Group looks at other sites for paralyzed vet's home

Carole Hawkins/ Staff
Sgt. 1st Class Sean Gittens is flanked by his daughter Shawna Gittens, left, and wife Sharon Gittens during a press conference announcing their decision not to build a home in the Knob Hill subdivision
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 11:56 AM
Last updated 3:24 PM
  • Follow Latest News

Homes for Our Troops formally announced at a press conference today they would not build a home for paralyzed veteran Sean Gittens at the Knob Hill subdivision in Evans.

Standing next to the Gittens family at the site where the home would have been built over the weekend, the group’s founder, John Gonsalves, said he was sad to be looking at an empty lot instead.

Homes for Our Troops has built homes free of charge for over 100 severely disabled veterans nationwide. Gonsalves said it’s the first time a build has been blocked by a homeowners association.

“We know that this is no way is a reflection on the community of Knob Hill and the people that live in here … We do this all over the country and we know that the American people are behind it,” Gonsalves said. 

He said he would remain in Georgia for a few more days to talk with other developers who have stepped forward.

The Knob Hill Property Owners Association did not attend the press conference. Its president sent his regrets by e-mail, Gonvalves said.  

 The association had blocked construction of the Gittens home after months of negotiations because it believed the house would lower neighboring property values. Homes for Our Troops said it would continue to work to get a design approved, but ultimately left the decision up to the Gittens family, which currently rents a home in the subdivision.

 “I didn’t want to put any kind of pressure on the family to think that because we had already bought this lot, that this was the end game, that it had to be here,” Gonsalves said. “I couldn’t live with my own conscience if I did that … they need to feel fine with where it is that we are going to build this home.”

Sharon Gittens, Sean’s wife, told news media Monday the family decided not to stay in Knob Hill because they did not feel they would be welcome. At the press conference, she said was ready to put the situation behind her and thanked neighbors who had supported her family. She asked them to encourage the association to embrace the veterans and not worry so much about property values.

Asked about the association she said, “I think if this was important to them, a least one representative from the board would have been here today.”

 

Reach Carole Hawkins at (706) 823-3341, or carole.hawkins@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (154) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
kmmfa
1
Points
kmmfa 06/28/11 - 11:13 am
0
0
The Residents of Knob Hill

The Residents of Knob Hill Subdivision should be livid over this action by THEIR HOA. I think veterans and Christians that live in Knob Hill would have the where-with-all to protest the HOA's decision to deny a disabled veteran a home in their neighborhood. This reminds me of back in the 50's and 60's of not allowing people of color to move into the white neighborhoods. Where are the Veterans Groups?

birdieman
2
Points
birdieman 06/28/11 - 11:39 am
0
0
The giddens family has been

The giddens family has been renting in knob hill fr the past year correct?? So if they knob hill residents were from the "50s and 60s, why did the giddens family want to move into a new house in the same neighborhood???

peaches63
0
Points
peaches63 06/28/11 - 11:46 am
0
0
This has absolutely NOTHING

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with race, so ENOUGH!!

lucky99mp
0
Points
lucky99mp 06/28/11 - 11:53 am
0
0
Sounds like SNOB Hill would

Sounds like SNOB Hill would be more correct.

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 06/28/11 - 11:57 am
0
0
Maybe they should look at

Maybe they should look at building the house in Harrisburg. I'm sure Butch, Lori and the Harrisburgers would love to have the Gittens' as neighbors

Sweet son
11674
Points
Sweet son 06/28/11 - 12:13 pm
0
0
I don't often go down the

I don't often go down the religious road with my comments but the Lord with the help of friends, family and others will take care of the Gittens family.

stevea
2
Points
stevea 06/28/11 - 12:44 pm
0
0
Um, nobody has "denied' the

Um, nobody has "denied' the family a home in the subdivision. The HOA is waiting for the requested documents and plans. Still waiting. Still waiting. I believe the board would be acting illegally if they were to approve a project that has no documentation showing it will comply with the bylaws. But hey, facts are boring, a headline reading "Builder fails to submit proper documentation, halts contruction project" is not quite as sensational as "Knob Hill HOA Denies Charity approval to build free Home for Paralysed Veteran"

csrareader
1288
Points
csrareader 06/28/11 - 01:01 pm
0
0
There is a 2369 square foot

There is a 2369 square foot home directly across the street from the lot purchased for the Giddens family. This doesn't pass the smell test. Check the Maps section on the Columbia County web site.

dichotomy
37533
Points
dichotomy 06/28/11 - 01:05 pm
0
0
"The Knob Hill Property

"The Knob Hill Property Owners Association did not attend the press conference. Its president sent his regrets by e-mail, Gonvalves said."

Yeh. Embarrassing to appear in public with them two black eyes ain't it?

guinpigmomma
0
Points
guinpigmomma 06/28/11 - 01:08 pm
0
0
Woodlief is a nice

Woodlief is a nice respectable neighborhood with plenty of open lots...

stevea
2
Points
stevea 06/28/11 - 01:39 pm
0
0
csra reader - the 2300 sq/ft

csra reader - the 2300 sq/ft home is in a different section of the subdivision, all with smaller homes. If they would have bought a lot in there, they could have built a smaller home, but they didn't. The section where this home was to be built has all homes 3600 sq/ft and larger.

Tinkerbell
12
Points
Tinkerbell 06/28/11 - 02:13 pm
0
0
stevea....is the Gittens lot

stevea....is the Gittens lot located on the 'Estate' side?

sdfsdf
1
Points
sdfsdf 06/28/11 - 02:14 pm
0
0
stevea: There's no use

stevea: There's no use explaining. They're just going to pick up some other misunderstanding, have you run with it, and tire you out while going in circles. I'll let the courts decide who was right. Even then, if HFOT has no grounds, the HOA bashers will still continue to bash. It's just what they do.

Brad Owens
4914
Points
Brad Owens 06/28/11 - 02:15 pm
0
0
Spin it stevea, but there is

Spin it stevea, but there is no way folks will understand putting things like an irrigation plan ahead of helping a combat disabled vet.

Tinkerbell
12
Points
Tinkerbell 06/28/11 - 02:17 pm
0
0
sdfsdf....no let stevea

sdfsdf....no let stevea explain away. I'd like to know which 'side' of the community the Gittens lot is on.

Brad Owens
4914
Points
Brad Owens 06/28/11 - 02:23 pm
0
0
sdfsdf, you guys have had

sdfsdf, you guys have had some folks kicked off of here for using abusive lingo.

I know you complained about me, so if we are so crazy why take down our crazy comments? Why not let our writings speak for themselves?

Seems you all don't like feeling the emotions mistreatment of a disable combat vet can stir in folks.

So explain to me why you all have been so defensive if you did nothing wrong?

Brad

Tinkerbell
12
Points
Tinkerbell 06/28/11 - 02:22 pm
0
0
I guarantee stevea won't

I guarantee stevea won't answer my last post because he knows EXACTLY where I was going to take it.

sdfsdf
1
Points
sdfsdf 06/28/11 - 02:23 pm
0
0
I don't believe the burden is

I don't believe the burden is on the HOA. HFOT should prove that they were wronged. Get to work on that, please.

sdfsdf
1
Points
sdfsdf 06/28/11 - 02:26 pm
0
0
I know exactly where you were

I know exactly where you were going to take it, too. In circles.

Tinkerbell
12
Points
Tinkerbell 06/28/11 - 02:27 pm
0
0
sdfsdf....I'd like to know

sdfsdf....I'd like to know which 'side' the Gittens lot is on. I might be interested in building out there and need to know the covenents.

Tinkerbell
12
Points
Tinkerbell 06/28/11 - 02:28 pm
0
0
sdfsdf....no circles I assure

sdfsdf....no circles I assure you. Straight line from point A to point B. If you cannot answer a direct question then I've just proved a point.

Brad Owens
4914
Points
Brad Owens 06/28/11 - 02:29 pm
0
0
sdf, You all are too

sdf,

You all are too defensive for an innocent group.

Brad

Tinkerbell
12
Points
Tinkerbell 06/28/11 - 02:29 pm
0
0
Anyone care to let me know

Anyone care to let me know which 'side' of the Knob Hill Community the Gittens lot is located on?

iam4him
0
Points
iam4him 06/28/11 - 02:37 pm
0
0
The lot purchased for the

The lot purchased for the Gittens family is on the estate side

Brad Owens
4914
Points
Brad Owens 06/28/11 - 02:38 pm
0
0
The wrong side for approval

The wrong side for approval Tinkerbell...

Tinkerbell
12
Points
Tinkerbell 06/28/11 - 02:44 pm
0
0
iam4him...thanks!

iam4him...thanks!

http://media.graytvinc.com/documents/EstateRequirements.pdf

According to the documents provided in the above pdf, can someone tell me what the minimum square footage is for the homes built on the 'Estate' side? (I lost my glasses and can't read the fine print)

Tinkerbell
12
Points
Tinkerbell 06/28/11 - 02:46 pm
0
0
stevea said... 'csra reader -

stevea said...
'csra reader - the 2300 sq/ft home is in a different section of the subdivision, all with smaller homes. If they would have bought a lot in there, they could have built a smaller home, but they didn't. The section where this home was to be built has all homes 3600 sq/ft and larger.'

insamniac
35
Points
insamniac 06/28/11 - 02:47 pm
0
0
Tinkerbell, you seem more

Tinkerbell, you seem more level headed than the other "anti-knob hill" posters.. 1475 KNOB HILL CIR is the address, and you can see the lot on the Columbia County property maps page http://216.119.10.105/columbia/default.htm

While the homes across Knob Hill Dr are not that large, the lots are considerably smaller as well, because that is not the 'estate' area.

They should have just chosen a different lot, or not rushed the project so much...

hounddog
0
Points
hounddog 06/28/11 - 02:52 pm
0
0
Brad, ‘So explain to me why
Unpublished

Brad, ‘So explain to me why you all have been so defensive if you did nothing wrong?’
So explain to me why you are so opinionated when you don’t have a clue, along with most of the others, what you are talking about.

Tinkerbell
12
Points
Tinkerbell 06/28/11 - 02:59 pm
0
0
isamniac...all I'm saying is

isamniac...all I'm saying is if you have set guidelines/covenants, etc., both parties should have to live up to them as written. Knob Hill Estate section requires homes of no less than 2700 sq ft. The Gittens family chose a home slighty over that square footage. To me it sounds like HOA isn't living up to it's own written covenants. The whole story broke because of the square footage. When that didn't work, they tried to find something else wrong, etc. They could have chosen a different lot but why do that when they were able to build on THAT lot according to what is written by HOA?

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs