President’s Letter April 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I am delighted to bring you up to date on The Estates of Forest Creek Homeowner’s Association (EFC HOA)Board activities.  A great deal of progress has been made to add value to your EFC community since the first of the year.  I hope you will be as pleased as we are with the results.

In terms of EFC HOA money in our annual budget, our largest expenditure is beautification of our neighborhood entrances and the Hearst Castle Way median.  You may be surprised to know over 3,300 cars per day use Hearst Castle to reach homes in our neighborhood, Mathews Elementary, the park and library.  This boulevard is the most visible feature of our neighborhood.  The City of Plano (City) owns the median and land bordering Coit Road, and they are committed to maintain the sprinklers and landscaping to their standard.  However, the City standard is austere relative to what premium neighborhoods such as our’s expect.  As such, we are partnering with the City to maintain these areas. 

You no doubt noticed the bare expanse of median between Brodick Way and Twelve Oaks.  The City is systematically removing Bradford Pear trees that are all reaching the end of their natural life, replacing them with drought tolerant, indigenous trees.   Water conservation is a key consideration.  The City will only plant trees under certain conditions and during times of drought, allow only the watering of trees to preserve them.  As we are still under Stage 3 Water Restriction, the City is not currently allowing the watering of turf and ornamental landscaping.   A further complication is the narrowness of the median, eight feet in places, which impacts the ability of trees to flourish and complicates trenching for sprinklers at the risk of damaging roots.  In short, creating a homogeneous, attractive and sustainable landscape design is a complex problem.

 We’ve taken the time to carefully consider the problem holistically and have developed a multi-year plan to bring the entranceways and median to a higher standard.  Electrical repairs have been made connecting power to the sprinklers so they no longer need to be operated manually.  We’ve enlisted the help of one of our neighbors, Kristen Kerwin who is a certified Master Gardner, to design a plan integrating the entranceways and eight islands making up the Hearst Castle median.  Read Kristen and John Caldwell’s Beautification report for more details.  Please remember it will take several years to implement the plan and for the plants to mature.  I’m certain the result will be worth the wait.

The second largest budget item this year was our new website.  The website has been up now for several months and we’re receiving positive comments.  Please thank your neighbor Jim Demarest for his continuing hard work designing and maintaining the website.  Our goal was two-fold, first, to create a presence of our community on the Internet so prospective homeowners can find us and realize what a wonderful place The Estates of Forest Creek is to live, and second, to provide an efficient way to communicate with all in our community.  As you can see in this newsletter and on our website, we have been actively selling advertising to defray the website maintenance costs.  Our objective is to make the website and newsletter self-funding next year. 

If you have not visited it recently or at all yet, I strongly encourage you to find at least a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the website at where you’ll find useful information and the latest happenings in our neighborhood.  Note that all “Read More” links in the electronic version of this newsletter actually link you to a posting on our website.  From there, you can scroll the master banner at the top and click into any area of the website you want to check out.  Of course, we would love to have your feedback on how we are doing here – any suggested further improvements are welcome.  Please let us know what you think!

As most of you should already know, our EFC HOA Membership drive for 2015 is already underway.  Please simply fill out your new or renewal membership form and pay your dues via the website (PayPal or Credit Card accepted), or download the membership form from the Join Now / Membership page of the website, complete it and submit payment either by mail or dropped off at a neighborhood drop box as noted on the form.   Please encourage your neighbors to join and submit their dues as well.  Our neighborhood is truly everyone’s responsibility.  The more neighbors that join, the faster we become a more unified community and accelerate improvements to the entranceways and median.

Finally, please consider joining the EFC HOA Board, by more actively helping our community to continue to flourish.  Several positions will be open as members who have served this last year move on in November.  Let any Board member know of your interest and we’ll be in touch.

Enjoy our wonderful spring weather.  I look forward to seeing you out and about the neighborhood, and if possible, all in your family that can participate at our special upcoming EFC International Spring Fling Social on Sunday May 9th which promises to be a relaxing and entertaining community event for all.

Jack Gary, EFC HOA President