Dear Caliterra Residents
We hope you and your families are safe and sound during these uncertain and challenging times. The last few months have been a roller coaster of events and emotions and we just want to take a moment to reach out and thank you for choosing to make Caliterra your home.
We know it has been a strange and trying time for you and your families, as it has been for our own. We, as the developer, appreciate your understanding and your patience as we all learn to navigate through constant change and these unprecedented times together. Below is an update on the status of our various facilities as well as a development update.
The Cove – (pool complex) – When we first announced the new reservation system, there was much debate among the residents. The government recommended/required regulations seemed to change every week and sometimes conflicted between different agencies. We worked hard to keep our rules as consistent as possible and we want to thank you for working with us to learn the system and follow the rules (masks, social distancing, and bringing your own chair) so the pool could remain open. With school starting back, either virtually or in person, along with the additional cost of monitors and cleanings, the BOD has decided the pool will close the day after Labor Day (September 8), at the end of its usual summer run. Thank you again for a helping us get through these uncharted waters.
The Hall – (event pavilion) – While still open for reservations of small groups, we are requiring a $125 sanitation fee be paid prior to use. Since this facility is an indoor enclosed space, this fee is needed to clean the facility between resident group uses. The Board of Directors will revisit the need for the fee once there is a better understanding of how COVID-19 is spread.
The Run – (dog park) – We are happy to announce the dog park is open! While we had originally planned all kinds of pet-friendly opening activities, due to COVID-19 regulations we were unable to put on the grand opening celebration we had envisioned. Once we have a better understanding of how COVID-19 is spread, we will add chairs and tables to the facility for the human users. Until then, this facility will adhere to the same rules as the pool, where you are welcome to bring your own chair as you watch your dog run leash-free inside the fence. For the Human visitors, please remember to maintain social distancing and wear a face mask if required by the governing agencies. You will find a doggy station just outside the entrance as a gentle reminder to please “Scoop the Poop” and keep the facility clean for everyone.
Caliterra Parkway – As you may have noticed, we are in the finishing stages of the parkway landscaping from the Onion Creek bridge to the roundabout at the top of the hill. It will take some time for the native grasses to fill in and we will be irrigating the area daily. During this time, we will not be able to mow those areas, as the new grasses need time to grow and establish before we can reduce watering to a point where mowing equipment can be in the area without damaging the new growth. Weeds will take advantage of the over irrigation and grow like crazy. Please know that we will address those areas as the native grasses begin to take hold and it may seem unsightly for a short time after completion, but it will be addressed when the time is right.
The Springs – (splash fountains) – The repairs to the Springs were a bit more involved than we originally estimated. Due to COVID-19 related supply chain issues, the parts needed took longer than usual to arrive. Once we peeled back the surface, we found underground water infiltration into the facility. This took some time to evaluate and execute a plan to re-direct the underground water around the facility so that it was not affecting the fountain operations and equipment. The repairs are now complete, but due to COVID-19, the Board of Directors has decided to keep the facility closed at this time. The Springs are chlorinated, but not to the constant higher level of our pool. We have also had many residents concerned that when we keep our facilities open, while the city and county close their park facilities, that Caliterra draws visitors into the community looking for a relaxing escape. It’s a delicate balance, and one we hope you know we take seriously.
The Playscape – (at the Hall) and the Treehouse (playscape) – Both playscapes remain open at this time. We advise everyone that the playscapes are “use at your own risk” facilities, especially since we do not fully understand how the COVID-19 virus is spread. We have debated with legal and health experts about the risk involved in keeping the facilities open, when other cities and jurisdictions have closed their playgrounds. At this time, we feel the playscape can be used safely by our residents (but with a level of risk) as long as recommended face masks and social distancing is followed.
The Front Porch – (welcome center and coffee lounge) – LeMuse coffee remains open for grab and go service. Please stop by and see Juan for your caffeine needs (or other beverages). Face Mask are required to enter the building.
Security – Caliterra is not a gated or guarded community, but we do take security seriously. We had a report during the stay-at-home orders that items left in cars parked in homeowners’ driveways overnight were taken from multiple vehicles. After discussions with the Sheriff and local police, it seems it was not only our community, but several others in the area, that reported similar incidents. To ensure a safe and secure community, we are upgrading and expanding our current security camera system, at the developer’s expense. Upgrades at the Hall complex and the Cove pool complex should be complete in the next couple of weeks. Additionally, you will see a camera system being installed at the entrance to Caliterra. These upgrades will not only deter criminal activity, but also aid the authorities in investigation and prosecution should any future incidents occur.
Next Phase of Home Sites – We are planning to begin construction of our next phase of lots for the community. Section 11 in the back of the community should begin construction in October and be complete in late summer of 2021. This new section located just south of Section 9 (completed earlier this year), will include the completion of Premier Park Loop which will define “The Back 40” – our Oak Savannah and prairie short grass and wildflower restoration area. With Premier Park Loop completion, we also finally gain access to “The Holler”, our ecological reserve that connects us to a portion of “Turkey Hollow” in the back corner of our community. Both of these parks are in design and planned improvements will begin in late 2021 and continue well into 2022 when trails will be installed and native grasses, along with wildflowers, will be seeded in the spring of 2022 and allowed to establish over the summer months.
We do want to take a moment and remind everyone to please not venture off existing trails and past fence lines. These fence lines can define adjacent properties and our construction sites. Our neighbors want us to remind our residents that trespassing on their properties is not allowed. As construction starts in our community, we want to also remind everyone to not access these active construction sites. The big heavy machinery will begin moving around and visibility of ground level activity is severely limited. We know it’s hard to wait, but we do not want residents to be injured on an active construction site, so please refrain from venturing into the active construction sites, or undeveloped areas. Thank you.
As the cooler weather approaches and we better understand Covid-19, we are hopeful that we can begin gathering together again for events in Caliterra. Until then, we are not out of the woods just yet, and we will continue taking our direction from local, state, and federal agencies to adjust our rules and protocols as necessary to keep our residents safe while trying to continue as normal as possible.
As we all move forward, please remember to be mindful and respectful of each other and follow the recommended COVID-19 protocols when in public. Let’s keep our Caliterra facilities and Texas businesses open by wearing face masks and practicing social distancing whenever possible.
Thank you for taking the time to review the information and as always, please keep yourself and your family safe during these challenging times.
The Allegiant Development team
We are pleased to also announce that the Hall is once again open for use by the residents. With all the new regulations, the Hall will be for open for 2 reservations slots each day and we will perform a disinfecting cleaning after any use. Due to this additional cleaning, a new fee will be required to cover the required cleaning and use of the facility. This new fee will only be in effect as long as the specialized cleaning is required.
Per Governmental requirements, occupancy will also be limited to 10 individuals (adults and kids combined) and face mask are required while inside the facility. Note: The limit is based on information at the time of publishing. Please contact the HOA for revised capacity limits.
What is a Homeowners’ Association?
Homeowners Associations (HOAs) in Texas are separate stand-alone entities (non-profit corporations) used by developers and Master Planned Communities to establish and enforce rules, regulations, and Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), as well as to manage and oversee HOA financials, facilities, amenities and other improved or managed areas.
Once an owner purchases property within the community, that owner automatically becomes a mandatory member of the HOA, and must pay assessments to, and abide by, the rules of the HOA. In return, the homeowner/member is able to participate in the HOA’s governance through eventual Board Elections and/or possible Committee participation as well as being able to use the amenities offered by the HOA and participate in HOA functions, provided that they are in good standing with the HOA.
Once an owner sells, or otherwise transfers interest in the property owned within the HOA, the owner ceases to be a member of the HOA and loses all rights previously held.
Based on Texas law (other States may be different) these stand-alone HOA entities themselves may ultimately own, or manage the amenities, common areas and other facilities. Under the common HOA structure used in Texas, individual homeowners do not have a personal ownership interest in HOA facilities and do not participate in the day-to-day operations or management of the HOA unless elected to the Board of Directors or appointed to a Committee. This legal entity setup is done to protect the developer and homeowners from legal liabilities/lawsuits that might arise from the operation and use of the facilities.
Like other non-profit organizations, such as the YMCA, the HOA entity is governed by a Board of Directors (BOD).
Initially, and during the majority of the construction development of the community, the board is composed of developer-appointed members. These members seek to maintain the vision and character of the community that the developer has envisioned for the project and any regulations imposed by governing bodies during the community entitlement process. As the percentage of ownership shifts from the developer toward homeowners over time, the developer-appointed member positions will transition to elected resident homeowners. Ultimately this Board will consist solely of homeowner-elected members as the developer finishes the build-out of the community.
State law currently mandates that once 75% of the homes within the Community are sold, the transfer of the HOA leadership begins and 1/3 of the Board Members must be homeowners and elected by the Membership.
The BOD is responsible and solely controls the decision making regarding the HOA, including management of the HOA’s finances, operation of day-to-day activities and protecting the HOA’s real and intangible assets (generally by insuring and maintaining the amenities that are constructed and dedicated/donated by the developer) including legal liability and risk management.
The BOD also oversees the Architectural Control of the community and enforcing the governing documents; including the CC&Rs, Architectural Guidelines, Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, and other various rules.
Due to the fact that managing an HOA can be time consuming and complex, the vast majority of HOA’s hire outside (or 3rd party) management companies to handle the governing duties of the association. These management companies become the registered agent of the Association through the filing of a Management Certificate in County Records, thus becoming Agents of the Association under direction of, and to apply and administer, BOD decisions.
Management services are typically divided into three categories:
- Financial only – Typically cover administration of bank accounts, bookkeeping, assessment collection, and the HOA’s budget.
- Full management – Typically includes the financial services plus helps with the Board meetings (keeping minutes, agenda etc), Board elections and maintenance duties (obtaining contractor bids, etc.) and oversight of maintenance contracts.
- On-site management – Typically includes all of the full management services plus directs assistance to homeowners with an assigned manager to the HOA. On-site managers are employees of the Management Company and have no authority to act outside of the BOD approved expenditures (budgets), or allowed to make changes to BOD policies or procedures without specific actions taken by the BOD. The on-site manager can speak for the Board but only with specific direction.
Through its Board of Directors (BOD), the HOA provides operation and maintenance of amenities. These amenities are originally paid for and constructed by the developer, and ultimately dedicated after construction and stabilization to the HOA.
The HOA regulates activities within the community, provides insurance, levies assessments, impose fines for noncompliance, and in extremely drastic circumstances, can even place liens on properties for non-payment of assessed dues and fines.
The specific power of the HOA is the ability to make sure property owners pay a share of expenses for the overall maintenance of the HOA and the Amenities. These expenses generally arise from the operation and maintenance of property and include management fees, repair cost, utility bills, and insurance premiums for facilities.
During the early phases of community build-out, the developer appointed BOD has financial models produced and creates budgets that take into account the expenses associated with the operation, maintenance and insurance of the full build-out amenity package to be dedicated to, and managed by, the HOA and the number of homeowners sharing this cost at the developer’s completion.
Even though the amenities are phased in over time and not all constructed when the community opens, this is required so that early homeowners don’t see continually rising dues each year as new amenities come online and since HOA dues are also considered by lending institutions during the mortgage approval process.
Due to the fact that HOA dues are based on the total number of homeowners at build-out of the community, during the early phases of community development, the dues collected each year by the HOA from individual homeowners only cover a portion of the actual yearly HOA budget. Developers of Master Planned Communities understands this yearly budget shortfall and may choose each year to supplement and plan each year to basically supplement the shortfall and cover the dues/expenses that would be paid by the future homeowners that have not yet been built. As an industry rule of thumb, and depending on the amount of assessed dues and total facilities the HOA ultimately manages, the HOA is usually not self-sufficient, or self-supported by dues paying members until the number of homeowner’s reaches approximately 80% to 85% of total homes in the community.
Dues collected by an HOA cover the ongoing maintenance expenses of the Association, including utilities, regular maintenance contracts, HOA insurance policies and normal operating maintenance for the facilities. HOA dues are not used to install or build new amenities, new landscaping or irrigation, or build roads or lots while the community is under development. That cost is part of the normal community construction built and paid for by the Developer.
The Board of Directors (BOD) can create advisory committees made up of residents to assist in coordination and recommend policies to the BOD. These recommending committees can be valuable stepping stones for future resident BOD members, as these volunteers are exposed to, and trained in, the legal limits, liabilities, and the fiduciary responsibility of the BOD.
These committees can include event and pool committees, architectural control committees, and/or finance committees, and are able to dive deep into their specific field. The recommending/voting seats on the committee are usually filled with residents that are willing to commit to regular meetings and with backgrounds in the specific fields (like accounting), or a keen desire to fully understand the inter-working of the committee’s specific area (like pools).
Once the community has a significant number of homeowners, the developer begins to request volunteers for committees. Developers generally begin committees when community home ownership reaches about 50%.
Once these committees and their members are established, committees (through their official voting members) will hold meetings where other residents can provide valuable insight and feedback on subjects covered by the committee and will then give official recommendations for their assigned areas to the BOD. The BOD then balances the recommendations from all committees and any additional information, before recommending their official policies, yearly budgets and sets dues for members.
What is a Special District?
A Special District is a local, governmental taxing entity that provides limited services to its customers and residents. Examples of water districts include municipal utility districts, water control and improvement districts, special utility districts, and river authorities.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is responsible for general supervision and oversight of water districts, including:
- Monitoring water district activities and their compliance with state laws.
- Providing information to district customers, consultants, board members, and employees.
- Reviewing applications and petitions for appointment to district boards.
- Reviewing the issuance of bonds that finance certain district infrastructure.
These Special Districts assess property taxes (ad valorem taxes) and pass bonds to pay for infrastructure facilities (through direct construction or reimbursements), and operation and maintenance of certain District facilities, as defined by TCEQ for each individual District. These facilities can include, but are not limited to, water infrastructure, wastewater infrastructure, storm water quality and detention facilities (ponds), open space areas, and roadways.
Each individual Special District has its own unique rules and regulations, including governance structures. More information can be obtained by visiting TCEQ’s website at https://www.tceq.texas.gov/waterdistricts/districts.html