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STONEBRIDGE RANCH HOA NEWS OCTOBER 2013

Vol. 1, Issue 6

Contents IN EVERY ISSUE 5

From the President by Jon Dell’Antonia

8

This Month’s Feature by Tricia Scruggs

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In the News by Tricia Scruggs

12

Compliance Tips

14 www.stonebridgeranch.com by Lisa Pogacnik 16

Community Calendar

18

Financial Update

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Your Neighbor by Tricia Scruggs

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Inside the HOA by Michael Lesku

26 Lifestyle 28

Social Scene

SPECIAL SECTIONS 11

Around McKinney by Dawn Bluemel Oldfield

24

Bits and Pieces

Stonebridge Ranch HOA News © 2013 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 Jon Dell’Antonia Michael Lesku Dawn Bluemel Oldfield Lisa Pogacnik Tricia Scruggs

Fall is just around the corner The kids are back in school and fall is here. We will all be enjoying cooler weather after a hot, dry summer and hopefully, we will even see some rain. We certainly could use it. Here is an update to the landscaping work on Lake Forest just north of El Dorado Parkway. All of the plants that were impacting the line of sight in the medians have been removed and replanted in other areas of Stonebridge Ranch that are part of our continuing landscape improvement program. Bermuda grass and ground cover will be planted in the medians to replace the plantings that were removed as water restrictions allow. Because of errors made by our contractors and the city during the initial installation, this replanting and the subsequent replacing of these plants with Bermuda grass and ground cover is being done at no cost to the association. We have finally completed successful negotiations with the city and TXDOT to replace the irrigation equipment and landscaping along Custer Road between Virginia Parkway and Fountainview Drive that was removed when Custer Road was being expanded. The irrigation equipment work should be completed by the time you read this newsletter, but the landscaping work will still need to be installed as water restrictions allow.

August 22, 2013 Board Meeting

The board meeting of August 22nd was called to order at 1 p.m.. It began with a “Homeowner Open Forum.” No homeowners appeared.

Old Business

Discussion was held on the landscape management contracts, the work being done on Lake Forest to remedy the line of sight issues and transplanting of the plant material installed there and a design guideline revision to permit small river rock in some landscaping applications.

New Business

cover photo Kwikimage.com

The communications committee presented the results of the recent resident survey to the board. A proposal to consider the installation of a splash pad at the Aquatic Center was presented. No action was taken. We then heard a presentation on our partial irrigation audit. The board decided to have a complete audit performed on Section C (the area north of Virginia). There was also discussion about things we can do to conserve water by making some changes to our irrigation system. The board heard a request from one of our sub-associations to discuss the requirements to dissolve their sub-association. We then considered and approved a proposal to add security cameras to the entrance area of the association office and the entrance to the Beach Club pool. The board also approved a change in committee guidelines to make the process for removing a committee member for non-attendance uniform for all committees. The new policy will be that if a committee member misses 3 consecutive committee meetings, or 4 meetings in a period of a year, they may be removed for non-attendance.

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 then met in executive session. We reviewed the collections committee report, violations report and violations summary report. The board also considered several owner requests, and owner violations that are still outstanding. Appropriate decisions were made. We also received an update on several other issues that have come before the board. No action was required. The meeting adjourned at 6:56 PM. Jon Dell’Antonia President Stonebridge Ranch HOA News x October 2013

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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—Association Manager Shannon Sheriff—Assistant Manager Candace Rickman—Receptionist Denise Spain—Senior Compliance Coordinator Courtney Birmingham—Compliance Coordinator Rony Peterson—Compliance Coordinator Joyce Martin—M.A.R.C. Compliance Coordinator Lisa Pogacnik—Web Administrator Michael Cawley—Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Torres—Maintenance Assistant David Wiest—Tennis & Recreation Director Lynette Rowell—Administrative Assistant

Board of Directors Jon C. Dell’Antonia—President Ron Ferris—Vice-President Lars Rosene—Secretary Richard MacFee—Treasurer 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 Win Wynn Situation HOA, developer excited about newest village by Tricia Scruggs Much like a marathon course, which requires persistence and endurance to see it through, Stonebridge Ranch has navigated the many ups and downs that come along with real estate markets. Triumphantly, the master-planned community is poised to see the close out of a handful of neighborhoods and construction of Wynn Ridge Estates—one of the last two villages scheduled—began in the spring of 2012. According to Neal Heckel with Pointe Land & Development—the owner and developer of the acreage—the land was purchased from McKinney’s storied Wynn family. The parcel sits along the West side of Ridge Road, north of Virginia Parkway. “The Wynn family owned a significant amount of land around this property and has been selling it over the years,” Heckel explained. “The property is one of the last tracts to be sold by the Wynn family and family heirs. When I first approached the two sisters that owned this property about buying it, I promised I would use their name in the community name. They were very nice people and I felt it was a nice way to pay tribute to their family.” Heckel said he was interested in the property for many years prior to actually purchasing the tract, but the downturn in the housing market gave him pause and the acquisition was delayed. “However, there was no doubt in my mind that this community

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would be a great place to live,” he said. “The property has all the basic fundamentals we as developers look for.” Among those features are a great location and schools and easy access to highways and employment corridors. Stonebridge Ranch’s amenities include pools, trails, parks, tennis courts and open space. Heckel said these characteristics coupled with the willingness of the HOA board to work with Pointe Land to annex the property made for an ideal situation. Development should be complete in mid-2015 and homes sold out by mid-2016. The second phase is underway and offers larger lots. “Our builder on those lots will be David Weekley Homes,” Heckel said. “Weekley is also a company with a strong reputation for quality. They will be a nice complement to our existing builders. ” Already the initial builders, Highland Homes and K. Hovnanian, have sold dozens of lots and in excess of 25 homes have been either completed or are under construction. Their well-known reputation for quality builds and features and customer service were reasons Highland and Hovnanian were chosen to meet new home needs in Wynn Ridge Estates. ”The buyers love it,” said Denise Palmer, the on-site sales consultant for K. Hovnanian. “I think there’s lots of interest because it is the last new home construction in Stonebridge. Also, there’s some anxiety about (rising) interest rates, so people want to take advantage of low interest rates now. ” Hovnanian homes in Wynn Ridge Estates are energy efficient and offer nearly a dozen customizable floor plans that range from 2,400 to more than 4,000 square feet. Prices begin in the mid-300s. F


In the news Several hundred residents weigh in by Tricia Scruggs A song made famous by legendary rock ‘n’ roll band The Rolling Stones proclaimed no matter how hard one tried, there was no satisfaction to be had, but that doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to Stonebridge Ranch residents. This year’s annual survey revealed that respondents are generally satisfied with amenities and the performance of the homeowner association board. Seven hundred people spent an average of nearly 10 minutes completing the questionnaire, which this year was solely available online. “Participation has only gotten stronger,” said Bill Williams, who serves on the communication committee. “In 2009 we had 174 responses, this year 700. To get 700-800 responses says a lot about the energy in Stonebridge Ranch.” Williams said the survey is always conducted online and in 2011 and 2012 a hard copy version was included in the HOA News, however, they accounted for an average of only two percent of responses. “Residents clearly prefer the online alternative by a wide margin,” he said. Comments this year varied from HOA compliance and landscaping to pool regulations, increased security and the possibility of revising some policies. According to survey results, residents gave high marks to

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the revamped magazine-style newsletter, HOA News, which launched in the spring. They also “felt that the association staff returns contact and communicates in a timely and professional manner.” Nearly 80 percent of the responders are satisfied with Stonebridge Ranch’s fixtures and the overall attractiveness of the community. Nearly 50 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the overall appearance of the common area landscape while more than 30 percent said hey were very satisfied. As for demographics, 100 percent of those who completed the survey own their home and 65 percent of them have resided in Stonebridge for at least five years. Twenty-six percent have lived in the community 3-5 years. Fifty-five percent were female. In addition to sharing feedback on what the HOA does for them, more than 20 percent said they would be willing to volunteer their time helping serve Stonebridge Ranch. The majority of those, 58 percent, are available to volunteer as much as four hours a month. “It does suggest that residents are willing to invest one of their scarcest commodities—time—to help make our community better, stronger,” Williams said. “I’d say that’s pretty darned good response.” F


around mckInney CCMGA Receives International Award by Dawn Bluemel Oldfield Master gardener organizations are comprised of individuals brought together by their love of gardening and their desire to improve the world through horticulture. Recently, the Collin County Master Gardeners Association was recognized for their Earth-Kind® Research Gardens project at Myers Park and Event Center in McKinney. Collin County Master Gardeners Association (CCMGA) was awarded the International Master Gardener Search for Excellence Award for Research Gardens at the September 2013 International Master Gardener’s Conference in Seattle, Washington. Jim Ewoldsen, CCMGA President says, “The EarthKind® Research Gardens at Myers Park were the first in the U.S. and are considered a Center for Excellence in EarthKind® because of the number and variety of research being conducted. Currently the Earth-Kind ® Gardens are conducting research on herbaceous perennials, roses, crape myrtles, vegetables and grasses. The results from the research show that Earth-Kind® landscape principles work and that many native and adapted perennials thrive here in North Texas without the use of fertilizer, pesticides, and excessive irrigation.” The Collin County Master Gardeners Association is an educational service organization of volunteers who are trained in horticulture, landscaping, soil improvement, water conservation, and many other topics important to Collin County gardeners. The CCMGA volunteer program is administered by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service through the Horticulture Agent in Collin County. In 2012 the Master Gardeners in Collin County contributed over 20,000 hours of volunteer work helping the Extension Service achieve their mission. For more information visit www.ccmgatx.org or call 972.548.4232. F

Stonebridge Ranch HOA News x October 2013

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complIance tI p s Seasonal Compliance

Be aware of all our children having fun on Halloween. Send in your fun pictures to Shannon Sheriff!

Fall and Winter Holiday Seasons

Seasonal/holiday lighting or decorations may be displayed one month prior to the holiday and must be removed no later than one week after the date of the holiday being celebrated. Such lighting must be appropriate for the holiday being celebrated. Please contact the office if you have an installation scheduled outside of the approved dates.

Recreational Parks

During the holiday season you may wish to visit the parks with family and friends. There are lots to choose from and visiting a park further away from your home is a good experience for the children. Below are the parks and the cross streets so that you can find them easily. Call the office if you need further clarification.

Stonebridge Ranch Community Association Parks & Playgrounds: Arbor Glen Morning Glory & Springcress off Lake Forest Beach & Tennis Virginia Parkway Eagle Creek Nightingale & Owl Creek Lane off Plainfield Fountainview Fountainview & Ozark Cove off Custer Nora Haney Park Lake Forest between Glen Oaks & Eldorado Quail Creek Lake Forest & Quail Creek Saddlehorn Ridge Orchard Park & Saddlehorn Stanford Meadow Summer Glen & Wingate Lane off Stonebridge Willow Brook Berkshire & Rush Creek off Ridge Road Woodhaven Woodcliff Drive & Cotton Ridge Drive Wren Creek Camberton Drive Wyndsor Grove Glendevon Drive

Lakes

Another form of outdoor activity is visiting the fishing lakes. This is a fun experience for many children that have

made Stonebridge Ranch their home. Competitions are held throughout the year and it is an activity that can be undertaken with a parent or friend. Residents with acceptable ID (or guests accompanied by that resident) may fish at Stonebridge Lake (parking provided at Beach & Tennis Club), Wellington Ponds (no parking provided), Lake Forest (parking provided at Nora Haney Park), Quail Creek Pond (no parking provided), Millard Pond, Fountainview and Lake La Cima. The next adult bass fishing tournament will be held November 9th and be sure to watch for our new event, “Teenager Fishing Tournament,” in early spring.

Trees, sod and grass seed

October is the month to have new trees planted and also to plant any required sod or grass seed in areas of the yard that are currently bare.

Fences

Now is a good time to paint wrought iron fences flat black or paint/stain any wood fences. This not only protects but enhances the aesthetic value.

Modifications

When thinking about gifts during the holidays please remember to get approval from the modifications committee before purchasing an item needing approval. Following are some of the items needing approval before installation: arbor, pool, spa, waterfall, gazebo, deck, patio, sheds, swing set, play-set, playhouse, additions or remodels. You are in violation if approval is not obtained.

Submitting a Modification On-Line

Go to www.stonebridgeranch.com. If you are not registered you will need to register. Your account begins with 003. Click on the Modifications Information/Request menu item. The request will be logged automatically to your account. Complete the application and add any required documents. You may track the progress of your request here as well. You may also print the form without logging into your account. This can be faxed, emailed or sent to the office. The design guidelines are also on this page so you can look up your item to check whenever you have all the required documents. Compliance meetings are now held as needed. All applications are reviewed online by the modifications committee and an answer is emailed as soon as a decision has been made. Please call us if you have questions at 214.733.5800 and ask for compliance.

Address Changes

When you move it is important that you contact the CMA corporate office to advise of the address change at 972.943.2800 or go to cmamanagement.com. This is imperative 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. You may now look up all guidelines on the website: www. stonebridgeranch.com. If you have questions, please call us at 214.733.5800 or come by the office at 6201 Virginia Parkway. CMA Compliance Coordinators—Denise Spain, Courtney Birmingham, Rony Peterson; Joyce Martin, New Construction. F

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At the Law Offices of Dana C. Palmer, they believe that divorce doesn’t have to be so hard.

as a 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 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

Dana C. 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.


www.stonebrI dgeranch.com Web Updates By Lisa Pogacnik A few exciting updates are coming to the Stonebridge Ranch website. The most noticeable change is that the Customer Service tab will be renamed Homeowner Connection. This tab will include at-a-glance sections with account information and status updates on ACC/Modification requests. Other updates include the ability to order a resale certificate online and legislative news pertaining to HOA laws in Texas. Did you know you can update your information and personalize your account at www.StonebridgeRanch.com? You can and it’s simple too! Account Updates: Homeowners currently have the ability to update their email address and phone number as well as change their password. Soon you will be able to change your mailing address online as well. If you need to make any of these changes, please visit www.StonebridgeRanch.com and log in. From there, click the “My Profile” tab under Customer Service/Homeowner Connection tab. Directory Options: The information shown on the website’s Online Homeowner Directory can also be personalized. You may choose to include all of your information—name, address, phone number and email address, just some of your information; or opt out of the directory entirely. The default setting is to display all information in the directory. If you wish to change these settings, simply log in and go to the “My Profile” page under the Customer Service/Homeowner Connection tab. Locate the “Directory Listing” section and you can customize the information you would like to be displayed in the directory. The Online Homeowner Directory is visible to Stonebridge Ranch homeowners who are registered at www.StonebridgeRanch.com and are logged in. Notifications: Homeowners also have the ability to personalize the email notifications they receive. There are many topics to choose from such as Board Meetings, Family Events, Adult Only Events, Fitness Classes, Races and Triathlons and Misc. Events. In addition to choosing the type of event, homeowners can also choose when to receive the notifications, up to 10 days in advance. The default setting is to not send any notification so please be sure to take a minute and visit the website to choose the notifications to match your personal interests. These preferences can be changed by logging in and going to the “My Profile” page and locating the “Email Notification” section. Be sure to check this information on a regular basis as new topics may be added. You can also sign up to receive the Stonebridge Ranch E-News and E-Alerts. These eblasts are designed to keep residents informed about upcoming events and important information pertaining to Stonebridge Ranch. To receive these updates, visit StonebridgeRanch.com and click on the “Join Now” button in the top right corner of the home page. Don’t forget, if you aren’t registered on the website you’re missing out on the E-News and E-Alert updates providing time sensitive information directly into your inbox. Registration is quick and easy so be sure to visit www.StonebridgeRanch.com and sign up! Should you have any questions or need additional information pertaining to the website, please feel free to contact me at lpogacnik@cmamanagement.com. F

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8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitn 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller

October 11 evening on the verandA 7:30 p.m. (btc) October 19

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Select Tennis Academ 7-8 pm—Yoga (CR)

Halloween Spooktacular

5 p.m. (btc) Modifications Meeting 6 p.m. (BR) 8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitness (BTC) 9-10 am—Yoga (CR) 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

9:30-10:30 am—Camp Gladiator (BTC) 4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitne 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis C Select Tennis Academ 7-8 pm—Yoga (CR)

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

Social Comm Meeting, 9 a. Visit www.StonebridgeRanch. com for event details.

8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitness (BTC) 9-10 am—Yoga (CR) 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

9:30-10:30 am—Camp Gladiator (BTC) 4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

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

9:30-10:30 am—Camp Gladiator (BTC)

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

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

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

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4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Select Tennis Academ 7-8 pm—Yoga (CR)

Modifications Meeting 6 p.m. (BR)

8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitness (BTC) 9-10 am—Yoga (CR) 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitness (BTC) 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC) 9-10 am—Yoga (CR)

8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitne 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller

9:30-10:30 am—Camp Gladiator (BTC) 4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitn 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller

4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Select Tennis Academ 7-8 pm—Yoga (CR)


ness (BTC) r Strides (BTC)

s Classes, my (BTC)

ess (BTC) Strides (BTC)

Classes, my (BTC)

9:30-10:30 am—Camp Gladiator (BTC)

8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitness (BTC) 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

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

Evening on the Veranda, 7:30 p.m. (BTC) 9:30-10:30 am—Camp Gladiator (BTC) 4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitness (BTC) 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

mittee .m. (BR)

ess (BTC) Strides (BTC)

Classes, my (BTC)

ness (BTC) r Strides (BTC)

Classes, my (BTC)

Visit www.StonebridgeRanch. com for event details.

Halloween Spooktacular, 5 pm (BTC) 9:30-10:30 am—Camp Gladiator (BTC) 4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

9:30-10:30 am—Camp Gladiator (BTC) 4-7 pm—Junior Tennis Classes, Select Tennis Academy (BTC)

8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitness (BTC) 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

8:45-9:45 am—Fun Fitness (BTC) 9:30-10:30 am—Stroller Strides (BTC)

Stonebridge Ranch HOA News x September October 2013 2013

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fInancIal update Stonebridge Ranch Community Association, Inc. Comparative Income Statement As Of July 2013

Ytd Actual - July 2013

Revenues

Assessment Revenue & Associated Income Working Capital\Member Fees Activities Income Amenity& Rental Revenue Investment Income Total Revenues

Ytd Budget - July 2013

Variance

3,876,558 75,725 20,060 57,982 51,476 4,081,801

3,860,830 59,691 14,927 48,054 61,018 4,044,519

15,728 16,033 5,134 9,928 (9,542) 37,282

Administrative Regulatory/Taxes/Utilities Other/Miscellaneous Community Activities Landscape & Common Area Utilities Landscape & Common Area Maintenance Irrigation Repair Aquatic Center Beach Club Courtesy Patrol Lakes & Fountains Sport Courts, Fields, And Bldg Maintenance Repair & Replacement Reserves

642,064 175,610 101,008 61,058 575,652 1,149,612 194,194 121,613 255,709 53,262 24,334 15,064 709,693

627,481 161,241 106,388 36,882 686,814 1,196,374 101,467 114,616 280,280 53,127 28,672 12,329 712,117

(14,583) (14,369) 5,380 (24,176) 111,161 46,762 (92,727) (6,997) 24,570 (135) 4,338 (2,735) 2,424

Total Operating Expenses

4,078,874

4,117,786

38,912

Net Income / (Loss)

2,927

(73,267)

76,194

Expenses

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your neIg hbor Marc Christensen Marc Christensen serves on the communications committee. He and his fellow volunteers and HOA staff work hard to ensure Stonebridge residents are kept informed about every aspect of this community. Along with his wife, Christensen enjoys traveling and spending quality time with family. A novelist in progress, he’s also a history buff. Read on to learn more about the man whose ancestors include early Americans with ties to the nation’s most revered document, the Declaration of Independence.

In what village do you reside? Aspendale

How long have you been a Stonebridge resident? Six years

Are you a Texas native?

No, but my wife is. Texas is a wonderful place to live and we have lots of family here. Also, we like to travel. Texas’ central location and access to DFW and Love Field is a real plus.

Tell us about your family?

We have two daughters, three grandchildren, a son and a brother-in-law all living in different parts of Texas. Another daughter lives in Seattle and we have two grandchildren there.

How do you all spend holidays?

Sometimes we stay home and it is a family event. Other times we travel to experience holidays in other states or countries, especially Christmas. Christmas is a far different (less commercial) event in the UK and France. My wife loves to decorate for Christmas. One tree we decorate contains ornaments from places we’ve traveled. It’s a fun tradition that recalls great memories. Also, Christmas ornaments are small and lightweight—easy souvenirs to bring home.

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your neIghbor Do you have any hobbies or special interests?

Both my wife and I have gotten into family genealogy in part because we both love history and discovering ancestors really brings history alive by making it very personal. We also read a lot, especially history. I’m working on a novel just because it’s always something I wanted to do. Now, in retirement, I have time to pursue writing for pleasure. This one’s a political/spy thriller type because it’s fun and pure fiction is a good way to get started. What I really want to write is historical fiction. We are also enjoying watching grandchildren grow and being part of their lives.

What do you enjoy most about serving the HOA?

Our community is beautiful and a wonderful place to live because we have an HOA that’s both responsive and responsible but it takes people to make the HOA work, both paid staff and volunteers. The communications committee plays a special role by serving as a vital link between the HOA and the residents, and by helping residents connect with their areas of interest. In reality, Stonebridge Ranch is a pretty good sized city so it’s an interesting and fun challenge to try to shape effective communications but without spending very much money. Being retired, I have some time to give to the community, so I try to do what I can.

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your role?

I think anyone who’s worked in the communications field will tell you that one of the key challenges is breaking through the “communications clutter.” People are bombarded daily with hundreds, maybe thousands, of messages. On top of that, they’re busy with family, work and related activities. So, from a communications viewpoint, our ongoing challenge is how to bring information to people that they want and how to get their feedback in order to improve communications and, in fact, all aspects of the HOA. Our committee oversees the annual resident survey and that feedback is shared with the board and other committees and is taken into account so as to improve the overall resident experience of living in Stonebridge Ranch.

If you could befriend any person throughout history, who would it be and why?

Wow, that’s a tough choice to make, there are so many, starting with many of my own ancestors. In terms of historical figures, I have a special interest in those that performed great deeds but, for a variety of reasons, are lost in history. One such person with whom I’m fascinated is Richard Henry Lee of Virginia (I descend from a long line of Virginians) who not only signed the Declaration of Independence but also actually sponsored the Resolution of Independence that the Continental Congress approved and that was the inspiration for the Declaration itself. He and his brother, Francis Lightfoot Lee, are the only two brothers to have signed the Declaration and, in fact, he had three additional brothers who were also very active in the War for Independence. I think there’s a novel in there somewhere!

What is your dream job?

I’m doing it! Being retired for me has opened a world of opportunities to pursue a variety of interests. My wife and I are blessed with a great family, good health, and strong faith and are each other’s best friends. What more could a guy ask for. F Stonebridge Ranch HOA News x October 2013

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InsId e the hoa Importance of Resident Feedback by Michael Lesku In keeping with this month’s theme, I would like to stress the importance of resident feedback and share with you how that feedback is used by the association to help improve the community. Your opinion is important! Taking the time to communicate your views on how the community is run and maintained helps provide a certain level of validation for the association to either continue on its current course of operations or to possibly look into new ways of doing things. Either way, it’s important for the association to know “where it stands” with residents. There are many opportunities for residents to provide feedback to the association. In addition to completing the annual resident survey, owners can speak to the board during the homeowner forum portion of the monthly board of directors meeting or volunteer to serve on one of the association’s six committees and by contacting the association office. While the opinions of all Stonebridge Ranch residents are important, the association is charged with operating the association in a manner that not only meets its contractual obligations to residents but also meets the needs of “the majority”. Based on the most recent community survey, residents expressed their overall satisfaction with the availability, quality and maintenance of the community, including

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landscaping and amenities. Residents also felt well informed on issues that affect Stonebridge Ranch and are satisfied with the job being done by the board of directors as well as the overall response and services provided by on-site staff. However, owners did express a desire for more amenities and increased services but with the caveat that any new amenities or increased services should not increase assessments. Of course, increasing amenities and services for residents while not increasing operating costs is an enormous challenge but one the association is willing to explore. Thank you to those who have taken the time to provide the association with feedback and for those who have not yet provided the association with your feedback we encourage you to “drop us a line” and let us know how we are doing. F


bIt s & pI eces St. Gabriel’s Arts & Crafts Show Join us on Saturday, November 9th, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at St. Gabriel Community Center, 110 St. Gabriel Way for the 13th Annual Holidy Boutique Arts & Craft Show. Don’t miss this incredible shopping opportunity! Admission to this event is free! We will have over 80 local artisans displaying unique handcrafted items including Christmas and home décor, jewelry, paintings, clothing, candles, pottery, woodwork, gifts and more! There will be a raffle of vendor items throughout the day. A delicious snack bar/lunch will include pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, baked potato bar and salads. Many home baked items will be available at the bake sale booth sponsored by the Women’s Club. Face painting and balloon animals will be provided by St. Gabriel’s Caring Clowns group. Start your holiday shopping early and join us for some holiday fun! 

McKinney Boyd Bailadoras Parking Lot Sale

The McKinney Boyd Bailadoras will be having a parking lot sale on Saturday, October 19, from 6 a.m.-noon. All proceeds will benefit the Bailadoras’ efforts to travel to New York City this school year. For more information, contact Caris Dunn, Bailadoras Director, at 469-302-5502 or cadunn@mckinneyisd.net.

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 visit www. boydbailadoras.com.

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bIts & pIe ces Save the Date: Eighth Annual Gingerbread for Humanity Mark your calendars now for Saturday, Dec. 14, so you can attend Trinity Presbyterian Church’s eighth annual sugar-infused tradition known as Gingerbread for Humanity. Decorate a fully assembled gingerbread house and take it home for the holidays while supporting North Collin County Habitat for Humanity. “Be sure to bring a group of friends and loved ones for a great time!” said Trinity member Pam Hatch, one of the event organizers. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, December 14 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5871 W. Virginia Parkway in McKinney. Cost: $32 when you pre-register; $38 at the door (spaces limited) Registration details: Go online to www.tpcmckinney.org and click on the Gingerbread icon to download the registration form. The eighth annual event at Trinity Presbyterian combines family-oriented fun with the opportunity to make a positive difference in McKinney. When you attend our event, you will receive a fully assembled gingerbread house ready to decorate with tons of icing and access to a smorgasbord of sweet trimmings from the candy buffet. Mrs. Claus will be on hand for photographs with decorators and their gingerbread

creations before they head home with their decorated house. If you cannot attend, you can still participate by purchasing a take-home gingerbread kit. Kits contain fully assembled gingerbread houses and plenty of frosting and candy for decorating at a later time. “Our kits are great if you’re planning a special event for the holidays,” Hatch said. It’s a great time for a greater good. All proceeds benefit homes to be constructed as part of North Collin County Habitat for Humanity’s mission “to put God’s love into action by building homes and communities.” NCC Habitat is part of a global non-profit housing organization operated on Christian principles. The organization encourages positive relationships throughout the community by advocating for fair housing policies and by providing training to help families improve their shelter conditions. “We hope to see you December 14 at Gingerbread for Humanity!” Hatch said. F

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lIfestyle Voyagers Social Club Thursday, October 24, 10 a.m. is the upcoming meeting date for the Voyagers Social Club. The meeting will be held in the Heard Craig Gallery, 306 N. Church St., McKinney. Our program begins at 10:30 a.m. and will feature Mary Lou Flask from Project Linus. Project Linus is a nationwide non-profit organization, named after the security blanket toting character from the Peanuts comic strip and is dedicated to providing security through blankets for ill or traumatized children and teens. This organization has over 369 chapters in the United States that have donated more than 4,463,213 handmade blankets to help comfort children in hospitals, shelters and hospices. Our organization is open to all women of McKinney and surrounding areas. We will be taking membership applications for new and renewing members and signing up for a variety of activity groups. The club generally meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at the Craig-Heard Gallery near the historic downtown McKinney Square. The goal of the club is to promote friendship and offer ladies an opportunity to socialize and participate in a number of interest groups. Our meetings include a social hour, program and brief business meeting. For more information about our club, contact voyagersofmckinney@gmail.com.

McKinney Ladies Association The McKinney Ladies Association (MLA) is comprised of diverse volunteers from all walks of life who work together for community betterment. But exactly who are these local business owners, vendors and representatives from large companies who give their time to MLA? “MLA is organizing our first-ever business fair in November to spotlight all of the business owners and vendors who so willingly give of their time to support MLA and our community,” explained MLA President Becky Smeltzer. “We want to do what we can to support them for being part of MLA’s ongoing efforts to raise funds for charities throughout our community.” The MLA Member Business/Vendor Showcase is set from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday, November 11, at the McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee in historic downtown McKinney. The public is invited to attend—and encouraged to support MLA members’ businesses.

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lIfestyle Active MLA members with businesses who are up-to-date on their MLA dues are invited to set up a table to showcase their services or wares and connect with others looking to support fellow MLA members’ businesses. MLA members who wish to take part in the vendor showcase are invited to RSVP by November 1 by sending an email to mckinneyladies@yahoo.com. RSVPs will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. MLA’s October meeting is set for 7 p.m., October 14 at Edwards Floral Design, 1715 W. Louisiana St. in McKinney. Please join MLA for a “make and take” scary Halloween tree centerpiece demonstration with MLA Board member Stacy Edwards. Register early and pay $25 to create a fun Halloween centerpiece you will get to take home! (Because there is working room for 18 people, the “make and take” will be first-come, first-served. Prepay by mailing your $25 check to MLA, P.O. Box 1972, McKinney and mark “Edwards” in the notation line on your check.) During the October meeting, attendees will hear from a guest speaker from Children’s and Community Health Center, and MLA’s charitable outreach will benefit the health center as well. MLA’s mission is to support the children and families of McKinney through special events and fundraising efforts organized by MLA. The group meets monthly during each club year, which mimics a school calendar and extends from September to May. Each meeting is designed to give members a philanthropic opportunity as well as the chance to engage in a wide variety of social activities with

other members. MLA’s goal is to have fun, make friends and change lives in our community. For more information about MLA or to find out how to become a member of this exciting women’s organization, please visit our newly redesigned website at www. mckinneyladies.org and sign up for the monthly MLA newsletter. Look for us on Facebook at McKinney LadiesAssociation and on Twitter at @McKinneyLadies.

McKinney Area Newcomers Club If you are new to the McKinney area within the past two years, 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 or newcomersTX@gmail. com. Our October program will be “Naturally McKinney” featuring speaker Randy Williams, who will give us indepth insight on the economics and development of the McKinney community. Please join McKinney Area Newcomers at its meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, October 15, in the community room at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5871 Virginia Parkway in McKinney. Social time with refreshments will begin at 9:30 a.m. F

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socIal scene Evening on the Veranda 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 & Tennis Club on the second Friday in October for Evening on the Veranda. Pack your favorite libation; grab a neighbor, a group of friends, your spouse or a date on Friday, October 11, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. with Elvis Impersonator, Kenny Wickman. Kenny is back by popular demand and can play over 400 of Elvis’ songs. Glass containers are prohibited, so be sure to purchase aluminum or plastic containers. Line up a babysitter! This is an adult only, non-swimming, smoke free event and you must be 21 years to enter. 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 fee for non-resident guests. You can view Kenny Wickman online at kennytheking.com.

Halloween Spooktacular All Stonebridge Ranch residents are invited to attend a family-fun Halloween evening at the Stonebridge Ranch Beach & Tennis Club. Come dressed up in your Halloween finest to enjoy a night of games, food and activities! Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 19, from 5-7 p.m. Dress up in your best costume, bring bags for trick or treating and get ready to have some spooktacular fun! Some of the activities planned for this year include a disc jockey playing Halloween tunes, a Big Tex petting zoo, a Buccaneer Combo, seven bounce houses, a QB Toss, Soccer Shootout, Home Run Derby, Hoop Shot, Accuracy Pitch as well as the trackless train. In addition to all the games, the association will also provide a hot dog cookout with other light refreshments.

Resident Merchants The association is giving area merchants an

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socIal scene opportunity to set up a table and hang a banner to promote their business during this well-attended annual event. We are inviting all business owners to come up with

a great children’s activity. Some past activities included mascots, hair and face painting, impersonators, balloon hats, cotton candy, snow cone and popcorn machines just to name a few. This event will give your business hands-on exposure to the residents of Stonebridge Ranch. Your company will also receive recognition in the December issue of our community newsletter. If you are interested in participating as an area merchant or would like help coming up with an activity, please contact David Wiest at 214-733-5810 or dwiest@cmamanagement.com by October 10, as space is limited.

Volunteers Anyone needing green cord hours or any other type of community service hours should contact David Wiest. Decorating and set up begins at 1 p.m. and volunteers are always needed. Hours will also be given to anyone who wants to dress up and participate during the event.

Stonebridge Ranch Beach & Tennis Club 2013 Fall Junior Tennis Program Session Dates: September 23-October 17; October 21-November 14; November 18-December 19.

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socIal scene 10 & Under Tennis—Mighty Mights (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 handeye coordination, movement, balance and begin grooving efficient stroke patterns. Days: Monday & Wednesday or Tuesday & Thursday. Time: 4-5 pm. Cost: $125 per month.

10 & Under Tennis—Junior Development (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 p.m. Cost: $125 per month.

Future Stars (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 or Tuesday & Thursday. Time: 5-6 p.m. 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. F

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Stonebridge Ranch October 2013  

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