ARCHIVED ARTICLES

Making Changes Project

 

The mission of the Circle D Civic Association is to comply with the Reservations and Restrictions for all ten sections of the subdivision. Restrictions that were written from 1969 to 1972.  Restrictions that have resulted in many unwritten rules. Restrictions that have caused issues within the community. Restrictions that do not reflect the wants and needs of today’s members.

 

The 2020/21 Board of Directors made the decision last October to find out what the membership wants and needs. The first step was to conduct a survey. Creating and designing the survey was a group effort and took several months. The Board looked at several online survey platforms and chose payhoa.com because it is the platform that is used for other functions of the Association. The survey went live February 24, 2021 and closed on April 1, 2021. The results indicated that the Restrictions need to be updated and clarified.

 

Step two of the project was for the Board to give members attending Board meetings an opportunity to speak on issues they were concerned about. It was clear from the discussions that changes need to be made. These changes may include simply clarifying vague Restrictions, writing a policy, or voting to amend the Restrictions. The Board then proceeded to step three of the project – commission the Architectural Control Committee to make recommendations. ACC members made a list of recommendations and presented them to the Board at the May 8, 2021, Board meeting.

 

Step four, the results of the survey and the ACC recommendations were presented to the membership at the May 15, 2021, Annual Meeting which was at the Hampton Inn.

 

At the June 12, 2021, Board meeting, the Board approved appointing an advisory committee to develop and present recommendations regarding businesses, fences, signs, RVs, and rentals. This action was step five in the project. The first meeting was after the Board meeting on June 12. The committee has met four times since then. The committee presented their recommendations at the October Board meeting. The Board will then compile all the data from the survey, comments from Board meetings and the annual meeting, recommendations from the ACC and the advisory committee and ask the attorney to advise us as to how to move forward. This is step six and will be bringing the Association closer to resolving some of the issues.

 

Survey results

ACC recommendations

Minutes of June 17 meeting

Minutes of July 15 meeting

Minutes of September 9 meeting

Minutes of September 23 meeting

Business Recommendations

Fencing Recommendations

Rental Recommendations

RV and Tiny Home Recommendations

Signs Recommendations

Response from the CDCA Board about Barbed Wire FenceViolations 

 

The Reservations and Restrictions of Circle D Country Acres, Sections 1-9 state specifically, "No 

barbed wire fence within 100 feet of any street or road dedicated to the public use shall be permitted"; 

however, a drive down streets in the association will reveal many properties with barbed wire, usually the top strand of the fence.  We feel it would be irresponsible for this board to mandate its' immediate removal from the property because of decisions made by prior boards not to enforce this. Our reasoning for this decision lies in these points.   

1) Removal of a top strand of a fence can cause the fence to be less stable. 

2) The cost of putting new wire in would be prohibitive, especially on larger properties. 

3) New residents who moved in and already had barbed wire on the property should not be 

penalized.  

We are not, at this time, asking for the removal of any barbed wire on your property.  To be fair to you 

and all residents in a similar situation who work towards the barbed wire's eventual removal, we feel that 

the correct time to deal with these issues is when the fence itself needs to be updated, moved, or 

replaced.  Any submission of a request for a new fence or a change to an existing out-of-compliance fence allows the ACC to enforce the restrictions.  

We feel this is the best resolution to this situation by dealing with everyone fairly while ensuring we can 

bring properties into compliance over time.  

 

 

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

A new volunteer group is being formed by the Circle D Civic Association called “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”. The mission of the group is to help Circle D homeowners who are elderly, sick or injured and need help with their yard, storm cleanup or something else.

 

When we get a request to help someone, we determine the skill sets needed, a time and date for the job, and contact the volunteers to see who is qualified and available. Most jobs are expected to take less than an hour or two or three depending on how many volunteers can come. 

 

We are already off to a fast start. We have received donations of over $1,000 and more than 7 people signed up to volunteer their time at the Circle D Civic Association Annual Meeting last week.  

 

So, if you need help, would like to volunteer to help, or even just to donate funds to help pay for trucking/dump/trailer fees if you don’t have the time to participate, please contact Lana in the Circle D office at 512-321-5272 or email her at contactus@circledbastroptx.org and tell her you are in! 

 

Do your part and help us make this group a big success!  Thanks!

 

Annual Meeting 

The Circle D Civic Association held their 2021 Annual Meeting Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 10:30am.  This was in accordance with the Bylaws which requires a regular meeting of the members once a year in order to elect new board members. The number of members present at the meeting added to the number of proxies and absentee votes must equal one-tenth (1/10) or more of the total number of eligible votes to be a quorum to qualify the election. Since there are over 700 property owners, a quorum would be 70 plus members. 

The meeting was at the Hampton Inn, 240 S Hasler Blvd, Bastrop, TX 78602. This was the first year we did not meet at the Fire Station. Considering all factors but most of all comfort and expense, the Board decided to move the annual meeting indoors. The advantages of meeting at the Hampton Inn are many: protection from the weather, plenty of parking, air-conditioning, set up and cleanup, sound system and tables and chairs are all provided.  The cost of renting everything that is needed for the meeting at the fire station is more than the cost of renting a hall at the Hampton Inn.

Questionnaire Note: The Questionnaire is now closed.

The Board is working on issues that involve either amending the Bylaws, changing the Restrictions, or writing new Policy Statements. Members who have an email address in PayHOA will be getting an email invitation soon to fill out and submit a questionnaire through PayHOA. The responses will help guide the Board in making decisions. Here are some issues the Board is looking at:

 

1. Bylaws Article 6: Meetings of Directors>Section 6.1: Regular Meetings. “Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held monthly at such time and place as may be fixed by resolution of the Board.”

  • A request has been made to delete the word monthly and allow the Board to hold regular meetings other than monthly. This could mean bi-monthly or quarterly.

  • The purpose is to encourage members to volunteer to become a Director on the Board and to encourage members to attend Board meetings.

  • In order to make this change, the membership would vote to approve or not approve changing the Bylaws at the annual meeting.

 

2. Reservations and Restrictions>General Restrictions. “No commercial activity of any kind shall be conducted on any parcel in the Subdivision; “commercial activity” shall include without limitation the offering for sale of any product or service or the manufacture or growth of any product, for purposes of sale, without regard to whether such activities are conducted in or from residential dwellings or otherwise.”

  • It is the Board’s understanding that the original intent of this Restriction was to prohibit members from having a storefront with a sign, open hours, and a parking lot. However, the Restriction says “no commercial activity of any kind.” This means that members who sell products or services from the home, including members who have a DBA with a Circle D home address, are not in compliance with the Restrictions.

  • The Restrictions were written in 1969 and some members have commented that this Restriction is outdated and not realistic. The Internet has provided a means for many people to sell homemade or homegrown items or to manage a business using their Circle D address. Types of businesses that might be acceptable to the membership could include offering a service (lawn care, plumbing repairs, consulting, etc.) or selling homemade or home grown items away from the home (Sami shows, craft shows, festivals, etc.).

  • It is not the Board’s intent to allow retail business to be conducted within Circle D. All lots are zoned “residential” except Terry’s Corner.

  • Since Circle D has ten sections, a majority of property owners in each section must submit a notarized statement approving any change. It is possible that some sections would approve allowing a member to manage a business or offer a service while other sections that do not approve a change would have to comply the Restriction as written - no commercial activity of any kind shall be conducted.

 

3. Policy Statement: Reservations and Restrictions>Building and Construction Restrictions “Each parcel in the Subdivision shall be used only for noncommercial residential and recreational purposes.”

  • Some members have commented that renting a house is a commercial activity and should not be allowed. Other members have commented that it is acceptable for a home owner to rent their house on a long-term basis. An example would be a home owner renting their house to a family member.

  • Some members have reported that they know of a home owner who has listed their home on airBNB or VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner).

  • The Reservations and Restrictions>Miscellaneous Provisions state that the Association “reserves the right to make minor deviations from the terms of this document to the extent permissible by law and consistent with the general plan for development as herein set out.” The Board would like to know how the membership feels about writing a Policy Statement that defines what the membership finds acceptable.

 

Based on the results of the questionnaire, the Board may decide to assign a special committee to explore options on a particular issue. Filling out and submitting the questionnaire is an opportunity for property owners to let the Board know your opinion.  We hope property owners will participate.

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Snow

Circle D residents experienced snow and freezing temperatures lasting several days, a rare occurrence for many people in our community. That first morning the snow on the ground was quite picturesque. But then reality set in. No electricity. Water from the faucet trickled and then stopped. No water to flush toilets. A boil water alert was issued. Roads were icy. Food started going bad in the refrigerator. 

However, as it often happens in times of need, neighbors started checking on each other. Shared their bottled water. Got supplies at the store for those who couldn't leave their home. Fixed busted water pipes. Offered suggestions for flushing - catch rain in buckets and store it in the bathtub, melt snow, use water from rain barrels. Distributed free cases of bottled water provided by our County Commissioner, Clara Beckett.

Now, one week later, the snow is gone, Electricity is back. Water is flowing. Temperature is 75 degrees. That's Texas weather. 

Video on YouTube  Sunset over Circle D, Monday, February 15, 2021

Link posted with permission of the owner of the video - Cris Astorga

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WHAT IS A “DEED-RESTRICTED COMMUNITY,” AND WHY DO WE HAVE ONE?

 

Many who move into Circle D are a bit confused when the discussion turns towards board actions and what we, as property owners, may or may not do on our property.  Indeed, there are some who become indignant when told there are certain things they may not do on their property.  Real estate deed restrictions restrict or limit the way in which a property can be used. Deed restrictions generally run with the land regardless of property ownership. Deed restrictions can also take the form of conditions, covenants and restrictions. To find out whether a specific property has any deed restrictions, you can ask the owner or property agent to provide you with the details. Deed restrictions on a property can be found by researching either the "DEED " or the "RESTRICTION” at the Bastrop Appraisal District (https://www.bastropcad.org/), or the Bastrop County Clerk’s Office (Limited Access/Covid).

 

Did you know you can also find this information on PayHOA?  You can access that 24-7!

 

Some of the responses to a deed restriction include, “Why not?  I paid for this.  Why are you (board, neighbors) telling me what I can do with my property?”  A deed-restricted community is a development where a homeowners/property owners association (HOA/POA) has restrictions in place that prohibit certain actions. These rules are established and enforced by a private entity (the community HOA), not a local government.  In plainspeak, homeowners in a certain area formed together a Homeowners Association, or Property Owners Association, to help maintain a clean and cohesive atmosphere in the neighborhood.  Standardization and upkeep.  Sounds pretty good, eh?

 

We have a lovely community, and all of us want to keep it that way.  It’s quiet and quite picturesque.  What promotes that?  Our Architectural Committee ensures that standards are met with respect to how a house is designed/built here in Circle D.  If you take a look around, you will not find certain structures within the confines of Circle D.  Additionally, while some farm animals (horses, chickens, some cattle) are allowed by certain deed restrictions, others are not.  It is all a matter of making this a nice, welcoming place for all who choose to buy property here. 

Submitted by Anna Corley

September 3, 2020