Mark your calendar for Quail Creek’s National Night Out! Join us at Packer Park inside the neighborhood from 6 PM to 7 PM. Hotdogs, chips, and drinks will be provided by Southern Junction.
Even though the streets in Quail Creek are private, state law (§545.303 – ADDITIONAL PARKING REGULATIONS) states that when parallel parking on a street, it is illegal to park facing oncoming traffic. That’s because all cars have reflectors on the rear but the front of most has none (take a flashlight & see for yourself), so when parking at night, a vehicle facing the wrong way is less visible, especially in low-light conditions.
When moving vehicles, bikes, or even pedestrians, collide into cars that are parked facing traffic the liability for damage often rests with the parking violator, regardless if it’s a public or private street, so encourage your guests that park along the street to face their vehicle with the flow of traffic.
Quail Creek [QC] residents experience a wonderfully unique lifestyle from most, which includes the right to shoot off fireworks. This freedom has resulted in some audaciously large & beautiful private displays that have brought great joy and wonder for many of us!
However, a growing contingent of McLendon-Chisholm citizens would like for the City to follow through on a failed 2015 ordinance that would have banned fireworks inside the city limits because every year there are more incidents where injuries to people or damage to property is reported.
Law of Unintended Consequences
Restrictions like firework bans have proven to do little more than rob responsible citizens of liberty. That’s because those for whom such laws are intended (the most careless and irresponsible when shooting off fireworks, to begin with) are also the least likely to adhere to such ordinances.
Taking away freedoms for all doesn’t turn disrespectful people into being more accommodating, it just makes them more vigilant to avoid getting caught by authorities. So to criminalize an activity in a largely rural area where the majority of citizens practice safely, responsibly, and with respect to others is misguided.
A Costly Mirage of Enforcement
There are also practical challenges that go beyond the added costs for policing violators, not to mention the distraction this has on officers. As with a traffic ticket, a law enforcement official must observe the violation to issue a citation. Most are surprised to learn that firework debris was strewn about the front lawn of a home, a handful of eyewitnesses to the act, or even video footage is not enough, which is why these laws are so difficult to enforce.
Support in QC For A Ban
Historically, most in QC demonstrate care & respect for neighbors when shooting fireworks. However, actions by a few have soured many from wanting to see the practice continue. In addition to shooting fireworks well past midnight, or during the workweek (on days other than July 4th or New Years’), the biggest homeowner complaint is waking up the morning after to find firework debris on the roof, in the pool, & littered all over the yard.
Firework Debris Is Litter!
It’s reasonable to expect that the clean-up of firework debris that finds its way onto neighboring properties should be the responsibility of those who shoot them off.
Unless we put our name on each piece of the ordinance we fire, there’s simply no way to know if the debris on our neighbor’s property belongs to us, or the neighbor ten houses away. And why should that matter? After all, in Quail Creek, everyone is our neighbor.
Day & Time Matters
Most of us need to be up early for work on weekdays and many young children are already tucked away in bed well before 10 pm.
There are also many QC families with dogs that are terrified when fireworks go off, where unexpected fireworks displays can be more than an annoyance. One family’s dog ran away when an unannounced fireworks display went off in the middle of November!
Outside of July 4th & New Years’, it should be reasonable to expect that fireworks would be limited in their use here in QC, not by some arbitrary HOA rule or law, but by common sense and fundamental respect for others.
We Can’t Fix Stupid or Inconsiderate
We shouldn’t need new laws or HOA restrictions to tell us that shooting off fireworks late at night or in the middle of the workweek is inconsiderate. We can, however, reinforce a culture where respect for our neighbors comes first because, for most in this community, they do!
Just as there are still those who drive 3o mph or more down our streets, there will still be those who continue to shoot off fireworks at two in the morning, and a new law will not prevent this from happening.
Remember too that a child’s actions are the responsibility of the parent. Therefore the expression that “kids will be kids” doesn’t excuse us from their poor choices if they should carelessly shoot off celebratory ordinance in mid-September or drive 40mph down our streets.
The Irony of Restricting Liberty on July 4th
Thomas Jefferson said, “I prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery.”
Where liberty abounds we become dependent on the good nature of our neighbors to be considerate, but I think it’s a worthy tradeoff for freedom.
In light of this let’s all exercise our liberty in a respectful manner as we celebrate our nation’s independence!
-Bob Steinhagen, Quail Creek HOA President
Steinhagen has served as a City Council Member and Mayor of McLendon-Chisholm and is now a political broadcaster for Rockwall County as Bunker Bob on The Bunker Bob Show.
Utilizing the existing stop sign poles to emphasize the importance of driver respect for speed in consideration of children and pets, the Board followed through on the vote by homeowners to remove the stop signs on Pheasant Hill since so many have ignored them, which has created an unintentional safety hazard since the Sheriff cannot enforce traffic violations in Quail Creek because the streets are private, not public. However, rather than just removing the stop signs, for safety the Board waited to remove the stop signs until new signs came in to alert traffic on Partridge Drive to the fact that the cross traffic does not stop.
Over the course of several weeks, homeowners have awoken to the images above, tracks through a portion of 3 different yards. It appears to have been made by a higher profile vehicle with a fairly narrow wheel base and tire tread. Besides the aesthetic aspect of mud tracks through the yards, there is potential for damage to sprinkler heads and other irrigation. It’s vandalism and could lead to unnecessary homeowner repairs. Please be watchful for unfamiliar vehicles and report suspicious vehicles or observed vandalism to the Sheriff’s Department.