By Mark Risner :: Photography by Kelsey Grudle
We get asked the question from time to time, “What does the Property Owners Association do?” Usually it’s a new owner or sometimes a long-time owner who never had the occasion to ask. There is a very simple answer to that question: We strive to ensure that this is a place you are proud to call home, is well-maintained and that the covenants are enforced. There are a variety of different efforts and initiatives that contribute to that ultimate goal; it takes quite a large team to oversee operations of a development that spans thousands of acres.
We are tasked with many responsibilities, not the least of which are maintaining the landscaping and roads throughout the community. You might not know it but there are close to fifty miles of paved roads all owned and maintained by your POA. Although the roads are currently in good condition overall, we routinely evaluate products and applications to improve and preserve the quality of the roads. A healthy portion of the reserves are dedicated to this very purpose. In 2016, we used over $1.5MM in our road reserve fund to repair and improve a significant amount of roads throughout the community. We are currently working on final evaluations of some additional road repairs to implement in the second half of 2017.
The landscape and maintenance crews, all direct employees of the POA, have one of the most difficult and important jobs. They are in charge of keeping a clean manicured look while also preserving the natural Hill Country beauty. The crews take a lot of pride in their work and are on property throughout the day working on the many miles of common areas, roads, gates, parks, trails and entrances. They can be seen on mowers, water trucks, maintenance trucks and tractors as they start early in the day and often finish late to cover a lot of ground. One of the great features at Cordillera Ranch are the parks and lakes. Our crews work to keep them litter-free and assure they are maintained to the standards you would expect. Recently the POA staff has been implementing its semi-annual aquatic vegetation clean up in Swede Lake. They apply an aquatic herbicide to help promote a healthy underwater environment for marine life.
The Association oversees the access controls (i.e. gates) throughout the community. This has been an area of intense focus recently as we work to limit access to the community to property owners, their approved guests and approved contractors. In a community this large with four access points, this is more complex of an overhaul than it may appear to be; however, we have made great strides in developing a solution to implement and hope to have more specifics to report in the next few months.
As part of the Association responsibilities, we have an Architectural Review Committee. This committee is the governing body that reviews building plans for any construction in the community to ensure compliance with the Covenants and Design Guidelines. We work with the builders, architects, engineers and owners with the goal of using a firm but helpful hand to build a home that conforms to the guidelines while protecting the trees and native areas. Builders are thoroughly vetted with specific qualifications that must be met in order to build homes in the community. It is the ideal of being consistent with the design guidelines and protection of the covenants that has preserved and increased property values. Through the years since inception, this committee has kept that mindset and instilled a standard and culture that has set Cordillera Ranch apart from other communities.
The beautiful homes here also generate a lot of interest in the resale market. Our office works with realtors, lenders and title companies to provide them with all the information and documentation they need. We then provide an orientation for the new owner as well as vehicle stickers and gate openers once it’s time to move in and enjoy living in their new home. Owners also rely on us as a first line of communication and look to us for problem solving related to community issues. We strive to communicate with our residents whenever needed. Using a well-developed database of homeowner emails allows us to blast out important news or topical information to the membership (if you’re not receiving our emails, please email me at email@example.com or go to cordilleraranchpoa.com and register your email address).
The POA office handles all the financial management for the association including collection of the annual assessments as well as payables for the Association’s expenses. We have high expectations of everyone who does work at Cordillera Ranch. That is why we evaluate ongoing contracts and work closely with all the vendors who provide services so that we get the best value and results for the community.
Our office also acts as the archive for the Association’s documents. All the construction plans, governing documents, plats, maps and individual homeowner files fill up quite a bit of space. We do keep extensive historical electronic files as well for owner payment histories, budgets, contracts and communications. Our administrative office is currently located on Cordillera Ridge near the Visitor Center, but we will be moving to the new Vista Office location when it is completed later this year, just across Cordillera Trace. The Cordillera POA Maintenance staff is currently in process of moving their operations over to the new Maintenance facility located just north of Rio Cordillera on FM 3351.
At the end of the day, all the things our POA team does, in addition to the contributions from everyone who is involved with Cordillera Ranch, lead back to preserving the culture and appeal of this beautiful and scenic Hill Country community. We truly believe, “Life is better out here.”
Mark Risner is Cordillera Ranch Property Owners Association General Manager. He can be reached at 830.336.3501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.