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STONEBRIDGE RANCH HOA NEWS April 2014

Vol. 2, Issue 4

Contents IN EVERY ISSUE 5

From the President by Jon Dell’Antonia

8

This Month’s Feature

10

In the News

12 www.stonebridgeranch.com by Sherine George 14

Compliance Tips by Courtney Birmingham

16

Community Calendar

18

Financial Update by Michael Lesku

20

Inside the HOA by Michael Lesku

24

Your Neighbor by Sherine George

26 Lifestyle 28

Social Scene

SPECIAL SECTIONS 22

Bits and Pieces

30

Landscape & Garden by Shannon Sheriff and Ed Jensen

Stonebridge Ranch HOA News © 2014 is published by Moonlight Graphics. All rights reserved. It is individually mailed free of charge to all residents of Stonebridge Ranch. Moonlight Graphics, P.O. Box 132, Allen, TX 75013, 972.727.4569, fax 972.396.0807. Visit www.allenimage.com.

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from the presIdent STONEBRIDGE RANCH HOA NEWS

publisher/editor Barbara Peavy

office administrator Carrie McCormick

advertising sales Sue Hardesty

contributing writers Courtney Birmingham Jon Dell’Antonia Sherine George Ed Jensen Michael Lesku Shannon Sheriff

Successful Annual Meeting Our annual meeting was held on Thursday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Crosspoint Church. Homeowners received presentations from board members about 2013 activities,and our Strategic Plan, and Mayor Brian Loughmiller who brought us up to date about things happening in the city of McKinney. We also elected two board members to the association’s board of directors. In this month’s issue of the magazine, we are presenting the Strategic Plan the board adopted for Stonebridge Ranch at its December meeting. It was originally scheduled to be in last month’s issue, but did not make it into that publication.

February 4 Special Board Meeting

A special meeting of the board was called to order at 4 p.m. The purpose of the meeting was to receive an update on a legal issue for the board to consider. The other item was to meet with each new candidate running for a position on the board to explain the duties and expectations of a board member of Stonebridge Ranch. All candidates who are running for a seat on the board met individually with the board. The meeting adjourned at 6:29 p.m.

February 20 Board Meeting

The board meeting of February 20 was called to order at 1 p.m. The meeting began with a Homeowners Open Forum. No homeowners appeared. One homeowner attended as a guest to observe the meeting. We also approved the minutes of the January 23 board meeting.

Old Business

KwikImage.com

There was no old business. The board reviewed the violations summary report, an update on the status of our Strategic Plan and heard board liaison committee reports.

Location: between

New Business

cover photo

Stonebridge Drive & Coronodo

The board reviewed the information to be handed out to each homeowner who attends the annual meeting. We also reviewed the power point presentation to be made at the annual meeting, which will highlight the association’s significant activities for 2013. We then approved a telecommunications proposal that reviewed all of our communication lines, which will result in an annual savings to the association of about $13,000.

Executive Session

For information or to place an advertisement, please contact: Moonlight Graphics, P.O. Box 132, Allen, TX 75013, call 972.727.4569 or email sue@allenimage.com.

The board approved the violations report, collections report, collections committee report, and received a legal issues update. We also had four homeowners appear to appeal property related violations. After listening to the homeowner’s appeals and discussing the issues presented, appropriate decisions were made. The board then reviewed the financial report and some contracts. The meeting adjourned at 6:25 p.m. Jon Dell’Antonia President Stonebridge Ranch HOA News x April 2014

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Stonebridge Ranch Community Association 6201 Virginia Parkway, McKinney, TX 75071 214.733.5800 • fax 214.778.0595 Courtesy Patrol 214.794.4945

Association Hours Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Association Staff Michael Lesku—Director of Operations Shannon Sheriff—Assistant Manager Candace Rickman—Community Service Coordinator Courtney Birmingham—Compliance Coordinator Rony Peterson—Compliance Coordinator Joyce Martin—M.A.R.C. Compliance Coordinator Sherine George—Communications Coordinator Michael Cawley—Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Torres—Maintenance Assistant David Wiest—Lifestyle Director Lynette Rowell—Administrative Assistant

Board of Directors Jon Dell’Antonia—President Ron Ferris—Vice-President Richard MacFee—Treasurer David Counts—Director Tom George—Director Michael Yon—Director Bill Campbell—Director Stonebridge Ranch Homeowners Association News is the only authorized and official monthly publication for the residents of the Stonebridge Ranch community, with news and calendar of community events endorsed by the Stonebridge Ranch HOA and its members. Stonebridge Ranch HOA News is published for the residents of Stonebridge Ranch for informational purposes only. The Stonebridge Ranch HOA does not guarantee any work or claims made by the advertisers and claims no responsibility or liability for statements made in the publication. Stonebridge Ranch does not in any way endorse or support, nor does it take any credit or responsibility for the services, paid or volunteer, nor statements made in articles or letters published herein not endorsed by the Association or the group decision of the Board of Directors.

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thIs month’ s feature Association Approves New Strategic Plan Now that Stonebridge Ranch is 25 years old and has been under homeowner management for the past six years, the board president and association director felt it was time to develop a plan to provide a direction for the future of Stonebridge Ranch. With the board’s approval and active participation, a planning session was conducted in November of 2013. After a series of strategic meetings, the board crystallized the vision and mission for our association. A strategic plan was formally adopted by the board at the December 2013 board meeting. A rigorous implementation of the Strategic Plan and review process will help ensure we have the management process that Stonebridge Ranch needs to remain a premier association. Why did the board undertake this task and what does it mean for our homeowners? Since the board became a homeowner-managed board, it has been making decisions in the best interest of Stonebridge Ranch, reacting as events occurred. Now that we have matured, the board felt it was time to become more proactive and less reactive as we move forward. That required a plan and the decision was made to develop a Strategic Plan for Stonebridge Ranch. The Strategic Plan the board adopted is important to Stonebridge because it provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals. It spells out where we are headed in the next several years and how we are going to get there. It will help guide in making day-to-day decisions and evaluating progress, and changing approaches when necessary. In order for any business to be successful, there needs to be a roadmap for success. Our strategic plan helps to provide direction and focus for our board, our employees and our committees. It provides specific results that are to be achieved and establishes a course of action for achieving them. It also links the goals to each of our committees to provide them with specific direction and align them with common goals. Finally, it serves the purpose of helping our association do a better job, because it focuses the energy, resources and time of everyone in the organization in the same direction. The following vision statement defines the desired future state of the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association. The mission statement provides the purpose of our HOA. Our vision and mission lend the foundation and framework for our 9-step Strategic Plan.

Vision Statement

To be the premier, large scale, master planned community of choice in North Texas.

Mission Statement

Preserve and enhance the quality and natural beauty of Stonebridge Ranch for our residents by offering attractive

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thIs month’ s feature

amenities, active lifestyle opportunities and leadership, which protects property values and the financial health of the community.

Strategic Plan

1) Update the Master Landscape Plan. The target funding amount is $300,000 annually over 7 years ($2.1M total). 2) Create and implement a long term Capital Improvement Plan that includes both the addition of new common area amenities and the enhancement of existing amenities at a target funding rate of 1.5% of annual assessments. 3) Develop a Communications Action Plan to consolidate the association’s existing communication channels and potential future channels. 4) Develop an ongoing plan for resource conservation to reduce association operating costs. 5) On an ongoing basis, manage the cost of ownership of

the HOA by increasing efficiencies and/or reducing costs. 6) Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan. The plan should include the most likely perils that could occur in North Texas. 7) Focus on city and state government related issues that would affect association operations. 8) Identify and maintain oversight for any association common area lake and dam issues. 9) Clarify maintenance responsibilities of the country club and the association. Below is an excerpt from consultant Howard Kimpel, retired human resources and organization development executive, on his experience working with the board of directors and CMA staff while developing the strategic plan. “I came to understand that they approach their responsibilities with every bit of drive and determination as a corporate senior management team. I was also impressed with their depth of knowledge of the myriad and diverse areas of activity in which their HOA is involved. The overall impression I received while working with this team is one of high competence, willingness to work hard and devotion to providing the highest quality leadership possible to Stonebridge Ranch. Pretty impressive for a group of volunteers! Homeowners should be proud of this team and feel fortunate that they have these folks looking out for their best interests. They truly are a board to be admired!” F

Stonebridge Ranch HOA News x April 2014

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In the news Annual Meeting Results Stonebridge Ranch Community Association would like to congratulate Ron Ferris and David Counts for their election into the office of the board of directors. The current board members look forward to their upcoming contributions to the Winner of assessment dues door prize: community. The two Dennie Monroe newly elected members attended their first meeting on March 20. This meeting was an organizational meeting in which board officers and committee liaisons were elected. As expected, the annual meeting was well attended with hundreds of owners in attendance. In addition, the total number of online votes was at a record high at 555 votes. We were pleased to meet quorum on Saturday, March 1. As always, it is critical that we meet our quorum since a failure to

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do so would require us to hold another meeting at a cost of about $30,000. Therefore, we want to express our deep gratitude to everyone who voted and sent in proxies. Our mayor and fellow SRCA resident Brian Loughmiller gave us an update on projects and activities occurring in and around McKinney and affecting Stonebridge Ranch residents. Loughmiller’s power point presentation, as well as the annual meeting presentation, can be found on the SRCA website under the annual meeting tab. Mayor Pro Tem and District 3 Councilmember Travis Ussery and At-Large Councilmember Roger Harris were in attendance at the meeting. Also present was District 4 Councilmember Ray Ricchi, an SRCA resident, who provided a third-party review of the election tally. Councilman Ray Ricchi also did the honors of pulling names for the door prizes. Door prizes included a 2015 annual assessment due (a $740 value) donated by the board of directors, a $100 Visa gift card donated by Valley Crest Landscape Maintenance, a $100 Visa gift card donated by Precision Landscape Management and two $50 Visa gift cards donated by Precision Fence and Deck. Mayor Loughmiller, Mayor Pro Tem Ussery and Councilmembers Ricchi and Harris remained after the meeting to answer questions. We appreciate their time and support of the SRCA’s activities. F


www.stonebrI dgeranch.com How can I get connected? By Sherine George

Have you visited our website www.stonebridgeranch. com yet? The association is always looking for ways to engage and keep you connected to the community. Take a moment and peruse our website and you will be pleased to find that it is capable of answering many of your questions. Is the change you are making to your house a modification that needs approval? Just go to the Modifications Information page and click on the Modifications List and see if your change qualifies. You can also locate the Modification Guidelines, Applications and Neighbor Agreement on that page. Don’t forget to visit our online Documents and Forms Library. Here you will find useful information such as Design Guidelines and Subdivision Guidelines. If you are a registered user, you will have even more access to the website. Registering is as easy as creating a login ID and password. Make sure to have your account number (starting with 003) available while registering. Once registered, you have the option to select the type of emails you want to receive from the association. You can choose from a variety of categories, including family events, adult events, races and triathlons and board and committee meetings. After selecting what kind of email you want to receive, you will be notified as soon as that event is added to our community calendar. As a registered user you will find that you can pay assessments online, view any existing open violations and submit online modification requests. The website offers even more ways to get connected to the pulse of the community. The Stonebridge Ranch community calendar is just one click away on our SRCA website. Did you miss the cooking class offered by the association and Stonebridge Ranch Country Club or bingo night at the association office? Check back on the community calendar to make sure you don’t miss any more exciting events. The calendar includes all Stonebridge Ranch social events as well as board and committee meeting dates. Looking for information about amenities? You can find schedules for tennis classes, aqua aerobics, the Aquatic Center, Beach Club and photo IDs on our website. And last, but certainly not least, keep in touch with your community by reading your monthly magazine, Stonebridge Ranch HOA News. Our community magazine is a compilation of all Stonebridge Ranch news and social activities right at your fingertips. Not to worry if you missed last month’s edition—we have digital issues of our magazine available online under HOA news! F

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At Dana Palmer Law Group PLLC, they believe that divorce doesn’t have to be so hard.

battle, with each spouse trying to extract as much money as possible from the other, then no one ‘wins.’

“What we try to do is get people through a divorce in the healthiest way possible so that everyone can move on to the next chapter in their lives, in the best way possible,” says Dana, creator of the Soft Divorce® brand. “We don’t define success by the other party’s failure. Instead, our goal is for our client, their children, and even their soon-to-be-ex-spouse, to be as healthy as possible after the divorce.”

“I’m the type of person who is always looking for a better way to do something—and when I find that better way, I feel compelled to share it with others,” Dana explains. “That’s why I’m now sharing the Soft Divorce® program worldwide.”

A better way to divorce

Dana C.

It’s a concept that Dana created after focusing his law firm in McKinney on family law in 2011. “I opened the firm in 2006, practicing a wide variety of cases. I soon realized that family law cases provided me with the biggest opportunity to help people and that’s when I decided to narrow my focus,” Dana says. Quickly, he says, he saw that when divorce is approached as a Palmer

Soft Divorce® is a concept and framework of the best practices in family law and divorce procedures that aim to keep divorces civil, family-oriented, healthy and as painfree and stress-free as possible. “I believe in Soft Divorce® because it’s better than a ‘hard divorce.’” Dana says. “At the end of the day, former spouses will always be parents together and they need to have the best possible relationship with one another, as well as with their kids. A Soft Divorce® allows for that.”

Happier, healthier results Of course, the firm’s approach doesn’t mean that they’ll simply “lie down” and take whatever the other party’s attorney is offering. “There are times that we have to, and we do, ‘play hard-ball,’” Dana says. “We go into court knowing that we’ve taken the high road, but we’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the healthy result we’re after.” When prospective clients first hear about the firm’s Soft Divorce brand, Dana says, they’re often relieved to discover that there’s a healthier way to go through the divorce process. “You always see on TV and hear about divorces where people end up hating each other and losing so much,” he says. “We show people a different and better way.” For more information, please call or visit our website.


complIance tI p s Spring Compliance Tips by Courtney Birmingham Spring. It’s the season for weeds! Consulting with your nursery for weed killer will help you eliminate them, leaving you with a healthy, pretty lawn this year. Fences: With warmer weather upon us, many homeowners are ready to stain or replace the fence. You can submit your requests to the modification committee. Trash totes: Don’t forget to store your trash totes and recycle bins! Totes should be behind a large shrub if placed at the side of the home or screened by the proper trash tote fencing. For more information please see Design Guidelines in our Documents Library at www.stonebridgeranch.com. Dogs: We always want to keep our pups safe! Dogs should be kept on a leash and accompanied by their owner when outside the perimeter of a secure enclosure. Also, don’t forget to be a good pet owner and pick up after your pet— trash receptacles are provided for homeowners to use. Landscaping: We thank everyone who is keeping a tidy and attractive yard. Now is the time to start spring cleanup and refresh the lawn and flowerbeds. Lost pets: Call the SRCA office and report your missing pet and we will post it on the SRCA website. Please do not staple or pin your notices to lamp-posts/street signs as this is against Stonebridge Ranch and city codes. Your homeowner dues pay for the painting of these posts. Removing the notices removes the paint. Tell us what information you want posted online, and we will do it for you!

Applications can be made online, go to www. stonebridgeranch.com. Modifications: Following are some of the items needing approval BEFORE installation: arbor; pool; spa; waterfall; gazebo; deck; patio; sheds; swing set; play-set/playhouse; trampoline; additions or remodels. You are in violation if approval is not obtained. Address changes: Important—If you move, please contact the CMA corporate office to advise the address change, 972.943.2800 or go to www.cmamanagement.com This is particularly important if you decide to rent or lease your home. All homeowners, renters or persons leasing a home must abide by the Stonebridge Ranch Guidelines and CC&R’s. Guidelines: You can now look up the modification guidelines and subdivision guidelines on the website at www. stonebridgeranch.com. The compliance team is here to help and advise you, please call 214.733.5800. Compliance Coordinators—Rony Peterson, Courtney Birmingham. MARC Compliance Coordinator—Joyce Martin (new construction only) F

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complIance tI ps Test your Stonebridge Ranch knowledge!! 1: Can we plant trees and shrubs in the common area behind our home? a) Yes

b) No

2: If I see a landscaping problem with a common area who should I call? a) the city

b) the HOA

3: Can I hold an organized event on common area property? a) Yes

b) No

a) Yes

b) No

4: My brother-in-law loves to fish, can he come and fish in the lakes by himself? 5: In an effort to keep fit, Santa bought the family tennis rackets for Christmas. Do we have to book a time for the tennis courts?

a) Yes

b) No

Answers: 1) b—No, landscape maintenance costs are included in a contract with the association and if more landscaping is added these cost are not included in the budget. 2) b—The HOA will take care of this; please call 214.733.5800. 3) a—Yes, if you have prior approval from the board of directors. 4) b—No, he can fish if accompanied by a resident with a resident ID. 5) b—No, the tennis courts are on an unreserved first come, first play basis.

Stonebridge Ranch HOA News x April 2014

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MARC Meeting, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (BR) Amenities Committee Meeting, 7-9 p.m. (BR)

Visit www.StonebridgeRanch. com for event details.

King Tut Triathlon, 7:30 a.m. (BTC)

9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC) 4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC) 6-7 pm—Fit4Baby (CR)

9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC) 4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC) 6-7 pm—Fit4Baby (CR)

Landscape & Grou Committee Meetin (BR)

9:30-10:30 am—Stroller S

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis C Select Tennis Academy 6-7 pm—Fit4 Baby (CR)

Modifications Committee Meeting, 6 p.m. (BR)

Coffee Talk, 8:30

ARC Meeting, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (BR)

Communications Meeting, 7-9 p.m.

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

MARC Meeting 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (BR) 4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

9:30-10:30 am—Stroller S

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis C Select Tennis Academy 6-7 pm—Fit4 Baby (CR)

Coffee Talk, 8:30

Social Committee (BR)

:30-10:30 am—Stroller S

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis C Select Tennis Academ 6-7 pm—Fit4 Baby (CR)

9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

Travel Club Meeting, 9 a.m. (CR)

Coffee Talk, 8:30

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC) 6-7 pm—Fit4Baby (CR)

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis C Select Tennis Academ 6-7 pm—Fit 4Baby (CR)

MARC Meeting 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (BR)

Coffee Talk, 8:30

Travel Club, 9 a.m. (CR)

9:30-10:30 am—Stroller

9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC) 4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC) 6-7 pm—Fit4Baby (CR)

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

9:30-10:30 am—Stroller

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis C Select Tennis Academ 6-7 pm—Fit4Baby (CR)


unds ng, 7-9 p.m. 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

Strides (BTC)

Classes, y (BTC)

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

Evening on the Veranda, 7 p.m. (BTC)

a.m. (CR)

Committee . (BR)

Strides (BTC)

9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

Meet the Easter Bunny, 10 a.m. (BTC)

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

Classes, y (BTC)

a.m. (CR)

e Meeting, 9 a.m.

Strides (BTC)

Classes, my (BTC) )

Board of Directors Meeting, 1 p.m. (BR) Stonebridge Night at the Roughriders, 7 p.m.

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

a.m. (CR)

9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

Strides (BTC)

Classes, my (BTC) )

9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

Visit www.StonebridgeRanch. com for event details.

a.m. (CR)

April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

coffee talk 8:30 a.m. (CR)

Strides (BTC)

April 11

Evening on the veranda 7 p.m. (btc)

Classes, my (BTC)

april 12 meet the easter bunny 10 a.m. (btc) april 13

king tut triathlon 7:30 a.m. (btc)

april 17 stonebridge night at the roughriders 7 p.m.


fInancIal update Inside the HOA Budget by Michael Lesku This month I will be providing a breakdown of the association administrative costs. Administrative costs include those expenses associated with the infrastructure to handle the day-to-day operation of the association, insurance premiums, professional fees for tax preparation and audits, federal income tax and property taxes. Handling the day-to-day operations of a 5,000-acre community with 35,000 residents is a big job! Many cities the size of Stonebridge Ranch have dozens of full time employees to meet their operational needs. In the case of Stonebridge Ranch, the day-to-day operations are supported by a small onsite staff and regional staff. The onsite staff handle the compliance inspections, ACC processing, accounts payable and receivable functions, vendor operations, pool operations, social activities, website administration and owner inquiries. The regional staff handles assessment billing and collection, accounting services, human resources and recruitment services and IT services. The annual costs for onsite and regional staff support total approximately $975K, or 14% of the association’s annual expense budget.

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Administrative Costs to Operate the HOA • Administrative costs represent 20% of the association’s annual expense budget. • Day-to-day operations supported by onsite and regional staff. • The association secures insurance polices for all common area assets • The association secures insurance polices to protect against claims of injury on common area properties. • City rates for water have increased by 28% since 2008 As recommended in the association’s governing documents, the association secures insurance polices annually to protect the association against potential liability as well as loss or damage to association assets. The association’s general liability policy protects the association


fInancIal update against claims of injury from residents or guests while on association property. The association’s property policy covers costs associated with loss or damage to the association assets. The association has $7.1 million of common area assets. The association also secures insurance polices for Directors and Officers, Workman’s Compensation and Theft. The annual premiums for these polices totals approximately $170K, or 2.4% of the association’s annual expense budget. While the Stonebridge Ranch Community Association is a not-for-profit entity, it is not immune from paying taxes. The association pays federal income tax on gains made on its short-term and long-term investments to the tune of $32K annually. The association also pays property taxes on all 519 acres of common area totaling $12K annually. Tax expense totals $44K per year, or less than 1% of the association’s annual expense budget.

The final administrative expense component is related to the annual audit of the association’s financials and preparation of the association’s federal income tax return. Each year the association contracts with a third party Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to review the association’s financials to ensure compliance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP) of the United States of America. The CPA also prepares the association’s federal income tax return for gains realized from the association’s short- and long-term investments. The costs for these professional services total $8K per year, or less than 1% of the association’s annual expense budget. As always, I’m available by phone or email if you have comments or questions. Next month, I’ll discuss another important component of the budget—operational costs of the association pools. F Stonebridge Ranch HOA News x April 2014

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InsId e the hoa The Nature Of Homeowners Associations by Michael Lesku Delivering Services and Amenities

Homeowner associations (HOAs) deliver services and amenities that were once the exclusive province of local government, including pools, parks and tennis courts to name a few. This transfer, or privatization, of services and amenities has become commonplace as the demand for housing has outpaced the ability of many local governments to provide services. Not only has privatization relieved local municipal budgets, but it has proven economically efficient for homeowners. Many of today’s homebuyers are second and third time buyers in homeowner associations—people who understand and value the benefits and services provided in planned communities. • HOAs maintain common area landscape. Reserves are maintained for future repairs and replacement of common property. • Many HOAs maintain swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds and other amenities that most Americans cannot afford on their own. Many HOAs also provide social activities, clubhouses, walking trails and more. • In the best communities, HOAs offer a real sense of community, an important contribution in an increasingly transient society.

Providing Value and Protecting Property Values

By delivering services at the direction of their members, HOAs meet the expectations of residents by working to provide a safe, well-maintained living environment, preserving the nature of the community and protecting property values. Cooperation and compliance are accomplished through governing documents that typically address architectural guidelines (dealing with items such as additions, decks and paint colors) and rules pertaining to issues such as noise, pets and parking. Enforced fairly and equitably by the members themselves, these documents guide the management and governance of the HOA and are generally consistent with zoning and other provisions of the larger civil community in which the HOA is located.

Offering Protection and Oversight

HOA rules and regulations are not really all that much different from their municipal counterparts. In practical terms, HOA regulations are another layer of protection against neighborhood degradation and another means of maintaining community standards and protecting property values. HOAs lessen the need for local government oversight

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InsIde the hoa of housing conditions, since design guidelines and covenant inspections are performed by the HOA—the functional equivalent of building and zoning inspectors. Associations have one big advantage: while most municipalities are not equipped—i.e., do not have the manpower—to monitor housing, community association homeowners have a vested interest in reporting problems, from architectural and building code violations to landscaping issues.

Inspiring Responsibility and Involvement

Community association homeowners like the responsibility that comes with homeowner control of their own neighborhoods. Importantly, community association leaders are elected by their neighbors to serve the best interests of the community as a whole. Because they live in their communities, these leaders better understand the needs of the community, from the delivery of core services and amenities to decisions affecting the future of the community. Significantly, many HOAs enjoy a higher level of civic involvement than municipalities in terms of voting, meeting attendance and volunteerism. Voting by proxy helps HOAs meet quorum requirements, an option that is not available in municipal elections.

Stonebridge Ranch

As you can see, HOA living is more than just paying your assessments and attending the annual meeting. Stonebridge Ranch provides amenities and services members enjoy while at the same time protects and enhances property values and brings owners together by building a sense of community through social events. Stonebridge Ranch has many of the attributes that make up a successful HOA. It’s these attributes that continue to make Stonebridge Ranch one of the most desirable communities in which to build and live. F

Stonebridge Ranch HOA News x April 2014

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bIt s & pI eces New Homeowner Welcome Party by Sherine George The association had its first New Homeowner Welcome Party on Thursday, February 6 at the Stonebridge Ranch Country Club. The event was co-hosted by both the Stonebridge Ranch Country Club and the SRCA. Over 250 new homeowners were invited to attend. In spite of the inclement weather, a total of 80 guests, including board and committee members, attended the party. “The party was a huge success. People really enjoyed meeting each other and learning more about their community,” shared Cindy Galvan, a member of the social committee. The revitalized social committee was instrumental in the planning of this event. The goal was to provide new owners the opportunity to learn more about the association and the country club while interacting with the association leadership and staff. The association had tables displaying information about the website, compliance and amenities. Owners were able to visit with staff and get connected to their community while enjoying a live band performance by Buzz Andrews.

Due to the success of the event, the social committee has decided to continue hosting welcome parties on a quarterly basis for new homeowners in the community. Both association leadership and staff received great feedback from new homeowners regarding the event. Gonzalo Campos, assistant principal at McKinney Boyd High School, was one such homeowner. He and his wife recently moved to McKinney from California and were glad they made the decision to attend the event in spite of the weather, “My wife, Stacey, and I were greeted by the Stonebridge Community Association members and we were provided with some great food and beverages. We were able to speak directly with several board members and they told us about various events and activities that take place right here in our community. We were also able to meet some other new homeowners and we look forward to getting to know them better. There was also a very good live band that was playing some classic tunes so we are very happy that we made the choice to attend this event. We look forward to enjoying everything that Stonebridge and the city of McKinney have to offer. Thank you again for the warm welcome.”

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bIts & pIe ces Photo IDs All residents three years and older are required to have either a SRCA photo ID or a valid driver ’s license to visit the pools. Residents may only use a valid driver ’s license if the address on the driver ’s license is their Stonebridge Ranch address. If you’re a tenant, you will need to use the Transfer of Privileges Form (available online) to obtain your temporary ID. Tenants need the temporary IDs to access the association facilities. All residents must carry appropriate ID while fishing at any of the community lakes. If you recently moved to Stonebridge Ranch and have not obtained your ID yet, please be sure to do so during the scheduled photo ID sessions. The photo ID schedule can be found at www.stonebridgeranch.com. The photo ID form located in the Forms and Applications section of the Document and Forms Library can be printed and completed in advance to help reduce your wait time. Please note that children 3 years and older need a birth or adoption certificate, passport or state issued ID card. Also, all residents must be current on their account to obtain an ID. Residents with an outstanding account balance will be denied access. Having the proper identification and keeping your account in good standing will ensure hassle-free access to the pools.

Committee Announcements In order for an organization the size of Stonebridge Ranch to be successful and reach its full potential, it requires the appropriate infrastructure. Your seven elected board director volunteers cannot address the needs of a community the size of Stonebridge Ranch by themselves. They need your help. By volunteering to serve on one of the association’s committees you can create a positive impact on your community. Currently there are openings on the following two committees. Please read the description of the committees below: Finance committee—It assists the board of directors with the development of the association’s annual budget and with the monitoring of association expenses, along with evaluating the variety of investment options available to the association. Communications committee—This committee advises and assists the board of directors in the development and maintenance of the SRCA newsletter and the website. If you are interested in serving, visit our website www.stonebridgeranch.com and fill out a volunteer form and mail it in to the association office, fax it to 214.778.0595 or email it to mlesku@cmamanagement. com. Help make Stonebridge Ranch an even better place to live! F Stonebridge Ranch HOA News x April 2014

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your neIg hbor Member Focus: Councilman Roger Harris by Sherine George What prompted you to begin serving the city of McKinney?

I spend a lot of time in McKinney. I work here, I am a member of the Chamber of Commerce, I have served on a few boards and commissions. My family has been raised in McKinney participating in the school system, the church and all of the experiences that result from these exposures. 

What are your hobbies or special interests?

I enjoy riding my motorcycle cross-country. I have ridden to Sturgis, Key West, Quebec City, San Diego and have made several trips to Chicago and Memphis. I also enjoy flying single engine aircraft.

Can you share something interesting about yourself that may surprise others?

I began working in a laundry for minimum wage in high school. Today I find myself operating one of the largest independently-owned linen service businesses in Texas, serving North Texas and the Houston metro market areas.

Tell us about your family.

I have been happily married to Jan for 26 years. We have a daughter, Allison, 23, a news reporter at News On 6 in Tulsa. Allison is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. We have 21-year-old twin sons—Steven, who is enrolled at the University of Oklahoma, is considering a law degree, and plays in the OU Pride marching band, and John, who is enrolled at the University of Arkansas as a history major and a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity.

How long has your family lived in Stonebridge Ranch?

Jan and I moved our family to Stonebridge Ranch 22 years ago in 1992.

What are your family’s favorite things to do in the community or what amenities do you enjoy most in the community?

I would have to say that the park system is the single most standout for our family growing up. From walking the parks, playing soccer, baseball, football, and summer programs, the park system has afforded our family an incredible lifestyle and quality of life while raising our family. When the children were smaller we spent a lot of time at the Beach and Tennis Club. 

In what village do you reside and how did you find your way to the area?

Our family lives in the Hills Creek neighborhood. We moved to McKinney from Addison as we were developing a family and needing more room to grow. I was working in McKinney, had realized what a great community McKinney was and saw the potential for the city. I was familiar with McKinney due to flight training in the early 80s, which brought me to the McKinney Airport on many occasions. 

What do you love most about the Stonebridge Ranch community?

The people who reside in Stonebridge Ranch are some of the nicest, most involved people we have ever been exposed to. It was apparent from our first time here that Stonebridge Ranch

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was going to develop into a very special community, and it certainly has.

 What would you say is the most significant change you’ve seen in Stonebridge Ranch community?

All the neighborhoods! When I talk to people now it is very difficult for me to remember where each community is. I remember my father-in-law living in Nebraska calling me one day when Stonebridge was quite small (500-600 people) telling me had just read an article saying Stonebridge Ranch in McKinney could one day have 20,000 people. We spent about an hour discussing Stonebridge and McKinney. Little did I realize how fast the community would develop. 

Looking back on your time in Stonebridge, what are some of your most memorable moments?

Meeting others who reside in Stonebridge Ranch is certainly enjoyable. Stonebridge offers a unique opportunity to interact with members of a community who are very active, outgoing and interested in the schools, churches and their municipality. I find this very enjoyable and refreshing and believe it speaks volumes as to who we are and where we are going. 

What advice would you give young families that are new to Stonebridge Ranch and trying to settle in?

Above all else: make time to enjoy family and all of the amenities and great things we have right here in McKinney. Looking back, these years raising our kids in this great community have flown by, and I would love to relive each moment. My best advice to young McKinney families is to take it all in and embrace each moment. F


lIfestyle MLA Spring Yard Sale The public is invited to snap up good bargains for a great cause on Saturday, April 26 at the McKinney Ladies Association’s community-wide Spring Yard Sale. The yard sale is set from 7 a.m. to noon, rain or shine, in the parking lot of Stonebridge United Methodist Church, 1800 S. Stonebridge Drive in McKinney. Adults are asked to make a $1 donation to shop, while children accompanied by an adult can shop for free. Each vendor paid $45 to take part in the highly popular sale, and all proceeds benefit college scholarships for the children of McKinney’s first responders. During MLA’s spring 2013 sale, the women’s group raised $5,000 for the scholarship fund. MLA’s semiannual community-wide yard sales always draw hundreds of shoppers. Items for sale will include children’s and adults’ clothing, toys, furniture, household items, strollers, bikes, yard equipment and much more. MLA Board Member Connie Hollstein-Drexel has spearheaded the sale for the past several years and is excited about the response she’s had from those interested in selling items and shopping. The sale is staffed by volunteers—MLA members, supporters and friends. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Connie at cjhollstein@aol.com.

McKinney Area Newcomers Club If you are new to the McKinney area, come join us for fun, information and friendship. Every month we have great speakers, nice door prizes, tasty refreshments and lots of good socializing with new friends. We invite you to join us for our monthly Coffee Meeting. For more information on Newcomers, visit www.mckinneynewcomers.com The program this month is Beauty in a Life Repurposed. Our guest speaker, Kimberly Moore, will share her passion for discovering new uses for vintage costume jewelry that is often in need of being restored, revamped or repaired. Kimberly has been a motivational fitness speaker to over 80 corporations, churches, professional organizations, non-profit and social groups. During the past several years, she has acquired a new interest in collecting vintage clip earrings, hat pins, shoe clips and brooches to recreate them into beautiful, wearable jewelry for today. Come see her demonstration and perhaps bring along some of your own vintage jewelry for her to repurpose for you. Please join McKinney Area Newcomers at its meeting at 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 15 in the Eva Joplin Hall at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5871 Virginia Parkway in McKinney. Social time with refreshments will begin at 9:30 a.m.

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lIfestyle

Mini Bailadora Dance Clinic The national championship-winning Boyd Bailadoras are hosting their annual Spring Mini Bailadora Dance Clinic on Saturday, April 26 at Boyd High School. Check-in will begin at 7:30 a.m. and a performance for parents will be at 11:30 a.m. This dance clinic is a great place for your daughter to learn about dance from the Bailadoras. Mini Bailadoras will learn a fun and exciting dance routine, eat a snack with their Bailadora buddy and play fun games. Mini Bailadoras are also invited to perform in the Bailadoras Spring Show on either May 2 or 3. The cost for the clinic is $35. For more information, visit www.boydbailadoras.com or contact Caris Dunn, Bailadora director at 469.424.5502 or cadunn@mckinneyisd.net. You may also mail your registration information and payment to: McKinney Boyd HS, Attn: Caris Dunn, 600 N. Lake Forest Dr., McKinney, TX 75071. The McKinney Boyd Bailadoras, under the direction of Caris Dunn, is a group of Boyd’s most elite dancers. The Bailadoras perform at pep rallies, varsity football games, select basketball and soccer games, events throughout McKinney and produce a spring dance show. Being a Bailadora is a year round commitment of long hours, complex routines, exacting standards and community involvement. For more information www. boydbailadoras.com.

Glen Oaks Registration & Roundup Glen Oaks Elementary kindergarten registration for the 2014/2015 school year and registration for students new to MISD begins on April 4. Go to www.mckinneyisd.net to register online. For more information, go to the Glen Oaks Elementary website at www.schools.mckinneyisd.net/ glenoaks. Parents and students are also invited to the Kindergarten Roundup which will be at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6. Here you will get to tour the classrooms, purchase kindergarten t-shirts and supplies, meet the teachers and learn what kindergarten at Glen Oaks is all about. If you have any questions, please call 469.302.6400. F Stonebridge Ranch HOA News x April 2014

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socIal scene Stonebridge Ranch Beach & Tennis Club 2014 Spring Junior Tennis Program Session Dates: March 31-April 24 April 28-May 22 10 & Under Tennis—Mighty Mites (ages 4-6)

This class will get children off to a great start playing tennis using the new 10 & Under format introduced by the USTA using smaller racquets, larger balls and smaller courts. This class will enhance hand-eye coordination, movement, balance and begin grooving efficient stroke patterns. Days: Tuesday & Thursday Time: 4-5 pm Cost: $125 per month

10 & Under Tennis—Junior Development (ages 7-10)

This class teaches students the skills needed to play and enjoy tennis using the 10 & Under Format introduced by the USTA. Players will use low-compression balls and play on smaller courts. Days: Monday & Wednesday or Tuesday & Thursday Time: 4-5 pm Cost: $125 per month

Future Stars (ages 11 & up)

Future Stars is designed for beginner and intermediate tennis players ages 11 and up. Players will learn solid fundamentals so they will continue to improve and enjoy tennis. Days: Monday & Wednesday Time: 5-6 pm Cost: $125 per month

Tennis Academy

For players who are competing monthly in ZAT, Champ and Super Champ tournaments. Topics covered include stroke production, tactics and strategy, quickness drills, mental toughness and point play. Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday Time: 5-7 p.m. Cost: $215 for two days per week per month $290 for three days per week per month $355 for four days per week per month To register online, please visit www.TennisCoachDave. com or call Dave Wiest at 214.733.5810 or Luis Herrera at 214.733.5811.

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socIal scene Swim, Bike & Run like a King

Evening on the Veranda

Come join the fun on April 13 for the annual King Tut Sprint and My First Triathlon at the Stonebridge Ranch Beach and Tennis Club! Tech tshirt, Great Finisher medal and post race food fit for a king! As a resident of Stonebridge, use the code, “KING2014” for a $10 discount on your race fee! Register today at: http://www.playtri.com/KINGTUT.

Looking for a relaxing way to end a busy week? Perhaps a local spot where you can enjoy the outdoors, listen to some great music and sip your favorite wine? Grab your folding chair and join us at the Beach and Tennis Club on the second Friday in April, May, September and October for Evening on the Veranda. Pack your favorite libation, grab a neighbor, group of friends, your spouse or a date on Friday, April 11 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. and come enjoy an evening with Neil Davies (www.neildaviesmusic.com). Glass containers are prohibited, so bring aluminum or plastic containers. Don’t forget to line up a babysitter! This is an adult only (21+), non-swimming, smoke-free event. Light snacks, sodas and water will be available. Gates open at 7 p.m. and live music begins at 7:30 p.m. Photo ID is required and there is a $5.00 fee for non-resident guests.

Psst! Read what’s being said about the… Cooking class at the Stonebridge Ranch Country Club On January 30, eighteen eager Stonebridge Ranch residents gathered around and learned how to make winter pork, vegetable and ale stew along with zesty kale, apple and pecan salad. The cooking class offered by Chef Jamie Samford of Stonebridge Ranch Country Club was a remarkable success. Through these new additions to the community social calendar, the social committee aims to preserve the vibrancy of the Stonebridge Ranch community. “I’m enjoying using different vegetables I’ve never used. It’s not only a lot of fun, but it’s a very hands-on learning experience,” said Stonebridge resident Janice Spear. “I would recommend this for anyone looking to get involved in their community. It’s a great way to meet people in your neighborhood!” said Cheryl Unnone a new member to the community who has attended two other SRCA social clubs; Coffee Talk and Travel Club. “We were able to watch the chef demonstrate some of his culinary techniques and also taste his amazing recipes. The social committee wants to add even more events like these in the coming months,” said Norma Balcom, social committee member. Chef Samford also had a great time, “I really enjoyed this event because I love to teach and pass on what I’ve learned over my 25-year career. I did a lot of cooking classes when I was chef at Central Market in Dallas and I would love to continue to do more events like this one. In general, most people like to participate and making the salad and dressing allowed folks to do that. I also got to see an old friend of the family I haven’t seen in years, Janice Spear!”

Meet The Easter Bunny!

Kids, bring your Easter basket and join us at the Stonebridge Ranch Beach & Tennis Club on Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. for a hopping good time with the Easter bunny. Parents, bring your camera to capture your children frolicking around with the Easter bunny and friends. Activities include a petting zoo, face painting, balloon hats, bounce houses, free kids raffle drawings, music and refreshments. This event is for Stonebridge HOA residents only. Note: Children will be permitted to collect 20 Easter eggs each. F

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landscape & garden Rejuvenate Pruning by Shannon Sheriff and Ed Jensen As the landscaping in Stonebridge Ranch begins to age, many pruning techniques have been implemented to restore the look and health of the plants. Plants get larger as time passes. Contractors prune/shape to meet owner preferences. If a plant today is the “perfect” height and size and scale within the landscape, and is aesthetically pleasing, the question is why will the plant look overgrown or less desirable months or years later? The simple answer is that plants grow incrementally larger each month through the growing season. Using a technical term, “apical meristem” explains that plant growth comes from the tip of each shoot/stem—literally a millimeter or two. So, by constantly pruning the apical meristem to keep the plant “perfect”, the healthy plant keeps getting stunted while the plant inches upward. Industry-wide landscapers shear plants leaving a layer of green around the plant. Short term that is fine, but over a period of a growing season or a few years, depending on the plant type, the overall dimension of the plant gets larger. One day you look outside and wonder how it got that big. Industry Standards for Pruning • The small-leafed plants and plants not typically used for flowering (yaupon holly, Japanese holly, etc.) can be sheared. • Small-leafed plants that flower should be pruned after they flower (azaleas, spirea, abelia) and as much as you like, although selective tip pruning can be ongoing. • Mid-size leafed plants can be sheared, but they always prefer a more selective pruning approach (Burford holly, ligustrum, laurels). • Large-leafed plants should NEVER be sheared (oak leaf hydrangea, aucuba, mahonia). Selectively prune only. Pruning Broadleaf Evergreens • Each year prune one-third of old wood from each plant leaving random significant gaps in the plant. New growth will emerge from within so that the next year the next one-third gets pruned, etc. Note that if your plants have been sheared and you begin to prune with this approach, these gaps will look as if a cherry bomb were dropped into your hedge! • Rejuvenate and prune plants. If, for example, you do not want the plant’s height to exceed your window sill or overgrow your stoop, plants should be drastically pruned a minimum of 12-24” (depending on plant type) BELOW the window sill to allow for desirable, healthy spring growth at which point you can shear to meet your preference. • Replace the plant. This is costly, but if you cannot tolerate bare wood on a plant for two to three months every three to five years this is a viable option. As most of you have noticed, the association has taken steps to rejuvenate prune many of the evergreens along fence lines. At first glance, it does appear to be a little strange looking, but you will see during the first growing season the plant will force growth from the bottom and middle to create a thicker, healthier plant. F

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Stonebridge Ranch