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Liberty Hill City Council
Mayor: Michele "Mike" Murphy, term expires 2012
Place 1: Glen Gavin, term expires 2011
Place 2: Jack Harkrider, term expires 2012
Place 3: Liz Rundzieher, term expires 2011
Place 4: Charles Canady, Mayor Pro Tem, term expires 2012
Place 5: Wendell McLeod, term expires 2011
Place I: Joe "Scooter" Lenox, Vice-President, term expires 2011
Place II: Clay Cole, term expires 2011
Place III: David Nix, term expires 2012
Place IV: Leslye Pogue, Secretary, term expires 2012
Place V: Alfie Perrin, term expires 2012
Place VI: Shawn Roberts, term expires 2013
Place VII: Tony Stephens, President, term expires 2013
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Sundance Ranch POA Board may be sued for allowing bow hunting
(Posted: Jan. 27, 2011)
If she had it to do over again, Joan Beauvais says she would not have purchased a home on acreage in Sundance Ranch.
“I moved here believing this to be one thing and now it’s not,” she said.
For months, the 270 property owners in the gated community on County Road 200 have been divided over how to deal with an over population of deer. While some believe the deer are a safety and health hazard, and others enjoy sharing their property with them, the issues that divide the neighborhood have become more complicated and may now involve legal action.
Earlier this month, property owners received an anonymous letter through the mail that included a copy of a letter from a Georgetown attorney who is representing one of the residents.
Travis D. Weitzel of West Short & Associates, P.C., claims that the POA Board violated the neighborhood’s Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions when it made the decision to allow bow hunting for the purpose of thinning the deer herds.
POA President Walt Black said a “deer harvest” using bows and arrows was performed in the subdivision from Jan. 1-15.
In a written statement issued to The Independent, Black said the harvest was conducted in accordance with a plan approved by Texas Parks & Wildlife and supported by a majority of property owners as indicated on a survey.
“Currently, we are in the process of compiling the data and results collected over this brief period of time (Jan. 1-15) and will report to the POA members upon completion. The board decided to cut the harvest short by a couple of days due to legal questions raised by one of our POA members. While we feel the POA was on solid legal ground, the continuation of the harvest plan in forthcoming seasons is subject to further review. The board also continues to evaluate hunting, specifically bow hunting, within the Ranch; however, we cannot comment further at this time due to the unresolved notice of possible legal ation by the POA member.”
Weitzel states that the Board violated its obligation to prevent “unsafe or hazardous activities” by allowing the use of hunting bows and arrows, which are defined as deadly weapons under the Texas Penal Code.
He said the Board’s actions resulted in the cancellation of the neighborhood’s insurance policy, which did not permit bow hunting. A new policy was issued by a different carrier and an increase of $1,961 over the previous cost of $960.
Mrs. Beauvais, who served on the board several months before resigning Dec. 26, said if bow hunting is allowed to continue, it could mean an increase in next year’s POA dues.
She said she was not opposed to the two-week deer harvest, but she does have serious concerns about what appears to be an effort to turn
her home on Palomino Place less than two years ago and owns horses. She fears for their safety knowing they could be inadvertently struck by an arrow.
“If it stays like this, I will try to sell,” she said. “There are hunters behind me and my horses act differently when they are hunting.”
She said she believes property owners have not been completely informed throughout the decision-making process and may not be aware that the bow hunting could become acceptable year-round. She said she decided to resign from the Board because she thought it wasn’t listening to the people.
In October 2010, Black told The Independent that the POA began discussing the deer population two years ago at the annual meeting of property owners. He said a committee of residents was formed to collect data on the herd and the data was examined and interpreted by Texas Parks & Wildlife, which reported in September that the herd was too large -- an estimated 400 deer on 1,200 acres or one deer for every three acres.
The POA Board was meeting at press time Wednesday night, and was expected to hear from residents who opposed bow-hunting year round.