Located not far from Lake Zorinsky, Quail Hollow has streets lined with tidy homes occupied by retirees and young families. Quail Hollow residents not only know their neighbors, they also like to spend time with them. Neighborhood picnics, potlucks, parades, and block parties are par for the course for this neighborhood that is frequently described as “safe” and “friendly” by residents.
They are not simply speaking of human residents. Quail Hollow abuts two-to-three acres of a wetlands preserve, which is popular with many residents. The protected wetlands draw many varieties of birds, including eagles, owls, hawks, ducks, and cardinals. The natural setting also provides habitat for raccoons, squirrels, and other animals. Quail Hollow residents were so fond of this natural feature that they enthusiastically added retaining walls, bridges, and walking trails when the neighborhood was still a sanitary improvement district.
“It’s a great place to live,” says LaVerne Benck, current homeowner association president and longtime resident. “It’s quiet.” Benck moved to Quail Hollow around 15 years ago, three years after the subdivision opened. “We lived in Stonybrook for 31 years, but we wanted a ranch-style home. Quail Hollow was around 40 percent full when we moved in.” The subdivision currently consists of 222 homes. There are a total of 229 lots.
Benck and the other HOA board members are responsible for ensuring everything goes according to the neighborhood covenants. “We work together and keep the neighborhood in shape,” he says. For the residents, this means not having above-ground pools, sheds, or junk cars sitting in driveways, and using only approved colors for roofs and fences. Perhaps most noticeable when driving through the neighborhood is the no-trash-cans-in-front rule that Benck and his fellow board members promote and enforce.
“We can’t let people slide,” he says, explaining that anyone violating the covenants receives a letter. “It’s up to the board to enforce the covenants.”
If a resident wants to challenge one of the covenants, they must compel 75 percent of the Quail Hollow homeowners to side with them, otherwise the HOA can take legal action. That hardly ever happens, though, according to Benck, who says most homeowners have no trouble following the rules. The HOA isn’t lenient because, as Benck explains, allowing one person to break a covenant is like “opening Pandora’s box.”
So what happens when a passionately led HOA is coupled with a geographically attractive neighborhood? Resident Victoria Boldt says, “I would say Quail Hollow is special because neighbors really look out for each other and we have a strong sense of community. It’s an excellent place to raise a family.”
Quail Hollow resident Mike Reed agrees. “It’s a pretty quiet and safe neighborhood.” Residents are considerate, Reed adds. “We love living in Quail Hollow because neighbors watch out for each other. During the winter, neighbors help each other clear their driveways.”
“Over the years we’ve lived here, the summer picnic and the Neighborhood Night Out have been the highlights for me,” Reed says. Benck adds that last year’s Night Out included clowns, face painters, and hot dogs, and that people of all ages had a great time.
A group of resident volunteers man the Citizen’s Patrol Group, who “patrol to make sure everything’s peaceful and quiet,” Benck says, adding, “No reports of crime out here.” Reed agrees, “I watch posts on the NextDoor website and see a lot of negative stuff [car break-ins, intruders, etc.] happening in other neighborhoods, but I hardly ever hear anything bad happening in Quail Hollow.”
It’s a tight-knit community, which is by design. Benck explains that the many community activities within the neighborhood are designed to “draw people together to meet their neighbors. We have a good mixture of young and old here. Everyone participates as a neighborhood—anything to bring the neighbors out.”
Quail Hollow was annexed into the City of Omaha in September 2018. Benck says the annexation happened “without protest” since most homeowners were eager to enjoy the drop in property taxes the annexation would bring. He also says being an official part of Omaha allows Quail Hollow to qualify for funding for their citizen’s patrol. Before the city took control of the neighborhood, the HOA oversaw a number of beautification projects including adding a walkway to the wetlands area located within the boundaries of the neighborhood.
In the warmer months, residents can be found walking their dogs along the many walkways in Quail Hollow. “During the summer, as I’m walking my dogs through the neighborhood, I see families out talking to each other and their kids playing together,” Reed says. When the weather turns chilly, everyone in the neighborhood gears up for the holiday lighting contest sponsored by the HOA. The top three winners receive gift cards, but as Benck explains, the competition stays friendly. “They have a good time doing it,” he says. The HOA also pays a service to decorate the front entrance during the holidays.
When asked what he tells people who ask about his neighborhood, Benck simply says, “You’re missing out.” Quail Hollow continues to impress as a friendly, safe place to live in any stage of life—just be sure to keep those garbage bins out of sight.
Visit myquailhollow.com for more information.
This article appears in the January/February 2019 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.