Columbia County planners Thursday rejected a developer’s request to delay building additional amenities in one of the neighborhoods in the sprawling Crawford Creek subdivision.
The proposal would have allowed developer Dean Conn as much as three years to finish a package of amenities, including a pool and clubhouse, rather than complete the package no later than the point at which half the homes in the portion of the 382-acre neighborhood are sold.
Columbia County planning staff, during Thursday’s Planning and Zoning Board meeting, cited a county ordinance that requires the 50 percent threshold.
The rule is designed to prevent developers from promising amenities to homebuyers and then not delivering them, said Planning and Zoning Board member Thom Tuckey.
“It’s in the homeowners’ best interest,” he said. “When you reach that 50 percent point, you’ve got to have the amenities.
Commissioners created the ordinance after years of complaints about unfinished amenities at Ivy Falls.
Conn argued that the original package of amenities has been upgraded after discussions with homeowners and the county, negotiated as part of other revisions to the overall project. In addition, he said, a dispute over whether the developer will be forced to build a turning lane for the entrance on Hereford Farm Road could raise the project’s cost further.
“Every home we sell has a greater value if the amenities are in place,” Conn said, “but I want to submit a plan we can adhere to.”
Requiring more than $1 million in amenities for what now would be the sale of 109 lots “won’t bank that way,” Conn added.
The board’s recommendation to reject the request passed unanimously and goes to the county commission Dec. 4 for a final verdict.
In other action Thursday, the board:
• Approved rezoning a 19-acre parcel on Old Evans Road adjacent to the Islamic Society of Augusta. The change will create a second entrance for the new facility and allow four cottages for staff members.
• Approved rezoning 5.5 acres on Rose Street, adjacent to Lowe’s and behind Duffie Plaza on Bobby Jones Expressway in Martinez, for a self-storage facility.
• Approved a variance for landscaping the new Kia dealership that will be built on Washington Road at Gibbs Road. The change will shift where trees are planted to meet requirements of a Georgia Power easement crossing the site and move other trees to accommodate the planned widening of Washington Road.
• Approved a final plat for Durham at Canterbury Farms, a 12-acre tract off Chamblin Road that will have 28 single-family lots.