By Larry Varnes, Vice-President, Robson Ranch HOA
Robson Ranch is a community with a Denton address. We have over 2,300 homes and growing fast. But the word community sells the concept short. Like any community, we are a series of neighborhoods divided by streets and other natural breaks (golf course, environmentally sensitive areas or common areas).
Each neighborhood takes on its own life where residents come together to socialize, make lifelong friends and enjoy life . . . together. Neighborhoods actually take on personalities. Some neighborhoods have fancy names like “LaLa Land” or “Westenders,” but it’s not the name that’s important, It’s the friendships and comradery that develops on a much more personal level.
These neighborhoods have block parties at the drop of a hat. Or maybe it’s a monthly poker game with the guys. Or ladies game night once a week. Recognizing that a home in a community is more than just a place to live is so important in life’s journey for scores of Robson Ranchers. Teams form to play in as diverse competitions as Texas Toss and Bocce Ball. It was this kind of friendly competition between neighborhoods that helped grow each of these sports like wildfire to more than 700 players participating each week.
Last Christmas, several neighborhoods within Robson Ranch competed for bragging rights for the best Holiday decorations up and down their streets. But unlike past years, each home in the neighborhood put up the same set of decorations. No longer was it a competition between individuals, but rather neighborhoods. We are already planning for a festive yearend for 2019.
It is this same sense of community that brings us all together for other important celebrations. Fourth of July is just one other example. Neighbors will come together to organize and participate in a classic Fourth of July. There will be an opening 5k race, followed by a classic parade, topped off with a classic hot dog picnic.
This all doesn’t happen by chance. Every celebration is organized by volunteers. The spirit comes from pride of where we live. It comes from a generational memory as the “WE” generation where we knew and supported each other. Many of our residents dedicate their time and money to serving the needs of others throughout Denton County. Another example of a “WE” mentality.
These contributions are facilitated by the numerous organizations and Clubs at Robson Ranch. The Kiwanis Club and After Schoolers are dedicated to mentoring disadvantaged elementary school kids. The Material Girls Club crafts quilts for wounded soldiers. The Yarn Divas provide Chemo hats to adults and children with cancer, Kiwanis build ramps for the disabled and provide Trauma Dolls and stuffed animals for kids facing daunting surgery.
Bottom line: Robson Ranch is a collection of neighborhoods where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
City Council Update
By Jesse Davis, Denton City Council, District 3
It is my honor and privilege to have been sworn in as City Council Member for Denton’s District 3. I thank each and every one of you reading this for helping to make our hometown such a wonderful community to serve. There are many important decisions ahead for Denton, and many perspectives to be voiced. In just the next six months, the City Council will consider two important issues that will particularly impact southwest Denton and Robson Ranch.
First is a proposed $190 million bond package that I expect will be on the November ballot. I am firmly committed to maintaining Denton’s low tax rate, and only taking on new debt for critical projects. City staff proposed issuing these bonds before I was elected to the Council. But, just this last week, I nominated two good folks to serve on the Special Citizens Bond Advisory Committee, alongside two people nominated by former Council Member Don Duff.
The committee’s purpose is to vet the ideas proposed by City staff for feasibility, fiscal responsibility, and priority. The current proposal includes many necessary public safety and infrastructure improvements, such as expanding police headquarters at City Hall East, building a police substation near Fire Station #7, widening several busy roads, and making crucial repairs to several others. Additional funding is expected to come from state, regional, and county sources. If the committee’s report ultimately sticks to these kinds of necessities, I will be happy to recommend the bond package to you this fall.
Additionally, by the time you read this the Texas Legislature will have voted to give Denton the ability to form the Municipal Management Districts (MMDs) requested by the Hunter and Cole Ranch developers. However, we must choose for ourselves whether or not creating these special taxing districts is in Denton’s best interest. You may remember from newspaper articles that the developers want these districts to be able to levy additional taxes on just the people who will live in the new developments. These special, limited taxes would pay back bonds issued to building out the “regional” roads and utility infrastructure necessary for development to happen.
To a certain extent, it is natural to expect new residents to pay for the rapid expansion of public services that will benefit them the most. After all, it’s better than expecting the City’s operating budget to subsidize it all. But no tax increase should ever be taken lightly—even if it’s an increase on homes that aren’t built yet and people we haven’t met. We owe it to our future citizens to thoughtfully consider all our options. The benefits of the Hunter and Cole Ranch developments may be great, and will include new retail opportunities closer to Robson Ranch and southwestern Denton. Know that I will only vote to allow the MMDs if I am fully satisfied that they are the best choice for Denton’s future.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me on these issues and any others before the Denton City Council. You can reach me on my cell at 940-208-7439, or by email at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you, and thank you again for the privilege to serve. See you around town.