What’s Happening in Copper Canyon – July 2018

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Copper Canyon Mayor Sue Tejml

By Copper Canyon Mayor Sue Tejml

Annual Copper Canyon Parade – Wednesday July 4th – 10:00 AM

Come join the fun! Be in the parade…Decorate your car, golf cart, tractor, motorcycle, bicycle, or anything that moves. Bring the kids and get ready to have fun! The parade line up will be at 9:30 AM in front of Copper Canyon Town Hall, 400 Woodland Drive. If you don’t want to be in the parade, join us on your front lawn and cheer the parade on!

The parade route is slowly through the Woodlands subdivision with Argyle Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger and the AFD red fire engine leading the parade. Three fire fighters will help children up the ladder to ride on the top of the fire engine. Parents are welcome to accompany their kids on top of the engine. Our Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Mangum is not only on the AFD Board, but is an AFD Captain and certified driver of the Fire Engine! Jeff is always reliably present to help kids and parents explore the fire engine!

Immediately after the parade, everyone is welcome for hotdogs, lemonade and drinks, and cookies in front of Town Hall. These refreshments have traditionally been hosted for years by the Woodlands Women’s Club and their husbands! Town Hall will be open for restrooms and anyone who prefers to dine in our air-conditioned Council Chambers. For questions call Carol Owens at 940-241-1455.

Toll Brothers presents Town with 291 Home Development south of FM 407

Toll Brothers filed an application with the Town to develop a residential subdivision of 291 homes south of FM 407 in our designated Town Center. (For reference, Copper Canyon currently has just over 500 homes, but there are several large tracts of open acreage that could be developed in the future.) Toll Brothers has a long-time reputation as a quality residential developer and home builder.

Toll Brothers is requesting a Master Plan change for the entire portion of the Town Center south of FM 407 (approximately 88 acres). The South Town Center would consist only of single-family residential uses (no commercial uses) and the residential density would be increased to 3.5 units per gross acre. The proposed subdivision would be gated for security, and the private concrete streets would be maintained by a Home Owners Association (HOA.)

Of the 88 gross acres, Toll Brothers anticipates 20 per cent, or an estimated almost 18 acres, be reserved for green space. The remaining 70 acres would be reduced by approximately 20% for streets. This leaves a net buildable acreage for homes of approximately 52 acres. With 291 homes this would be approximately a proposed density of over five homes per net acre. (As a reference for comparison, the Woodlands Subdivision in Copper Canyon and the Chinn Chapel North Subdivision along Rolling Acres Drive, have a density of one home per net acre.)

Toll Brothers proposes that the majority of the homes be on lots 50 feet wide with a buildable frontage of 40 feet and 5-foot easements on either side. (5-foot easements equate to 10 feet between homes.) An estimated 100 lots would be 72 feet wide with a buildable frontage of 60 feet and 6-foot side easements (or 12 feet between homes.)

P&Z public hearing on Toll Brothers Application for High Density Homes:

On Monday June 4th at 7:00 pm at Town Hall, the Planning and Zoning Commission heard Toll Brothers application to amend the Town’s Master Plan for the 88 acres of Town Center south of FM 407. Current members of our Planning and Zoning Commission are: Andre Nicholas, Chairman; Mark Pape, Tom Reed, and Paul Bosco. (Council will appoint a fifth P&Z member to replace Cindy Skidmore, who resigned as she is moving from Copper Canyon.) Alternate P&Z members in order of appointment are Karla Hohenberger, Mitch Dornich. and Deb Valencia. Mitch was the 5th voting member of P&Z that night.

Our Council Chambers were quite literally “packed” with folding chairs opened and people standing around the edge of the room. I counted at least 75 individuals, including five representatives from Toll Brothers. Myself and three Council Members also attended – Valerie Cannaday, Jeff Mangum, and Dave Svatik. But, other than greeting each other, we sat in different parts of the room and did not talk with each other or make any public comments. We were present to listen only.

Rob Paul, President of Toll Brothers Dallas Fort Worth Division, moderated the video presentation for the 88 acres south of FM 407. This was the same presentation that had been presented to Double Oak residents at Terracina and to Copper Canyon residents at the Bridgeway Church. Paul estimated that the proposed new revenue to Copper Canyon from the completed development would be approximately $564,000 per year from property taxes on 291 homes. A significant sum, since our current proposed 2018-2019 budget is approximately $1,069,000. He also noted that due to the planned greenbelt fronting on FM 407, the distance from FM 407 to the front of any homes would range from 125 to 310 feet. (No homes would be backing up to FM 407.)

Council Chambers are “packed” with Copper Canyon residents opposed to High Density Homes in the South Town Center

16 Town residents spoke that night at Public Input. They represented a geographical cross section of our Town. Some residents had just recently moved here, but many had lived in Copper Canyon for decades. They were also unanimously opposed to high density residential in the South Town Center. Other Town residents attending applauded after each Copper Canyon resident spoke for the maximum 3 minutes allowed for each public input.

Residents speaking were: George Bleuher (Hillside), Suzanne Boltz (Edmondson), Joe Brady (North Berry Trail), Larry Burwell (Knollridge), Gene Colley (Estates), Priyank Desai (Orchid Hill), Nancy Henry (Lonesome Dove), Aaron Maestas (North Meadow Court), Dorothy Mayer (Blackjack), Jeff Mayer (Valley Wood Court), Vic Moiles (Valley Wood Court), Mike Sherwood (South Berry Trail), Robert Stegmaier (East Woodglen), Jim Crowther for resident Jean Shackelford and her daughters Martha Sue Crowther, Jeannie Courtwright and Robin Shackelford (the Shackelford Family owns 60 acres north of the North Town Center), Ted Stranczek (North Berry Trail), and Mary Thorp (Canyon Bluff).

Several critical issues were raised:

  • High Density Homes are not consistent with Copper Canyon’s traditional Minimum One Acre HomesitesThis was the overwhelming reason that each speaker objected to the proposed 291 homes in Vickery Park.
  • Fire Suppression – Rob Paul said that each home would have an individual interior sprinkler system for fire suppression. Additionally, an onsite well would supply water to keep two ponds at a constant water level for the Argyle Fire District’s trailer carrying two high capacity pumps for two separate hoses totaling one and three/quarters mile of line to pump water from the ponds to suppress fires. This equipment, plus a truck to pull the trailer, had already been paid for ($180,000) by another developer in Bartonville and delivered to an AFD station. But, Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger said he would additionally need Toll Brothers to provide an engineer stamped certification that the ponds and well had the capacity to sufficiently suppress house fires.

The above fire suppression method was necessary due to the Cross Timbers Water Supply District’s moratorium on connecting its water lines to fire hydrants until it has a second elevated water tower in operation for necessary water pressure. Water for drinking and irrigation is not a problem. Water pressure for fire suppression is the missing key. Toll Brothers would install the fire hydrants, even though they could not be connected to BWSCD water lines until later. [ISO insurance ratings for the Vickery Park development should not affect the rest of Copper Canyon, which is already served by connected fire hydrants.]

  • The safety of vehicles entering and leaving Vickery Park by FM 407

Rob Paul said a preliminary traffic study had been done. TX Dot had not yet indicated it would approve a traffic signal near the primary central entrance. But Toll Brothers was committed to building adequate north and south turn lanes on FM 407 and including a sufficiently long stacking lane for vehicles at the main entrance before the security gate.

Objections to Vickery Park by Double Oak: In addition, Mayor Mike Donnelly of Double Oak said his residents realized they had no legal standing in developments totally within Copper Canyon’s town boundaries. But Double Oak and Copper Canyon had always had cordial relations as neighboring communities and both towns had traditionally required minimum one-acre home sites. He appreciated that development of the Vickery Park site would not have any entrance points into Double Oak, but only enter and leave via FM 407. And he appreciated that Toll Brothers was monitoring all drainage from the site into Double Oak and that Toll Brothers was trying to protect the tree canopy screen on the site’s south and west boundaries that protected Double Oak home owners’ privacy. However, his residents had expressed a very negative opinion of the home density that Toll Brothers was proposing. Donna Gillum, also of Double Oak, echoed Mayor Donnelly’s statements.

P&Z Commissioners Unanimously Deny Toll Brothers proposed Amendments to Copper Canyon’s Master Plan

The residential lot sizes would be 50’ x 110’ and 72’ x 130’. P&Z Commissioner Paul Bosco asked if there were any Toll Brothers developments in this area with lots that size. Rob Paul noted the following Toll Brothers developments. East Lake in Coppell has 50’ wide lots. The Preserve in Flower Mound has 72’ wide lots. And West Park in Plano has a combination of both sized lots.

P&Z Commissioner Tom Reed noted that the wastewater contract with Flower Mound limited the Town Center to a maximum of 400,000 gallons per day. The Town Center north of FM 407 consisted of 75 undeveloped acres.   Rob Paul said the Toll Brothers development of 88 acres south of FM 407 was estimated to use 2/3rds of the sewer capacity available from Flower Mound.

The P&Z Commissioners recessed briefly for legal clarification from Brown & Hofmeister attorney Ed Voss. Upon returning they voted unanimously (5-0) to deny Toll Brothers application for a Master Plan change to a) not require retail/commercial in the Town Center south of FM 407, and b) increase home density to 3.5 lots per gross acre for the proposed 88 acre all residential development. Many residents had stayed for the entire multi hour meeting and applauded the P&Z Commissioners for listening and acknowledging their opposition to high density housing in the Town Center.

Council has Public Hearing on Toll Brothers Application for Master Plan Change for a) no Retail-Commercial required in Town Center south of FM 407 and b) Housing Density increased to 3.5 homes per GROSS Acre for proposed 88-acre Vickery Park all residential development.

After P&Z’s action on June 4th, the Toll Brothers application was forwarded to the Town Council for action on Monday June 11th. Current Council Members are: Jeff Mangum, Mayor Pro Tem; Valerie Pearson Cannaday, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem; and Council Members Bill Castleman, Steve Hill, and Dave Svatik. Mayor Sue Tejml may only legally vote if Council has a tie vote.

In the interim week between the P&Z Public Hearing on Toll Brothers Application for a Master Plan change, and the Council Meeting for a final vote on the application, two ongoing Copper Canyon planning items reached preliminary results. These two items were included in the Mayor’s Remarks for the June 11th Council Meeting, as they were considered very relevant to Town Resident’s view of the Toll Brothers proposed Master Plan Amendments and critical background information for the Council prior to their vote on the proposed Master Plan change.

  • Inventory of Open Acreage in Copper Canyon suitable for Future Residential Development:

Town Administrator Donna Welsh and I have been compiling a list of tracts of open acreage in town large enough to accommodate future residential development. Almost 30% of Copper Canyon’s land is agricultural exempt from property taxes. However, many of these tracts are small, one to five acres, and are ag exempt to allow owners to keep one to a few horses, goats, etc. However, there are quite a few medium to large open acreage tracts, and several of these are currently for sale. Each of these open acreage tracts would be sufficient for a new home development.

Donna and I had originally listed the open acreage tracts by owner’s name. But, on second thought, we decided the landowner might prefer to not be identified. The Denton County Tax Office will give us a list of the open tracts in Copper Canyon by exact acreage, address, and owner’s name; but the office cannot do so until the first of August. However, Donna and I were able to identify 1100 to 1400 acres of open tracts suitable for future residential development now and in the coming years. We will compile our future list of open tracts by general location – for example, east or west of Copper Canyon Road, north or south of Orchid Hill, etc. – instead of by landowner’s name.

(2) Council Member Steve Hill’s Current 20-year Financial Forecast for Town

Council Member Steve Hill has been the Town’s Financial Officer for 13 years.

[Steve is a managing partner with KPMG, one of the five largest international accounting and financial advisory firms.) In 2005 he spent months creating the algorithms for Copper Canyon’s first 20 Year Financial Forecast. That forecast warned us that our Town could not independently finance quality fire protection and emergency medical services (ambulance and paramedics). Thus, Denton County Emergency Services District #1 was formed to fund our Argyle Fire District, which serves 5 towns and 65 square miles of Denton County.

Every year our Town Administrator Donna Welsh compares the current year’s fiscal budget with the corresponding year from the original 20 Year Financial Forecast. Donna has been amazed at how accurately the old 20 Year budget year forecast tracks with the corresponding new budget year projection. As a practical financial tool, Steve’s 20 Year Financial Forecasts are reliable and invaluable!

Recently Steve has begun preliminary calculations and algorithms on our new 20 Year Financial Forecast. Our Staff – Donna Welsh, Sheila Morales, Ann Horner – Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Mangum, and myself as Mayor have worked diligently to track down the specific data Steve needs for his calculations.

  1. Law Enforcement: Town Administrator Donna Welsh has worked with the Sheriff’s Office on a five-year projection of expenses for Deputies’ salaries and benefits, their equipment and training, patrol vehicles and their specialized equipment and gas and servicing.
  1. b) Town Roads: Town Engineer Brian Haynes of Halff Associates has projected the future cost of maintaining our interior asphalt residential roads and the cost of eventually rebuilding them. He also included the cost of completing the rebuilding of Chinn Chapel RD in concrete from north of the  railroad tracks to the Orchid Hill Lane round-about – and – rebuilding Jernigan Road in concrete.

Town Hall and Staff: Donna has also projected the cost of maintaining our current Town Hall and grounds and our current small Staff level and office expenses.

Latest 20 Year Preliminary Financial Forecast:

As a result, Steve currently believes that the construction of 400 homes in Copper Canyon (with an average value of $600,000) over the next 20 years should be sufficient to cover the Town’s projected expenses. This should be easy to accomplish without commercial or high density residential developments, thus preserving our beloved “rural atmosphere”!

Eleven homes are under construction or to be built this year. Of the 42 lots in Copper Creek Subdivision, almost half of Phase One lots are already sold and construction should begin this year on additional homes there. Several medium tracts of land are also currently for sale in Town and available for one acre plus residential building sites.

13 Years of Annual Budget Surpluses: For the past 13 Fiscal years, Copper Canyon has underspent its budget and applied the surplus funds to roads or law enforcement.

Public Hearing before Council on Toll Brothers Application to amend the Master Plan to allow a) no required retail commercial in Town Center south of FM 407, and b) allow high density housing in Vickery Park up to 3.5 homes per Gross Acre.

Once again, our Council Chambers were packed! Rob Paul, Toll Brothers usual presenter for the Vickery Park video, could not be present. And the three other Toll Brothers executives present opted to not present the video. However, I polled the four Council Members present individually. Each had seen Rob Paul’s presentation on Vickery Park at least once and most twice. By a show of hands, almost everyone in the audience had also seen the Vickery Park presentation at least once. So, our presenter on Copper Canyon’s current Master Plan, Doug Powell, opted to also skip his presentation. Many residents present had already seen it at the P&Z Meeting the prior week.

At this Public Hearing 25 residents spoke, and all but one asked the Council to deny Toll Brothers application for high density housing in the Town Center south of FM 407. I had reminded the speakers that in a Copper Canyon Public Hearing, no one was allowed to speak negatively about any individual, business, or other entity. And, no one was allowed to interrupt a speaker during their 3-minute input. Both the speakers and the audience could not have been more civil and respectful of each other!

Many Town residents who had spoken at the P&Z Public Hearing the week before, returned to speak to the Council. The twelve new speakers were Julia Anderson (Lonesome Dove), George and Karen Campbell (Orchid Hill), Jeff Courtright for the Shackelford Family, Carmen Craig (Chinn Chapel), Steve Dohm (Summit), Robin Grider (Orchid Hill), Kaki Lybbert (Copper Canyon Road), Eric Rooney (Chinn Chapel), Mike Sommers (Mobile), and Bryan Tynes (Chinn Chapel). All Copper Canyon residents but Kaki Lybbert requested the Council deny Toll Brothers request for high density housing in their proposed Vickery Park. Public Input lasted almost two hours.

The Council listened attentively to all the Public Input speakers and then took a 15-minute recess and went into Executive Session with our Town Attorney Terry Welch. The Council sought advice on legal issues pertaining to Toll Brothers application to (a) change Copper Canyon’s Master Plan for the proposed Vickery Park to an all residential development, and (b) with high density housing of 3.5 per gross acre.

Upon resuming the Council Meeting, each Council Member commented on some of the critical points.

Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Valerie Cannaday noted what wonderful Town residents Paul and Marjory Vickery had been. They had included their acreage in Copper Canyon’s original incorporation. They had funded bringing wastewater from Flower Mound to the Town Center south of FM 407. And, how patient the Vickery Family had been as the Town’s plans for the Town Center changed over time. However, in 14 years no developer has offered a retail/commercial project for the Vickery’s acreage adjoining FM 407.

Two years ago, the Town hired Southlake’s original Town Center planner to evaluate Copper Canyon’s proposed Town Center. He said it was unlikely the Town Center would attract significant retail/commercial – maybe just some office space.

Valerie also thanked “every citizen who came, or emailed, and spoke passionately. You have families and your time is most valuable…. We’ve taken lots of notes, and we appreciate the crowd being respectful and taking time to come out and allow us to address your concerns.”

Council Member Dave Svatik: “The reason we considered commercial is to broaden the Town’s tax base. We’ve considered a boutique hotel, Central Market, Trader Joe’s. But development to the east [FM 407 and FM 2499] and to the west [Kroger at the Lantana curve] have put our Town Center in the undesirable midblock location. We considered townhomes that were built nearby, but those barely sold.  And, we need to be sensitive to why residents moved to Copper Canyon. Usually for the large residential lots. So, we need to balance the costs of maintaining our roads and law enforcement, including paying for patrol cars, with only homes as a source of property tax revenue.”

Council Member Bill Castleman:I was on P&Z in 2004 and on the original Master Plan Committee with Jeff Mangum and Steve Hill. We put in commercial for one reason – the Southlake Town Center. But since then no developer has considered commercial in Copper Canyon. Highland Village and Bartonville had the infrastructure we were lacking. I’m proud to be a member of the Council and proud that a company like Toll Brothers wants to develop land in Copper Canyon. Toll Brothers was recognized in 2016 by Fortune Magazine as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies.’ And was also recognized worldwide as the #1 Home Builder for 4 years in a row beginning in 2015 by Fortune Magazine! It has been named the top workplace for eight years running by the Philadelphia Enquirer! It has been honored with 11 Gold Awards by the International Home Builders Association. We’re not dealing with a fly-by-night company. It’s a big prize they want to build here!”

Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Mangum: “In 2004 the Town surveyed current residents. They wanted to keep property taxes low, so they agreed to include commercial development in the Town Center along FM 407. In looking forward 20 years, primary expenses for the Town are roads and law enforcement. Fortunately, Town residents approved our $3.5 million road bond for rebuilding interior residential roads. A lot of those roads are asphalt and will deteriorate. We also need to complete rebuilding of Chinn Chapel Road in concrete and rebuild Jernigan Road. Maybe the County will contribute funding. We need to update and re-evaluate our Town’s Master Plan.”

In conclusion: The Council listened to Residents and voted accordingly.

  1. Council voted to approve Toll Brothers request to eliminate any requirement for retail/commercial in the Town Center south of FM 407.
  2. Council denied Toll Brothers request for high density residential lots of 3.5 per gross acre.

Former Mayor Larry Johnson and wife Carla Celebrate Life of son Matt Johnson, age 35.

Larry and Carla were in Italy when they learned of the sudden passing of their son Matt in New Orleans. Every parent’s worst nightmare – the loss of their child – and not being able to say “I love you” one more time. Larry said it was so hard to find an instant flight back to the States – in the middle of the height of the Italian summer tourist season! And then the detailed paperwork to bring their son’s body from his adopted home of New Orleans back to Texas. All this, while dealing with their own personal grief.

Larry reminisced with me and my husband Emil on how fast their five children had grown up. Their four boys and daughter spanned 12 years. “We had them in ‘twos’ he said. First son Dan and then Matt, then younger brothers Michael and Patrick, and finally a girl – Mary Kate! And son Dan has just presented us with our first grandchild – a baby boy named Thomas!”

The five Johnson children grew up here in Copper Canyon in a beautiful home on large acreage. They attended Marcus High School. Their dad Larry, an attorney, was managing partner for an international law firm and spent one week a month in Brazil. (Larry and his two eldest sons Dan and Matt, learned to speak fluent Portuguese.) Larry also served on Copper Canyon’s Town Council and one term as our Mayor. In 2003 Larry had the vision to create the Town’s first Master Plan to direct the future growth of our Town.

The Celebration of Life was held at the Fogo de Chao restaurant in Addison – the same chain that Larry has served as CEO. And, the Staff and Chefs outdid themselves with an incredible banquet of hors d’oeuvres – individual lobster tails, smoked salmon, tiny perfectly roasted lamb chops, crisp peppered bacon strips.

Daughter Mary Kate had composed a video of family photos of Larry and Carla and all five of their kids as they were growing up together. Matt was the adorable small boy with the infectious grin! A happy child! And then the handsome young man, who looked so much like his Dad must have looked at that age! Eldest son Dan Johnson warned all the guests that Mary Kate would make them cry. And the video of all the photos of the family together over the past 30 something years did just that. My husband Emil and I shared a look with tears in our eyes. As did so many of the guests!

Carla thanked all their friends and family for their “support.” She said, “I haven’t replied to any of you yet, but please know how much your kind words and texts have meant to me. We have even had neighbors from 25 years ago that we haven’t seen in ages – and they came today! I don’t even know how they knew about the church service and this celebration!”

Larry had also thoughtfully arranged for a quiet, private room, with a videographer – so that anyone who wanted to share a personal story of Matt could do so – and the Johnson family could view these kind words at home after the Celebration.

Long time Copper Canyon residents came to support Larry and Carla. Close neighbors Bill Castleman and wife Lynne and Kaki Lybbert and husband Roger Foster, and longtime friends Mike Ramsey and wife Kim. Good friend and travel mate Elisa Patton of Argyle came home early from her granddaughter’s graduation in California and arrived just in time for the church service. For over a decade Elisa has been the personal trainer of Carla and daughter Mary Kate and Kaki and myself. Carla is an accomplished runner, and you may have seen her jogging the streets in south Copper Canyon with her long brown pony tail flipping from side to side with her alternating strong strides.

The following obituary was primarily written by family member Don Johnson and was published in the Dallas Morning News from June 15 to June 17, 2018. It is included here with Larry Johnson’s permission. If you know our former Mayor, please notice how much his son Matt looks like him!

“JOHNSON, Matthew Lawrence. Matt came into this world on August 27, 1982, in the Marvelous City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was called home to God on May 28, 2018, in his adopted hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. Matt attended Flower Mound Marcus High School and graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans in 2004. Matt was proud to be a carioca and to share his love of cuisine with all those fortunate enough to know him. His passions included his pepper garden, his “pumas,” and above all, his joy in feeding those he loved. The world will be a sadder place without Matt (aka Chef Bjarge), his ready smile and wit, and his ability to start a conversation with total strangers. Matt is survived by his loving parents, Lawrence and Carla Johnson, as well as brothers Daniel, Michael, and Patrick, sister Mary Katherine, his grandmothers Anita Solvay and Jane Gorr, and a host of cousins, aunts, and uncles. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, June 22, 2018, at 2:00 pm at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, 2800 Valwood Parkway, Farmers Branch, TX 75234. A Celebration of Life reception for Matt is planned at Fogo de Chao, 4300 Belt Line Road, Addison, TX on Friday, June 22, 2018, at 3:30 pm. A similar celebration in New Orleans will be announced later through the website listed below. In lieu of flowers, Matt’s family kindly asks those who knew and loved him to consider contributing to a planned community garden in New Orleans to be built and dedicated in his memory. Details can be found at www.gofundme.com/mattscommunitygarden.

Warning: Ducks Crossing !?!

Copper Canyon residents have noticed a new phenomenon on south Chinn Chapel Road at the Town’s southern boundary with Highland Village and Flower Mound. A mother duck, with tiny ducklings following in a single file closely behind her, have been slowly crossing the road. Unsuspecting motorists have been slamming on their brakes to avoid hitting them! The ducks appear to live in the pond south of the Church of Latter Day Saints (in Highland Village), then cross Chinn Chapel to the western right-of-way (which is in Copper Canyon), and then proceed south down the right-of-way to the pond in Terracina (which is in Flower Mound.)

Holly Sadlowski, in Denton County Commissioner Andy Eads’ office, called this dilemma to my attention. Matthew Hotelling, Traffic Engineer for Flower Mound, kindly offered to fabricate a “Ducks Crossing Warning” sign and install it with Highland Village’s permission in the eastern right-of-way to warn northbound traffic. He also kindly offered to fabricate a second Warning sign and install it in Copper Canyon’s western right-of-way for southbound traffic, if our Town would agree to maintain the sign. Of course, we will. It’s great that our three towns can work together on the simple task of protecting our mutually enjoyable wildlife!

Tree Shepherds completes trimming of Branches Blocking Traffic and Street Signs and Overhanging our Town roads.

Periodically, our Town Administrator Donna Welsh surveys every street in Town for branches that block traffic and street signs and tree limbs that hang low enough over our streets to brush cars and especially trucks. Dead trees that might fall into our streets in the future are also noted. Our patrolling Sheriff’s Deputies keep her informed of places that need tree trimming and so do our towns people.

Tree Shepherds just completed over 14 hours of tree trimming along Copper Canyon streets and thoroughly cleaning up all the debris and hauling it away. Streets addressed were Orchid Hill, Abbott/Landseer, Chinn Chapel, Mobile, Estates/Pilot/Knoll, Woodland, Woodglen, Oakridge/Knollridge/Copper Woods/Meadow, Jernigan, and Edmonson. Our thanks to Clayton Geer for his always superior work!

Town Council’s 2018-2019 Fiscal Year Budget and Tax Rate Calendar

Last year’s tax valuation for Copper Canyon was $241,226,778. This year the value is over $265,000,000 on the Preliminary Tax Rolls (Approximately a $23 million increase in valuations set by the Denton Central Appraisal District. A large portion of this valuation increase is due to new homes being built in Town.) Of course, we still have three weeks of Appraisal Review Board Hearings. After the hearings end, the budget calendar will start – leading up to setting the new tax rate.

At present, the Council does not anticipate increasing our current tax rate of $0.29750 per $100 valuation. Our tax rate has remained the same for the last five fiscal years or since 2013.)

The following Budget and Tax Rate Calendar is mandated by the State.

Wednesday, July 25: Receive certified totals from DCAD

Tuesday, July 31: Receive Effective Rate from County Tax Office

Tuesday, July 31: Receive Rollback Rate from County Tax Office

Monday, August 13: Council Meeting to discuss budget and proposed tax rate; if proposed tax rate will exceed the rollback rate or the effective tax rate (whichever is lower), take record vote to place a proposal to adopt the rate on the agenda of a future meeting as an action item. The proposal must specify the desired rate. If the proposal passes, the Council must schedule two (2) public hearings on the proposal.

Monday August 27: 1st Public Hearing on tax increase.

Announce date, time & place of the meeting at which the Council will vote on the tax rate. A quorum of the Town Council must be present. The Council may not adopt the tax rate at this hearing.

Monday, September 10: 2nd Public Hearing on tax increase.

Announce date, time & place of the meeting at which the Council will vote on the tax rate. A quorum of the Town Council must be present. The Council may not adopt the tax rate at this hearing.

Monday, September 24: Meeting to adopt budget, “ratify the tax” increase, and adopt the tax rate.

Adoption of a budget that raises more property tax revenue than was generated the previous year requires two votes by the Council: 1) One vote to adopt the budget; and 2) a separate vote to “ratify” the property tax revenue increase reflected in the budget.

[NOTE: If a town’s valuations are increased by DCAD – and the Town also has new construction – property tax revenue will increase. Even though the tax rate may remain the same as in prior years. Copper Canyon has had the same tax rate of $0.29750 per $100 valuation for the last five fiscal years or since 2013.]

Adopt the tax rate as a separate agenda item after adopting the budget.

A quorum of the Town Council must be present.

Please note these dates. You are always welcome to come to Council Meetings and personally address the Council with any concerns or suggestions you may have. Or call, text, or email us in advance.

Town Administrator Donna Welsh: [email protected],

Town Hall office 940-241-2677 Ext 3

Mayor Sue Tejml: [email protected], personal cell 940-368-1085

Mayor and Council: email on Town website www.coppercanyontx.com

About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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