In 1975, a zoning disagreement arose between the two original developers and Whispering Oaks property owners who then formed WOHA. The association eventually won the battle to keep the contested area zoned residential and restricted further commercial developments nearby. It would be the first of many actions the group undertook to safeguard property values and the residents’ quality of life.
WOHA is self-governed by a Board of up to 15 resident volunteers. Over the decades, dozens of residents have served as Board members in varying capacities. Elections take place each September and qualifying WOHA members may apply for a seat of a two-year term.
The Board conducts its duties in accordance with By-Laws that can be viewed here. It has a fiduciary responsibility to the community and provides regular financial reports to its members. Among the Board's duties is enforcement of Community Covenants which supplement City of San Antonio (CoSA) Municipal Code and apply to all properties regardless of WOHA membership status and can be viewed here.
Membership in WOHA is not mandatory for residents, but is strongly encouraged to protect everyone’s investment and quality of life. Annual dues are $125, which are far less than what other nearby communities mandate and can be paid here. Please note, WOHA is not affiliated with the Whispering Oaks Tennis & Swim Club whose governance and memberships are completely separate.
The largest project undertaken by WOHA to date was construction of the perimeter wall in 1985 that now lines Wurzbach and Lockhill-Selma. How to upgrade the original fencing had been debated for years, and WOHA sought $500 per household for a tall uniform wall. Thanks to considerable efforts led by the Board, nearly $250,000 of voluntary contributions was eventually raised. It was a significant achievement, reflecting the collective pride of the neighborhood.
The resulting wall shelters the community from increasingly busy roadways and adds prestige to the neighborhood. The 39 homeowners whose properties include a section of the concrete block wall were each deeded ownership and are responsible for its upkeep and liability, however any alteration or maintenance is to be supervised by WOHA. The only exception is a section of the wall that parallels the alley behind 11703-11729 Whisper Dew, which remains the property and responsibility of WOHA.
In 1987, the City proposed improvements to Wurzbach, and WOHA negotiated improvements including curbs and sidewalks. At that time, WOHA also installed new entrance medians at Whisper Willow and Whisper Bow, as well as spending over $40,000 for greenery and irrigation along the community's side of the parkway. WOHA memberships pay to maintain these areas, funding over $17,000 in landscaping expenses annually.
In 2005, WOHA partnered with the City to designate Whispering Oaks as a Neighborhood Conservation District. Only three other neighborhoods had been awarded this designation prior. Our community is therefore divided into over a dozen different types of NCD "units" that are subject to additional CoSA standards that supplement the Building Code and maintain the character of the neighborhood. This designation is not the same as a Historic District, which has more stringent rules regarding construction, renovations and upkeep. View CoSA NCD map and ordinances here.
In 2008, WOHA petitioned the City to install a traffic light on Wurzbach Road at Whisper Bow to reduce speeding along Wurzbach and help protect residents entering and leaving the neighborhood. More significant changes are coming to Wurzbach in 2021, and the WOHA Board continues to work with TX-DOT, the Councilperson of District 9, and groups such as Northside Neighborhood Organizations for Organized Development to protect the neighborhood's interests.
In 2009, an Oak Wilt disease outbreak was discovered on Whisper Ledge that posed a serious contagious threat to our beautiful community. The Texas Forest Service was consulted and recommended trenching to contain the fungus, which can transfer via root systems. A massive fundraising campaign was undertaken by WOHA, raising $85,000 from residents and another $15,000 secured from TFS, which was matched by a grant of $100,000 from CoSA. The resulting five foot deep trench filled with either concrete or landscaping fabric barrier was completed in 2011 and helped slow the progression of the fungus. Unfortunately, the disease is still active and has killed dozens of trees and cost unprepared homeowners thousands for their removal. Fungicide treatment is now available to prevent and treat Oak Wilt caught in its early stages. WOHA remains vigilant to manage current outbreaks and avoid future ones through continual education of residents (here). Properties at the highest risk receive additional WOHA support to help minimize the spread and impact of the disease.
In 2013, WOHA installed nighttime lighting to the first of several entrance monuments at Whisper Sound. This campaign is ongoing. Installation of the light fixtures is highly complex and each intersection poses a unique set of challenges. However, residents generally agree the final result adds prestige to the neighborhood and enhances safety for both motorists and pedestrians. WOHA memberships paid for the original entrance monuments, continue to fund their expanded lighting and cover the associated on-going utilities.
In 2020, sections of the 35 year old perimeter wall were buckling and posed a serious risk of collapse. WOHA was able to move swiftly to repair the problem thanks to its Capital Fund which was created in part to remedy unforeseen infrastructure problems that our very reasonable membership dues simply can't cover. Learn more about the fund here.
It would be easy to take for granted the time and money that dedicated WOHA members and its all-volunteer board have invested into Whispering Oaks for nearly 50 years. But without this continued advocacy, our community would have never secured dozens of enhancements nor defended itself from countless threats to property values and the quality of life we all enjoy. Residents who aren't current members are encouraged to join us by clicking here.