Have you noticed all the new projects that are getting completed lately? Have you wondered why and how these came about?
In the summer of 2016, the Canyon Lake POA Board asked the Facilities Review Committee (FRC) to host eight workshops to solicit ideas from the community – to be part of the long-range planning guideline.
As the participants teamed up at these workshops to brainstorm together, many great new ideas and suggestions surfaced. In total, 130 suggestions were received from the various Canyon Lake clubs, committees and members of the community that participated in the initial survey.
Most of the suggestions followed a similar theme of “what can be done to enhance our enjoyment, our quality of life, or our property values in Canyon Lake.”
The entire community then had 60 days to vote on what their top five priorities would be from the list of ideas that were formulated during the workshops.
It had been 30 years since the previous Master Plan was created and many new features and amenities have been built in the surrounding communities. For Canyon Lake not to fall behind, we needed to pursue a Long-Range Planning Guideline that makes sense for the community makeup and our needs as they exist today.
As a key selling point for why to buy their homes, developers around us are building out most or all their parks before even finishing the homes that they are trying to sell. Unfortunately, only about 50 percent of Canyon Lake’s former Master Plan for parks and amenities had been constructed during our first 50 years.
So where are we now? It’s been 15 months since that community survey was completed, compiled and voted on. Many new projects or policies were suggested to update the community – so what’s been happening in these last 15 months? What progress have we made so far and where are we headed in the coming year?
Topping out the list as the community’s top two suggestions were the water feature at the main gate and dredging of the lake for boat access to lakefront docks. The POA staff hired a contractor and recently completed the water feature which greatly enhances our main entrance, showing prospective residents the advantages of living in a “private community.”
The Board of Directors also enacted a Dredge Committee in September 2017 to begin a study of the dredging issues we face and report back to them solutions, an approach and identify potential costs.
The survey has had many more of the community’s ideas implemented just during the last year or so. The items that have recently been completed or are new amenities the POA Board, staff and various committees are currently discussing for possible implementation include:
- Food and alcohol service at the pool.
- Country club restaurant renovation.
- New lighting on the main causeway.
- Erosion control at main and north causeways.
- New Pickleball courts.
- New floors, drapes and chairs for concerts and dining in the Holiday Bay Room.
- Tennis courts resurfaced. New fencing and shade canopies add.
- Basketball courts resurfaced.
- New dog park.
- Improvement of equestrian arena footing.
- Additional covered stalls at equestrian center.
- New playground equipment at Sunset Beach.
- Patio cover added off Holiday Bay Room.
- Speed trailers purchased as alternative to speed humps and to help reduce speeding.
- Benches and drinking fountains added at golf course.
- Replacement of old buoys with new lighted buoys.
- Twenty-one new lights installed at East Port in the areas of the dog park, launch ramp and trailer parking lot.
- Enclosed senior center patio.
- Additional boat dock rentals.
- Additional shade. Shade structures have been added at the pool, pickleball courts and the dog park. More shade to come.
- Campground renovation. Currently under construction.
- New amphitheater at Holiday Harbor park. Board approved funding for the project on Mar. 6.
- New community mailboxes. Board approved funding to more forward on this project.
- New splash pads. This project is currently being discussed by the FRC. Four parks are being considered.
- Install continuous sidewalk at lodge. Plans in design, expected to be constructed later in the year.
- Build secured / covered motorcycle parking. Space is being reserved at each gate for this possibility.
- Expand all parking lots. Designs are done and constuction is expected to start this year.
- Restripe streets with golf cart lane. Project later this year to be installed on Canyon Lake Dr. North.
- Lighted volleyball courts. Project is currently under study by the FRC.
- New outdoor fireplace. Project is currently being discussed by the FRC.
- New pump track. Project is currently being discussed by the FRC.
“There are many reasons for the great progress we have been able to achieve. One is that we have a lot of smart people on the board that have worked diligently to improve management and oversight processes to enhance our ability to move projects and approvals forward quickly,” said POA Board of Directors President Paul Queen”
“This board has worked on the community’s goals instead of personal agendas, which makes it easier for board members to agree and hence make more progress for the community. Re-assigning of duties has also allowed key staff to be more focused on the community projects and goals, by having those positions filled by the right people that have the background and experience to get the job done,” he said.
Paul added, “Finally, I want to thank volunteers working on Committees and sharing their expertise and experience to help make Canyon Lake a better place for all of us. With continued intelligent management by the board, general manager and hard work of both our paid staff and member volunteers, significant progress can continue to happen in the future. Great job team.”
POA General Manager Eric Kazakoff said, “As I have said many times since I joined this organization in November 2016, I consider our primary job at the POA to be maintaining and updating the community to stay relevant and competitive in the marketplace. As we reach our 50th anniversary with newer communities surrounding us, we continually strive to keep Canyon Lake as a desirable place to live and increase our property values.” The past and current board have been a pleasure to work with, and with much input from our many committees and members, and an incredibly hardworking staff, our team has accomplished a remarkable amount of work in a very short period. I look forward to keeping this momentum going for years to come.”
There were also many existing items replaced or upgraded in the last year that were not part of the community survey but needed to be done to stay current as Eric stated. They include the following:
- Replacement of aging air conditioners in various buildings.
- Replacement of nine aging vehicles.
- Installation of new senior center flooring.
- Replacement of lodge and country club kitchen appliances.
- New public docks throughout the community.
- New picnic tables and benches.
- Improvement of Indian Beach stage.
- Replacement of lodge blinds.
- Trimmed trees throughout the community.
- Service of elevators.
- New pool pump.
- RFID readers installed at north and east gates.
As you can see, more has been done in the last year or so than many previous years. The combination of the new “project management” experienced staff, the forward thinking of the last two terms of Board of Directors, the hundreds and hundreds of hours volunteered by the FRC members and various other committees, Recreation Committee and Finance Committee in particular, and the input and guidance from the community members via the survey, has led to well over 30 completed projects in just a short period with many more to come.
“The POA staff has been doing a great Job and should continue to do more great projects in the upcoming year,” said POA Board of Directors Vice President Dale Welty.
“The current Board of Directors has been ambitiously working to complete all the items the community has asked to receive. We have worked well together to accomplish what has been completed and the items that are scheduled to be started,” said Board Director Mike Harris.
“The board takes fiscal responsibility seriously, approving the funds to accomplish this. Kudos go to the management team of Eric Kazakoff, Lynn Jensen, Steve Schneider, department managers and all the worker bees that diligently contribute to the progress we have completed this year.”
He added, “To all the volunteers that staff the committees, they suit up and show up to give guidance to the board and without them, we would be spinning our wheels. I pray that when the new board is seated in May we can continue upgrading and beautifying our community”