control, and the association did not have any reserve funds. But, notes Bill, the developers wanted to build a community which could stand the test of time. “If I recall correctly,” he says, “I think they started our R&R fund with about $300,000. And when they were in control, it was easy—they just decided how much money to give. But now we homeowners are the ones making decisions, and we must manage it ourselves. In 2004, we began working with a professional money management firm to help us oversee and grow our reserves.” Notes Bill, “This is where we see the importance of

A responsible homeowners association cares for current needs while also prepping for unexpected weather events or other crises that could impact our shared assets.

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strong investment policy. Since the committee’s inception, we’ve known that we needed both long- and short-term policies to guide us.* Policies protect our funds from interference over time as different homeowners volunteer for the Finance Committee or get elected to the Board of Directors. The policy puts handcuffs on us, for lack of a better term, so that we can’t go rogue. We’re not going to go invest all SRCA funds in Apple or Tesla stock, for example, because of our Board-approved policies. Right now, our goal per the policy is clean, conservative investing, with 50% in equity (higher risk indexes) and 50% in fixed (lower risk indexes). We work to maintain a well-allocated, broad-based portfolio.” Has all this oversight paid off? Yes! Since the inception of our R&R fund in 2001—and with the help of many volunteers, our professional management staff, and our money manager partners over the years—the fund has grown to over $7.4 million today. WITH GRATITUDE The existence of an SRCA savings account may not bring as much joy to our homeowners’ hearts as seeing their children or grandchildren make priceless memories at

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A home is one of the largest investments a household will make. By working together, we can protect the investment of the more than 9,400 homeowners in Stonebridge Ranch.

our amenities or social events. But our shared savings are a selling point to keep in mind if you ever decide to put your Stonebridge Ranch property on the market. In the history of Stonebridge Ranch, our homeowners have never been surprised by a special assessment to cover operational or maintenance expenses. With the support of the volunteers on the Finance Committee and our elected Board of Directors, our hope is that we can prevent any such surprises in the future.

Says Bill, “We have a really great mix of volunteers on our committee. Our members include bankers, CPA’s, and portfolio managers. The volunteers on our committee can’t point to a flower bed or to a new amenity and say, ‘I installed that—that was my idea.’ But they help protect everything we own.” He adds: “You know, I read recently that most Texans can’t put $500 together when they are hit with an emergency. That really makes me feel sad—and lucky that we have somewhere to go. We have somewhere to turn if our association ever faces a crisis. “I’m proud that we essentially made the playbook ourselves by looking forward. We also study all the current economic factors. We try to anticipate how the Federal Reserve and even elections could impact our savings and investments. A lot of people aren’t comfortable talking about finances, but I think we can be proud of what we’re building here.” ◀ *You can read the policies for yourself if you are curious. We post them publicly at www.stonebridgeranch.com/ association-policies.

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Board of Directors Welcomes New Member The Stonebridge Ranch Community Association (SRCA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the addition of a new member, homeowner Jim Buerkle. Jim was appointed to the position of Board Director at the August 20th Board meeting, filling a vacancy left by Michael Kaltenbaugh. (We sincerely thank Michael for his term of service. He stepped down in July following an unexpected opportunity to move overseas.) Previously, Jim served our community as the Secretary of the Amenities Committee. He will now serve as a Board Director, as a member of the Appeals Committee, and as the liaison to the Social Committee. Stonebridge Ranch News sat down with Jim to thank him for his years of volunteer service and to introduce him to our readers.

Welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m married, and my wife and I have two grown kids. We have lived in Stonebridge Ranch for about five years. We previously lived in Highland Village in Dallas from 1995 to 2009, followed by a move to Seattle for about five years. I spent 42 years in technology sales, the last eight with Microsoft. I retired in 2016. Why did you choose Stonebridge Ranch? We moved back to Dallas because of Microsoft. At first we hoped to find a house near our old neighborhood because we had friends there. But we had very specific ideas about the kind of house we wanted. And I knew I wanted to be close to Highway 121 for my work commute. We had some friends in this area, too, so we asked our Realtor, “What about McKinney?”

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, Twenty years ago JR & I started Ben Franklin Plumbing. We want to celebrate our 20th Anniversary by giving back to the friends that have supported us over the years. We know YOU are the HEROES in our community. You work hard to provide for your families, help with homework, drive the carpool, coach the sports teams & support the many charities in McKinney. When plumbing problems appear you just want someone you can trust to get in quick, fix the problem and restore your family back to normal. A company that will protect your family and your investment.

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We probably would not have moved here if it weren’t for our Realtor. She showed us some houses that fit what we were looking for, and I remember—the whole drive back across town, she talked about all that Stonebridge Ranch has to offer. She talked about the amenities and the social events and the strong HOA. That really got my attention. What sparked your volunteer service on behalf of our community? I started volunteering for Stonebridge Ranch in 2018. After I retired, I was thinking, “What am I gonna do with all this time? I mean—I can’t fish all day, every day!” Then I met several SRCA board members, and I realized they are quite involved in the community. I was really interested in what they were doing. A former board member, Michael Yon, mentioned that the Amenities Committee had an open volunteer position, so I decided to join. I really think we’ve developed and maintained a great set of amenities over the years, so I wanted to see how I could offer support and maybe even help improve things. Once I got on the committee, another volunteer, Ollie Cromwell, introduced me to everything we’ve got going on with our lakes and ponds. I was impressed with the fishing opportunities—in particular what this means for kids. Since the pandemic started, I’ve seen more and more people out fishing. I really enjoy seeing that because I helped author a lakes report while I was on the committee—it’s part of our strategic planning—and we’ve worked to improve our fish population. We’ve started using tilapia as feeder fish for the larger species, and we installed a pilot program of fish feeders at the Wellington Ponds. I think our lakes are one of our biggest assets, but they also create the potential for very large expenses. We know that they will all eventually need dredging someday, and that takes a lot of money. So that’s the challenge—how we can keep our lakes healthy and do so within our fixed cost structure. Why did you want to join the Board of Directors? I worked very closely with Board Vice President Norm Counts, the liaison to the Amenities Committee. He and I were having a conversation, and he asked me if I’d be interested in filling the vacancy. I said, “Yes, definitely!” because it’s just another opportunity to serve my community. When I look around at Stonebridge Ranch, I think


there are two factors that will really impact us in the coming years. First, we are pretty much built out. We are not going to attract people moving to Texas who want a big empty lot where they can build their dream home from scratch. Second, how can we compete with all these newer associations that are springing up around us? For one thing, most of them are still under developer control, and they have developer money to back them. They also have major marketing budgets. I think we’ve done a great job developing to this point, but the question is: how do we keep Stonebridge Ranch competitive and attractive to home buyers, and more importantly, how can we do it within our financial constraints? We want to continue to be known for firstclass amenities, activities, homes—the whole spectrum— and we know that costs are not going to go down, only up. I’m happy to have the opportunity to serve on the Board because I want to help answer these kinds of questions. I view it as an adventure. There’s also a huge learning curve as I begin this position—just keeping up with the amount of emails has been a surprise. SRCA Board members deal with a lot of information on a daily basis—there are so many decisions to be made. I’m excited! ◀

Curb Appeal Corner

Before you undertake your next home modification project, please consider how it will impact the other Stonebridge Ranch residents who live near you. Taking the initiative to inform your neighbors of your plans is a courteous step to check off your to-do list as you plan your project. Here we’ve compiled a few neighborly data points to keep in mind before your begin a home upgrade.

2 it takes

Fencing and retaining walls between lots impact two adjoining property owners. Because of this, when you replace a wood privacy fence, a metal fence, or a retaining wall, you need to turn in a Neighbor Acknowledgement Form as part of your Modification Application Process. This form is available at www. stonebridgeranch.com. The document needs to be signed by both property owners adjacent to the fencing or wall. Note: the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association (SRCA) does not mediate which owner should pay for fencing/wall repairs or upgrades.

6 a.m. - 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. When completing exterior home projects, keep in mind the noise level of your work. You can help your nearest neighbors prepare by advising them of your project in advance. Per the City of McKinney, permittted construction hours in all zoning districts are: • Monday to Friday, 6 AM to 9 PM • Saturday, 8 AM to 5 PM • Sunday, 1 PM to 5 PM

Be the

If your neighbors along your street haven’t introduced themselves yet to you, will you be the first to say hello? Even if you don’t have an exterior home project on the horizon, we encourage you to take the first step toward camaraderie! Why wait until you need somone to sign a Neighbor Acknowledgement form about a shared fence?

1st?

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Fencing Guidelines 101 Does the fencing in your yard need repair, replacement, or general upkeep? If so, read ahead for some basic tips from our community guidelines. WOOD FENCING TIPS 1. Wood fences must be made of redwood or cedar. 2. All pickets must be treated (through either painting or staining) in muted earth tones (in the brown or light gray range) to create a uniform appearance. 3. The height of the pickets may not exceed 6’. The picket width may be either 1” x 4” or 1” x 6”. 4. The design may be either board-ON-board or board-BESIDE-board (aka “side-by-side”). 5. A trim cap is required for both board-ON-board and board-BESIDE-board (aka “side-by-side”) fences. (Missing trim caps are one of the most common fencing violations our coordinators see while on inspection—are you missing any trim on your fence?) 6. A top cap is also required above the trim cap on board-ON-board fences. 7. As of a 2015 update to our guidelines, fences must now step down (rather than slope to follow a grade). A maximum of 1’ is permitted per step.

This board-BESIDE-board fence provides a good example of fencing with an appropriate stain color and the required trim cap.

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METAL FENCING TIPS 1. Metal fencing must be made of wrought iron. 2. Metal fencing must be painted flat/matte black. 3. Due to a safety update to our guidelines and to meet City of McKinney requirements, new and replaced metal fencing must be 59” in height. THE GUIDELINES Beyond the basics noted above, be sure to read the fencing section of the Modif ication Design Guidelines, as well as the separate guidelines for your specific village. These documents are always available at www.stonebridgeranch.com. They include requirements regarding setback, materials, and more, as well as what documentation you need to supply if you are required to submit a Modification Application. Note that you must follow the most restrictive guideline, which is typically the village guideline.

This board-ON-board fence showcases an approved stain color and the required trim AND top caps.


WHEN DO I NEED TO SUBMIT? We often use words such as repair, replace, modify, change and update to refer to exterior home upkeep. If you have ever wondered, ‘Do I really need to submit a Modification Application if I’m only repairing or replacing X, Y, or Z?’, please know that the answer may indeed be ‘Yes.’ In regards to fencing, if you are replacing a section greater than eight (8) feet in length—even if you intend to repair the fence in the same location and with the same style/materials as before—you need to submit a Modification Application and receive approval from the Modifications Committee prior to project start. We use this process to ensure your fencing meets current guidelines and to help homeowners avoid costly compliance violations. If you are completing fence maintenance on a portion less than eight (8) feet in length, you do not need to submit an application. However, your repair must meet guidelines and the new portion of fence must match the older portions so as not to present an eyesore. (Example: if you replace one wooden picket, you need to stain it to match the older pickets.)

CALL US FIRST If you have questions regarding fencing guidelines or the Modification Application process, please contact association staff as the first step in your project planning. Staff can help you understand our community guidelines and instruct you as you submit your Modification Application. Applications which don’t include the necessary details are automatically denied and need to be re-submitted, so please: let us help you get it right the first time! Staff are available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You may contact them via phone at 214.733.5800, email at srca@cmamangement.com, or via the “Submit a Question” form at www.stonebridgeranch.com. We encourage virtual communication due to COVID-19. If needed, you can make an appointment to visit with a staff member in-person at the association office (6201 Virginia Parkway). ◀

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October 2020

Social Scene

www.stonebridgeranch.com/events/

Shipping • Packaging • Mailbox Rental • Banners Notary • Passport Renewals • Printing • Faxing

214-592-0855 6710 Virginia Pkwy., Suite 215 • McKinney, TX 75071

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DISCLAIMER: Due to print lead times, all the events listed in this issue are subject to change or cancellation. Prior to attending any event hosted by the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association (SRCA), please check the online calendar at https://www. stonebridgeranch.com/events/ to confirm event times and read complete event details. Event attendees assume all risks related to COVID-19. The SRCA does not insure attendees’ safety or offer any warranty in relation to COVID-19. On the date of each event listed on our calendar, if face mask coverings and social distancing of six feet (6’) are recommended by state and health authorities, we will recommend (but not require) such measures for the safety of all. Please bring a face mask to wear when you cannot socially distance at least 6′ feet or if you want to enter an indoor space (including to use the restroom). We also ask residents to make decisions in the best interest of your household members as well as neighbors. Please do not attend an SRCA event if you feel unwell or have a fever, if you have an underlying health condition which puts you at risk, or if you have been in known contact with someone who has an active case of COVID-19.


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Coffee, Cars & Cycles Saturday, Oct. 17 8:30 to 10 a.m., Circle Drive 6201 Virginia Parkway

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Stonebridge Ranch News October 2020  

Stonebridge Ranch News October 2020  

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