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Wilcox: State of Highland Village

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Highland Village Mayor Charlotte Wilcox
Highland Village Mayor Charlotte Wilcox

The Highland Village Business Association recently joined the Flower Mound and Lewisville Area Chambers of Commerce for the annual State of the City presentations. We had nearly 300 in attendance as Lewisville Mayor Pro Tem Neil Ferguson, Flower Mound Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dixon and I presented our respective State of the City reports.

As city staff and I began the preparations for this video, we realized in my job as a realtor I give the “State of Highland Village” every time I show our city to a client. We based the presentation on this premise – a realtor providing the “State of the City” while showing Highland Village to a future resident.

I’d like to share with you the State of Highland Village.

Highland Village is a sought-after community made up of young, active families. We have beautiful new homes in close-knit neighborhoods. Especially unique to Highland Village is our rolling hills, lakefront homes and many trees. Drive through our city and you will see there is a lot of character to our neighborhoods and homes. Highland Village is primarily a residential community with property taxes paying for the majority of city services. We have kept the same tax rate, .56963, for the last 15 years. Over the years the city has developed to have everything you need right here in Highland Village.

The residents of Highland Village enjoy walking our trails and playing in our parks. We have a network of trails spanning the length of our city and connecting to HOA trails, shoreline trails, retail centers, city facilities and our parks. The city began building trails in 2005 using 4B sales tax funds. Last year we opened a tunnel under FM 2499 to allow safe passage. Our trails are very popular among our residents.

Lakeside Community Park is our newest park. This property was seized by the federal government and we applied for a deed transfer. With the help of Congressman Burgess, we were able to take ownership of the property. The lakefront park now includes two pavilions, picnic tables, a walking path and beautiful views of the lake.

Soon to be opened is Doubletree Ranch Park. This park is part of Highland Village’s history as it was owned by our first mayor and then became a community gathering place for dances, meetings and corporate events. We purchased the property using 4B tax dollars and are developing soccer fields, trails, a great lawn and pavilion for concerts and parties. The park is scheduled to open early this summer. It will definitely be a beautiful addition to our city.

Unity Park is our community park located in the heart of the city. The kids play soccer and softball here. And, after a community dog park recently closed, the city set up a temporary dog park here. A new dog park is in the works for this park. Unity Park is also home to Kids Kastle, a beautiful wood play structure built by the community. The park is not just for the kids or the dogs; we also have exercise equipment for adult use.

We also have many events for the family here at Unity Park. The Lions Club Balloon Festival takes place in August and brings beautiful balloons up close and personal. On the first Saturday in June we kick off the beginning of summer with Celebrate Highland Village. We have a 5K run and a family fishout. The city stocks the pond with 750 pounds of catfish and awards many prizes. It’s a great time for the whole family. That evening we gather at Pilot Knoll Park for music and fireworks on the shores of Lewisville Lake. Two years ago we began holding a Fall Festival here on the first Saturday in November. There are a lot of vendors, art displays, and activities for the kids, wiener dog races, a petting zoo and much more. A couple years ago we partnered with The Shops at Highland Village and began an art festival on the first Saturday in May. We bring in gallery quality artists from the area to display and sell their work. We have art activities for the kids and live music.

Our signature holiday event takes place the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at The Shops at Highland Village. Our Village Glows is a partnership between the city and the Highland Village Women’s Club to kick off the holiday season. We have local school choirs singing carols, we light the beautiful Christmas tree at the Shops and our very own fire department escorts Santa to his workshop inside the Christmas tree.

We used 4B sales tax dollars to build Doubletree Ranch Park and our trails, and it is because of the retail centers, shopping and restaurants that we are able to do these things. We are fortunate to have the beautiful Shops at Highland Village here. Our past councils worked hard to ensure this was a cohesive development and it has paid off. The Shops have done so well, they invested $3 million in renovations to even further enhance walkability and create gathering places throughout the center.

Our Wal-Mart is nationally known as the first non-traditional Wal-Mart in the country. The store was developed according to the wishes and desires of our community.  Our Wal-Mart includes a bike shop that is adjacent to our trail system. Two new additions to The Marketplace are First Choice ER and DSW shoe store. We now have an emergency medical facility close by, and, of course, all us girls love shoe shopping! A Murphy gas station just broke ground and will open later this year. This gas station will be the only station in this area, definitely filling a need for our residents and the region.

The District of Highland Village is a “live, work, play” development currently underway. It’s a unique development filling another need in our city with retail, restaurants and office space combined together with townhomes and loft living. A truly unique aspect is the storefront and living quarter’s combination.

A fantastic story of redevelopment is Hidden Pines Wedding Chapel. For many years this location was home to Celebrations event center. When the owners decided to sell, it was redeveloped into a Texas Hill Country inspired wedding chapel and reception hall. The beautiful venue is a huge success and brings many new visitors to Highland Village.

We all know water is a precious commodity in Texas with many cities restricting water usage. Fortunately Highland Village has not had to place these restrictions on our residents. We receive our water from the Upper Trinity Regional Water District and we own water wells which are used as needed to supplement high water use time during the summer. The city recently built a larger water storage tank to ensure our water needs into the future.  Water conservation is important to many in our community so the city has an app – Eye on Water – where you can log into your account on your tablet or phone and monitor how much water you are using. It’s amazing to see how much water is used to water a yard!

A beautiful home with all these wonderful amenities is great, but it means nothing unless you and your family feel safe. Highland Village is often touted as the safest city in Texas and residents will experience that feeling when they make Highland Village home.  One of the first people our residents meet when moving into Highland Village is likely to be one of our officers. Our police department focuses the majority of their time on developing relationships with our residents. They are in the neighborhoods, in the schools and in our retail and dining venues. You never know when you may experience a medical or fire emergency. Our fire department started as a volunteer department and we now have a paid, full-time staff providing high level emergency medical care and fire suppression. The fire department is also very much about building relationships with our residents and kids through business and home inspections, CPR training, and the most anticipated event – driving Santa through our neighborhoods at Christmas.

The actual State of the City presentation was done in video format, which you can watch below. You’ll see we had some fun with the presentation and enlisted the help of students from the Stage Right Ministry at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church. I’d like to thank Karen Chraska, Taryn Cain and the students, Briee Daniels, Jessica Miller, Matthew Black, Carson Reynolds, Colby Reynolds and Russell Noe. They all did a great job!

Home truly is Highland Village!

 

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