Williamson County Regional Park – Vista Oaks Trail

Updates & Upcoming Events

The Town Hall Meeting scheduled for March 19 has been canceled.
 
The HOA has been contacted by legal representation from several owners. Pending advice from the HOA attorney, the Board will not address the issue until the legal advice from the HOA attorney is provided.
 

Alignment planned between Williamson County Southwest Regional Park and Vista Oaks

View the proposed Trail Plan on Google Earth

This requires a three-step process to properly import the trail lines into the map. Google Earth is a free service.

Step 1: Download the KML file

The file is needed to import into Google Earth.

Click to download »

Step 2: Launch Google Earth

Click to open Google Earth in a browser window.

* Google Chrome is recommended

Step 3: Load the KML file into Google Earth

In Google Earth on the top-left corner, select “File”, then “Import KML File”, and choose your downloaded KML file from Step 1.

Questions from Informal Q&A held February 27, 2024

Attendees stated that because they pay dues, Spectrum should send all notifications via certified mail.

The law requires a few HOA notifications to be sent through the mail.

Otherwise, email is the standard method of communication. It is important for every homeowner to keep a current email address on file with Spectrum. Updates can be sent to contact@spectrumam.com. The board has investigated text/phone messaging and has chosen not to utilize those methods at this point.

For reference, it would cost $1673 to send letters to all 903 homeowners via USPS mail. Postcards would cost almost $900. Certified letters to all 903 homeowners is approximately $13,545. Sending emails is free.

Several attendees mentioned that we have "hidden funds" that could be used to pay for building our own trail system.

The monthly financial documents are available on the Spectrum website and the Spectrum app that all homeowners can access. Also, this information is provided during the monthly meetings.

Can we build our own trail system using decomposed granite and our own labor?

Creating our own trail would be costly. Preliminary research shows that each low water crossing would be approximately $30,000 dollars. The necessity for environmental studies has not yet been checked. A private trail for Vista Oaks would only encompass the span of our greenbelt and would not connect with the Wilco Park. Regardless of the outcome of the proposed trail, a Trail Committee will be asked to examine the possibility.

What is the process for how WILCO is going to present the plans?

There will be a town hall meeting on March 19th at 6:30pm at the pavilion.

Why do we not get meeting minutes? No transparency!

The minutes are available on the Spectrum app and website. The minutes from the prior month will always say pending until they are approved.

If we can’t get the trail rerouted, how can WILCO help with privacy for the people who are in the greenbelt?

When the board walked the proposed trail with Wilco, that was addressed and Wilco rep said that was something they could work with us on if the proposal was accepted.

What about parking? Would it be for residents only?

We are anticipating that people will most likely park at either Williamson County Regional Park or Brushy Creek Parks to utilize the trail outside of Vista Oaks. Vista Oaks streets are county roads, not private streets. Therefore, we cannot post No Parking signs. The Pool parking lot is private property and there are signs there already.

Does our watershed feed the Trinity aquifer?

The water flows to the Brazos River.

How is WILCO going to reroute flood waters?

Texas law states that you cannot impede nor change the natural flow of water unless you go through defined legal processes. Wilco will only agree to provide proper drainage and flow devices to ensure the safety of people using the trails. Rerouting at this time is not part of the proposal.

Does the process outline the security for the trail?

At this time (02/29/2024) the Sheriff’s department has stated that having the cement trail will make it easier for them to do regular checks in our greenbelt which they don’t do now. Also, the fire department has a vehicle that can traverse the trail with a water tank to quickly arrive at a fire and begin extinguishing the blaze.

What will happen to the parking at Vista Isle?

It is public property and to make it private, the Commissioners court would have to vote to change the status.

Why are we considering the trail?

It is the responsibility of the Board to consider potential changes to our common areas and amenities. It would have been imprudent to ignore the request for consideration. The board began communicating the proposed trail in July, 2023, and has sent updates with any/all new information along the way. At this point, the board has only agreed to consider the trail and to the required studies.

What about rerouting it to Indigo Ridge?

We do not have that data at this time. Williamson County may have an answer at some point.

What is the benefit of the trail?

  • It creates a natural barrier for fire control and allows for better access for emergencies. Our greenbelt has already caught fire and required more than a dozen firefighting vehicles to put the blaze out. If the fire started just a few yards away from the source, houses would have been in danger as stated by the fire department.
  • Most studies indicate it will be seen as a positive amenity and raise property values.
  • It will allow access for our residents to travel from Williamson County Park to Brushy Creek Park without having to cross any roads.
  • More people in the neighborhood, including those with disabilities or stability issues would have access to this amenity.

What was the result of the endangered species study?

Williamson County does not share the results. They are bound to follow the laws that govern the necessity of the studies. For further information regarding the studies, contact Williamson County Parks & Rec.

What about safety for the kids who like to write on the sidewalk with chalk at Honey Bear Park?

When the board walked the proposed trail with Wilco, that was addressed and Wilco rep said that was something they could work with us on if the proposal was accepted. They mentioned speed bumps at the intersection of the trails, as well as potential roundabouts.

Why is the Board using social media for notifications?

The board uses email blasts through Spectrum as the official means of communication. Eblasts from Spectrum have a process that takes time and is not immediate in nature. In order to reach as many homeowners as possible, communications are usually posted on the Vista Oaks facebook page. It is important to note that the page is not run by the HOA board. It is not an official HOA page. Facebook is a quick and convenient form of communication but it is a community group, not a debate forum. The board will not engage in debate on FB or answer questions that should be sent through the official email address at board-members@vistaoaks.org.

Did the study have foot/bike estimates?

We do not have that data at this time.

How confident is Plan B-moving the trail to Sam Bass?

We do not have that data at this time.

Will people from Indigo Ridge use our trails to access Williamson County Park? Indigo Ridge will have three options:

  1. New Hope Road (Wide sidewalks)
  2. Vista Isle (Narrow sidewalks)
  3. 1431 at Sam Bass (Narrow sidewalks)

Is the trail going to be open until 10:00 pm?

Currently, there are no plans to add lighting to the proposed trail as to not encourage people to be on the trails at night.

What about putting our own trail in and keeping it private?

Keeping it private doesn’t mean you can skip the federal, state, and local agency requirements for water, wildlife, and trees. Then there is the cost of the trail itself. The HOA does not have the funds to spend on a project that size.

Who would our kids run into on the greenbelt?

Mainly people walking, jogging, running and using the trail for exercise and fresh air.

Could we get a grant to build our own trails?

Once a trail committee has been formed, that can be researched.

Were any other studies done outside of Vista Oaks?

We do not possess nor have read or seen any other studies.

Why did the Board open it up to WILCO for the study in the first place?

The HOA consists of 903 homes. Every resident has a right to know what the Wilco bond project could provide to Vista Oaks. The residents of Williamson county have voted for “Parks and Recreation” bond packages for over 30 years. The last vote was November 2023.

Can the Board talk to legal counsel now and not wait for the preliminary plan? Do we now know the outcome?

The Board will not spend money on attorney fees until we have an outcome that warrants it.

How far back on the current trail does Vista Oaks own?

Vista Oaks owns from approximately 1431 (the state owns a sliver of land along 1431 for right of way purposes) and then north to the cyclone fence and gate. We do not own all the way to New Hope Road.

If there is a vote, do the people living on the greenbelt get an outsized vote since they are directly affected by the trail?

No. All votes count the same.

Comments from Homeowners

  • The majority of the homeowners are not affected by the impending trail.
  • The Board should not say what their opinions are about the trail because it’s their job to look out for the best interest of the entire community.
  • The current trail is very unsafe and inaccessible for people with disabilities.
  • Doesn’t trust WILCO. Wants to make sure VO has a say.
  • Against the trail; mentioned murders from immigrants. We will not respond to this comment.
  • Real estate wise: most studies show that it will increase property values.
  • Sam Bass has too many obstacles, including the fact that people would have to cross over 1431 at CR 175 if moved that direction and the sidewalk wouldn’t be widened.
  • Trail would provide safer biking for people.
  • Williamson County Sheriff’s Department – It is illegal to use ATVs on the trail.
  • Williamson County Sheriff’s Department – Homeless camps are usually located around businesses and resources, not trails.