By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
The Steiner Ranch Master Association board is considering adding another swimming pool in Steiner Ranch but would have to buy back pricey impervious cover acres to accomplish it.
The item was discussed at the most recent board meeting on Nov. 5. The agenda item was stated as “8 lane 50 meter heated lap pool & splash pad” listed under “Investments in community & amenities”.
During the homeowner forum portion of the meeting, Rick Steans spoke up.
“The new pool (on the agenda) caught my attention,” Steans said. “Question, where is funding going to come from and who are primary users of this pool?”
Steans used to volunteer on the SRMA finance committee and has a background in finance. He and his wife have been in Steiner since 2011.
He questioned the costs and capital investments of the potential pool.
“There is a small percentage of the community who participates in swim team. I think that they should find a way to fund it,” Steans said. “This should not be a pool we build for team usage for a very small portion of the community.”
Steans wife Karen also spoke up during the forum.
“My concern is the pool also. Why put another lap pool in here. It’s not necessary for regular swimming,” Karen Steans said. She said it sounds like the board wants there to be two pools for swim team.
It was noted that Leander ISD invested in the lap pool at Bella Mar a few years ago by making the pool heated so the Vandegrift swim team could use it to train.
“The way things are now, it limits our (the Steiner Stars Swim team’s) ability train,” said Brad Stanton, SRMA board member and Steiner Stars past-president and board member. “It would provide better training ability. I agree it should not be fully funded solely by the HOA and members.
SRMA board member Christina Morales said that the community office gets a lot of complaints on pool usage.
“The money part concerns us too,” Morales said.
Homeowner Stearns continued that he thinks a pool in Steiner should be for general usage and not to support teams like LISD and multiple other swim teams.
Steans’ second concern is the financial costs of adding a pool. He questioned the amount of money needed to put into new capital investments in Steiner.
“I cannot imagine the fund has built up to the amount needed, we have limited financial resources,” he said.
He added that he thinks the community would benefit more by having better social and meeting facilities.
“We are looking to add value to the community,” Morales said.
Later into the board meeting the idea to add another pool was discussed more in depth.
Board members stated that they have not yet come to capital costs of the project. They did collect one proposal to consider but did not disclose details.
“To do any improvements such as improve parking at the Steiner Ranch Lake Club and creating a new pool, the question of impervious cover has to be answered,” Stanton said.
“It will cost $500,000 per acre to buy impervious cover from Kucera,” Stanton said. “Are we willing to invest in that to expand?”
Stanton talked with an official at the Kucera Companies, which was the last developer at Steiner. Updated at the Nov. 5 meeting, there was no impervious cover at the Lake Club and the plot near Towne Square is being checked out but there is likely none left.
“The developer retained rights of (Steiner’s) impervious cover,” said Chris Langevin, SRMA board member.
Development such as pavement, buildings and swimming pools are impervious cover, which is any type of surface that doesn’t absorb rainfall. Austin has rules about the amount of impervious cover allowed in various developments. It wants to keep the green spaces and other absorbing spaces in the mix when areas are developed.
“Kucera will use their impervious cover for other developments in Steiner,” said Clinton Brown, attorney retained by SRMA.