Master-planned community of Castle Hills to officially join city of Lewisville with annexation

Castle Hills water tower
The master-planned community of Castle Hills is scheduled to be annexed into the city of Lewisville on Nov. 15. (Valerie Wigglesworth/Community Impact Newspaper)

The master-planned community of Castle Hills is scheduled to be annexed into the city of Lewisville on Nov. 15. (Valerie Wigglesworth/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
The Castle Hills Village Shops is the first commercial area that was established in the master planned community. (Courtesy Bright Realty)
Image description
This office building at Crown Centre at Castle Hills is available for lease. (Valerie Wigglesworth/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
The Realm at Castle Hills includes this nine-story office building. (Valerie Wigglesworth/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Home construction is ongoing in Castle Hills, which has special markings on its street signs. (Valerie Wigglesworth/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
This chart shows a map of Castle Hills and details about annexation. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
This chart explains some of the changes expected with the annexation of Castle Hills. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Years of planning will culminate at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 15 when the community of Castle Hills is scheduled to become part of the city of Lewisville.

The annexation has been in the works since 1996 when Bright Realty and the city of Lewisville came up with a plan to develop 2,500 acres of farmland owned by the Bright family since the 1950s. The resulting Strategic Planning Agreement has served as a guide in the years leading up to annexation.

Since that deal was signed, a mini city of sorts with homes, businesses, a private golf course and parks has developed along the south side of SH 121. The area is governed by eight Denton County Fresh Water Supply Districts, homeowners associations and a Castle Hills Master Association. The city also created public improvement districts with each water supply district that issued debt to pay for the basics, such as streets, sidewalks, and water and sewer lines.

And while those entities have done a lot for Castle Hills, they cannot provide all the services that a city can.

“We’re in the business of running cities, and they’re in the business of building communities, so [it] kind of was a good handoff,” Lewisville Mayor TJ Gilmore said at a Sept. 15 Town Hall meeting.


Annexation was always the plan, said Chris Bright, CEO of Bright Realty, which is a subsidiary of Bright Industries.

“There [are] just services that we always knew we would never be able to provide,” Bright said. “It’s in my view a net benefit to Lewisville, a net benefit to the residents of Castle Hills and a net benefit to Bright Realty.”

Once annexed, the Castle Hills community will have access to all of the services that come with city living, including 24/7 fire and police protection, traffic patrols, health inspections, animal control services, public transit, and more. The community will also be added to the city’s maintenance schedule as streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure need replacing.

The city will take ownership of 83 separate parcels of parkland totaling more than 44 acres within Castle Hills. Lewisville will also gain another 18,000 residents overnight, plus more than $3 billion in property value that makes up Castle Hills.

“There will never be an annexation of this size in Texas again,” said Gilmore, citing not only the scale of this community but also the changing politics at the state level that make annexations more difficult.

Timing for annexation

Because so much is involved in the annexation process, it has taken city officials years to prepare.

Once annexation occurs, Lewisville will take over the operating budgets for the eight water districts in Castle Hills for the remainder of the fiscal year. The water districts and their volunteer boards will cease to exist.

With the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1, 2022, the city’s property tax rate will replace the tax rates for each of the water districts. The majority of Castle Hills residents will see a decrease in their tax bill at the city level, according to documents.

The city is adding 30 new employees to help deliver services, and a sixth City Council member will be added, starting with the May 2022 election, to increase representation.

Lewisville will refinance the remaining debt owed by Castle Hills at a lower rate and use a Tax Investment Refinancing Zone to pay for the remaining infrastructure needed to finish Castle Hills. Those financing tools helped make annexation doable for the city, officials said.

“We said we would not annex until it did not affect the tax rate of Lewisville,” City Manager Donna Barron said. “We did not want our taxpayers to have to pay more to bring in Castle Hills.”

With annexation, Lewisville also adds another tier to its housing inventory that allows residents to remain in the city as they gain wealth. The average home value in Lewisville is $276,506. That compares with the average value in Castle Hills of $470,000.

“[Castle Hills] provides us more variety, more opportunity for our residents to be able to stay in our city and buy newer homes,” Barron said.

What residents say

At an Arts and Wine Walk in Castle Hills on Sept. 23, Castle Hills residents were invited to ask questions and get to know Lewisville city officials.

Some residents of Castle Hills had mixed feelings about their community joining the city, with some feeling the change is necessary and others wary of what is to come.

“The fate of the community really rests on this annexation,” Castle Hills resident Mike Kotel said. “There are just so many things we can’t do ourselves.”

Rita Allo moved to Castle Hills in 1999 and said annexation has always been expected.

“It’s something I’ve known about for a while, and it feels on track. Castle Hills can’t afford not to [join the city],” Allo said. “A tax break would be nice, but it does seem like we’ll get less of a return on that money.”

Other residents, such as Allo’s friend, Theresa Frederick, were less familiar with the move.

“I didn’t even know what it meant,” Frederick said.

After a discussion with Allo, Frederick said she is excited to see more police patrolling the area.

“I like the idea of more traffic control,” Frederick said. “I see people run our stop signs a lot.”

Michael Asturi, who has lived in Castle Hills for the last six years, said one of his main concerns is maintaining the friendly feel of the community.

“I’m not really sure what all will change. We haven’t heard anything from the HOA, and it wasn’t advertised well,” Asturi said. “There is a saying though—once you come to Castle Hills, you don’t leave. The community is like a family, and as long as we don’t lose that, I am OK.”

Many residents take pride in the name and brand of Castle Hills. That will never change, city officials say.

“Castle Hills will always be Castle Hills,” Lewisville Deputy City Manager Eric Ferris said. “No one’s ever gonna take that away.”

What’s next: Lewisville City Council will hold public hearings on the Castle Hills annexation at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 and 6 p.m. Nov. 8 at City Hall, 151 W. Church St. For more information, visit www.cityoflewisville.com/residents-info/castle-hills-residents.

This map shows the area of Castle Hills, which will become a part of the city of Lewisville once annexation is completed. (Community Impact Newspaper)
By Samantha Van Dyke
Samantha Van Dyke is Community Impact's DFW Metro Reporter. She previously served as managing editor of The Arkansas Traveler.
By Valerie Wigglesworth
Valerie has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She is currently managing editor for DFW Metro for Community Impact Newspaper.


MOST RECENT

people next to barbecue grill
8 events coming up in Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village

A songwriting challenge, barbecue contest and art demonstration are among the upcoming events.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Training facility rendering.
Flower Mound approves joint fire station training facility with Lewisville, Highland Village

The joint fire training facility will be owned by the city of Lewisville and will allow access for Flower Mound and Highland Village.

dining room/lobby area
RiverWalk Flats active-adult community in Flower Mound to host grand opening event

The RiverWalk Flats, an active-adult community in Flower Mound, is hosting a grand opening event from 2-4 p.m. Oct 28.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

shop local banner being set up.
Flower Mound chamber, town team up on campaign to encourage residents to Shop Local

Flower Mound residents are encouraged to share social media posts and check in at local businesses as part of the campaign from Nov. 1-7.

Drone-based delivery company Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet, announced on Oct. 20 a partnership with Walgreens to bring the unconventional delivery model to densely populated metropolitan areas in the country. (Courtesy Wing)
Delivery drones will soon be flying around Frisco; Dutch Bros Coffee coming to Grapevine and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Tommy Dalton headshot
Flower Mound names new interim town manager to replace retiring administrator

Assistant Town Manager Tommy Dalton will step into the interim town manager position starting Oct. 30.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.

Twisted Root Burger Co. plans to open in the space formerly occupied by Hub Streat in Plano. (Courtesy Twisted Root Burger Co.)
Twisted Root Burger Co. coming to Plano; Chick-fil-A to open Oct. 21 in McKinney and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

kids in auto shop class
Career and technical education in Lewisville ISD in demand among students, annual report shows

Overall, students earned 1,989 industry-based certifications for the 2020-21 school year as well as more than 1,300 automobile certifications, according to the presentation.