Monday, September 25, 2023

Native son continues family legacy as newest Town Council member

Chase Lybbert vividly remembers the days of being just a little kid in a cowboy hat and boots, running around alongside his grandfather, William H. “Boots” Roberts, to tend after cattle, ride horses, help with chores, and, yes, stomp around in the occasional mud puddle.

Living on his family’s massive Copper Canyon ranch was a unique upbringing compared to most of his friends in nearby Denton, but Chase didn’t know any different and wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“You’d wake up every morning, and he’d have a fire going in the fireplace,” Chase said of his grandpa. “You’d then just go to the barn and work. It was a good life, and I was around him a lot because my dad was always on the road doing rodeos.”

Fast forward to today, and Chase runs the family ranch in honor of his late grandfather, who passed away in 2001. He’s still in jeans, boots, and a hat and is happiest when he’s got a day’s worth of mowing, digging ponds, fixing fences, and riding on his tractor. But there was another side to Boots that Chase also developed an appreciation for: being involved in his community.

And, he’ll be following in those boot steps, too.

William H. “Boots” Roberts became a landowner in Copper Canyon in 1977.

On June 13, Chase was sworn in as the newest Copper Canyon Town Council member, taking over in Place 5. His grandfather, a fourth-generation Texan whose resume includes time as the President of the Dallas Homebuilders Association and Mayor Pro Tem of Irving, served on the Copper Canyon council for six years. He quickly became an integral figure in helping preserve the rural way of life the town has been known for all these years.

Chase won the May 7 election with 60% of the votes. He hopes he can make Boots and the rest of his family proud.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to honor his legacy and protect my rural roots,” Chase said. “My grandfather took me to council meetings as a young boy, and my mother, Kaki, was always involved in the community and still is to this day. I had been attending Planning and Zoning and council meetings to stay informed, and it was one of those deals where it was like, ‘I’m already investing so much time keeping up with everything, I might as well throw my name into the hat.’”

Chase is the youngest council member in town history. But his credentials as a Registered Professional Landman with practical land experience make him uniquely qualified to deal with the growing development challenges facing Copper Canyon.

“Boots was always big into serving and giving back, and he instilled that in all of us,” Chase’s mother, Kaki, said. She has been a realtor for 27 years and, among other community endeavors, is the 2022 Vice President of Advocacy for the National Association of Realtors. “It’s not something a lot of people want to do, but it’s certainly important. So I was very happy when they asked him to consider running. He wants it for the right reasons, and I think he will do well.”

Copper Canyon Mayor Ron Robertson agreed.

“It’s refreshing to see young people like Chase step up because they are the future of Copper Canyon,” he said.

For Chase, being fully invested in his community comes with the territory — especially considering how long they’ve lived in Copper Canyon. Boots Roberts was born in Dallas in 1917 and was raised predominately in the city until he opted to buy land in Copper Canyon in 1977. At one point, he owned 300 acres. Kaki moved to the property in 1981, and Chase was born in 1985. From there, the property quickly became home and the epitome of the Cowboy way of life.

Today, the property stretches from a mile north of FM 407 all the way to Jernigan Road.

Like he previously mentioned, Chase never knew any other way. His father, Chris, traveled extensively with the rodeo, and Chase often found himself hitting the road for long stretches. But they always came back to Copper Canyon.

“We’d just come home and go right back to working on the ranch — working cattle, riding horses, baling hay, roping cattle, etc.,” he said. “I eventually went to TCU, but I had always planned on coming back. And I’ve been here ever since.”

Chase and his girlfriend, Rachel Bradshaw, plan to build their forever home on the property sometime in the near future.

“That’s always been a dream of mine, and Rachel is certainly excited about it,” he said. “These days, I find myself wondering where I want to put the house — do I put it on this hill or that hill, and where will I put my barn? I’ve looked at it from so many angles every time I’m out there. It’s exciting to think about.”

As for the Copper Canyon Town Council, there’s no denying his intentions are sincere and simple: protect the town from high-density development and keep everything rural while at the same time respecting the rights of all the citizens who live there.

“It was important to my grandfather and mother. The baton has been handed to me now,” Chase said.

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