RC verandah

A group of residents from the Verandah neighborhood in Royse City in a heated conversation with Christie Hancock, a land planner from civil engineering firm Petitt Barraza, about new plans to build model homes in the subdivision.

Residents of the Verandah neighborhood in Royse City are speaking out against what they describe has false promises of neighborhood amenities.

A group of more than 15 residents attended a Royse City Council meeting last week in response to a vote regarding a replanning of a portion of the neighborhood. The vote, which was passed unanimously, will allow model homes to be built on the property.

After the meeting, several of the residents who attended the council meeting told the Royse City Herald-Banner that they were upset with the change.

City officials have said they have little jurisdiction in the Verandah neighborhood because of its status as a “Municipal Utility District.”

In order to create a Municipal Utility District, a majority of property owners in the proposed district are required to make a petition to the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality. Districts have their own “MUD” tax.

A representative from Essex Association Management, a company based in Carrollton that oversees the homeowners association in the Verandah neighborhood in Royse City, said residents will get a chance to learn details of new plans through a meeting.

“There is a plan to divulge what is going to come up in an open meeting,” the representative said.

Ashney Avery and Carolina Dennis both said they moved to the neighborhood around 2012. They said they were promised a list of future amenities, only to have a few of them built in the neighborhood.

“There was a sign in this big area where the pool is that was promised to be the amenities center that would include tennis courts, basketball courts and a soccer field,” Avery said.

Dennis said the amenities center was a big selling point when she was shopping for homes. Now, she said she has lost faith that the new features will ever be part of the subdivision.

“We’ve tried reaching out by email, we’ve called the developer and no one gets back to us but the HOA,” Dennis said.

Maria Velasco said she was promised the same amenities that Avery and Dennis had been expecting for five years when she moved to the Verandah neighborhood in 2017.

“I have a son and I want for him to be able to go outside to play and have things to do within the neighborhood where it’s safe,” Velasco said. “At the end of the day, he only has a pool that he can only use during the summer.”