Verandah Meeting

Sean Corcoran, a representative of Essex Management, speaks to Verandah residents at a May 21 meeting.

Responding to multiple complaints, the Verandah Homeowners Association recently addressed concerns regarding amenities and future plans at a meeting with residents.

In April, several of the residents, all whom attended the May 21 meeting, spoke to the Royse City Herald-Banner about promises that had been made to them about new amenities that would be built in the neighborhood.

Among residents’ concerns was the increase of HOA fees over the past few years, along with false information about the possibility of being annexed into Royse City.

City officials have said there are no foreseeable plans to annex the Verandah subdivision into Royse City, as the neighborhood is in a Municipal Utility District, or “MUD.”

“I can tell you we’re not going to have an in-city MUD if we can help it,” Royse City Manager Carl Alsabrook said in an earlier interview.

Alsabrook said the city recently began providing some fire and police services to the area under a contract. The city, however, has little to no jurisdiction in the area as it relates to development, along with other matters.

And despite that lack of jurisdiction in the district, Royse City has been prominently featured on the neighborhood’s website, leading some in the subdivision to believe that their neighborhood will eventually be annexed.

A group of about 40 people attended the May 21 meeting at the Verandah neighborhood pool. The meeting was led by Sean Corcoran, a representative of Essex Management, the company that oversees the Verandah HOA.

Corcoran told residents about plans to finish a soccer field that had been promised more than five years ago. He also said the management company plans to circulate a community survey to assess what amenities residents would like to see.

In previous interviews, residents said they had been promised a soccer field, basketball court as well as a tennis court.

“We’re going to see what everyone really wants instead of making the choice on our own,” Corcoran said. “Then we’ll present the results back to the developer and we’ll proceed as follows.”

As for rising HOA fees, Corcoran said the association has been operating at a deficit for the past couple years, citing increased costs for labor, fuel and other services.

He added that those increased fees would pay for operating costs of the association and would not be used to fund amenities.

Five years ago, the annual HOA fee for the Verandah neighborhood was $360. Last year, residents paid $432 for HOA fees, and in November 2018, they were told that they would be paying $518 in 2019.

“My goal for the 2019-20 fiscal year is to present the community with a balanced budget,” Corcoran said.

Adra Chim, who has been a resident in the neighborhood since 2011, said she would like to see the HOA and the developer work to make sure that people in the Verandah neighborhood are heard rather than told things simply to be pacified.

Another resident, Tim Begzati, who has lived in the neighborhood for almost four years, said developers have not always responded to residents’ concerns.

“I think (the developers) are making progress now, but until they do something, it’s just all talk,” Begzati said. “I can’t just pick up and move, and if I do, the next person who moves here is going to have the same issues. So it’s either I fight it, someone else fights it, or we all fight it together. If not, nothing is ever going to get done.”