As president of the homeowners association of a "townhome park," as the April 13 Columbia County News-Times editorial called them, I felt compelled to reply to the editorial urging the Planning and Zoning Commission to "slam the door on more townhome parks."
While we would probably all agree that we don't want more townhome developments built (less supply equals higher demand and value of the townhomes we own), our entire board of directors and several residents were unhappy with the picture the editorial painted of our community. The editorial made it seem like anyone who lives in a townhome is unwanted and not worthy of living in Columbia County.
Stereotyping is always a bad approach to take, particularly in the current politically correct society in which we live. To say that all townhome developments will end up in the same shape as trailer parks in 30 years is an unfounded prediction. The board of directors of our development is very active and works to ensure that the strict rules of conduct regarding the appearance of our community are followed by all residents. I urge you to take a ride through some of the 10- and 15-year-old subdivisions in Columbia County and see the horrible shape they are in due to non-existent or inactive homeowners associations.
As far as overcrowding the Columbia County schools, most of the residents of our development are older, young singles, or young couples with no children or with children who are too young to attend school. Those with children will usually move to larger, single-family homes before their families get too large. This majority of our population is not overcrowding the schools, but is paying property taxes for those new classrooms. While it is painfully obvious that a $175,000 single family home will bring in more tax revenue than an $80,000 townhome, I would bet that the number of children in our 97 townhomes would be less than the number of children in any 45 single-family homes in Columbia County.
Maybe The News-Times should have done some research into the management of some of the townhome developments in Columbia County before throwing them all into the same bucket. Talk to some of the residents and members of the boards of directors of the homeowners associations, and you will find some people who are proud of their homes and their neighborhoods and not ashamed to let you know.
Kevan Jones, president
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