News |   Obits |   Sports |   Business |   Opinion |   Things to Do |   Life |   Blogs |   Photos |   Video |   Data |   Jobs |   Homes |   Autos |   Buy/Sell


New housing dooms county

  • Follow Letters

Columbia County, at least as residents of the CSRA know it, is over.

Its reputation as a bedroom-community haven for achievement-oriented middle-class families has been weakened during the past decade by a proliferation of “affordable” high-density developments, such as patio homes, duplexes and apartments.

Now, the commission’s rubber-stamp approval of a 50-home development designed for welfare recipients in the heart of Martinez, to be called Magnolia Trace, effectively drives a stake in heart of a community that people could once call “a nice place to live.”

Contrary to the arrogant assertions of Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross and District 2 Commissioner Trey Allen – two men who now, rightly, find themselves in hot water for letting this happen under their watch – this project will not be a “positive” for the surrounding area. It will, in fact, lower surrounding property values, increase crime, decrease the quality of neighborhood schools and bring cultural blight to an area where the shared values have been pride, productivity and prosperity.

This is precisely what welfare housing does. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. sociologist to see what subsidy housing does to once-stable communities. It’s a common scenario that has played out across the nation and, as residents of our own metro area know, throughout Augusta. How can anyone think this project will be “different” when it requires residents to not only have but maintain a low income as a condition of tenancy?

The actions of Cross, Allen and any officials in local government who allowed this project through without so much of a whimper of debate are incompetent at best and, at worst, morally reprehensible.

Keep backpedaling and sidestepping from your cocoons in West Lake and Springlakes. Nothing – not your smooth talk, your high-powered friends or your apologists in the Columbia County media – will make me forgive or forget this abomination you have wrought upon the community.

Damon Cline

Martinez

Comments (43) 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.
Austin Rhodes
2852
Points
Austin Rhodes 12/06/11 - 12:31 am
0
0
Who on God's green Earth is

Who on God's green Earth is apologizing for any of the Commissioners? Granted...it took a few days to get to the bottom of it all...but it looks as though these politicians are on an island with this one.

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 12/06/11 - 01:25 am
0
0
Exercise your right to vote

Exercise your right to vote and ride these bozos out of office never to return...

avidreader
3005
Points
avidreader 12/06/11 - 07:12 am
0
0
I can see it now: It's 11

I can see it now: It's 11 P.M. You can't sleep on a Friday night because a handful of teens are having a raucous pool party next door. You call the police, but they're unavailable due to a shooting at the Turbo 7 club on Belair Road. And just the week before, you were in a McDonald's on Hereford Farm Road and politely asked a group of loitering teens to cool it with the vulgar language (you're with your two young children). One of them defiantly slashes two of your tires while you're buckling little Suzie into her car seat. The boys laugh at you and drive away in their '82 Cutlass with the thumping stereo speaker in the trunk vibrating the car.
Welcome to Richmond . . . I mean Columbia County!

johncapes
38
Points
johncapes 12/06/11 - 07:14 am
0
0
I have a great deal of

I have a great deal of respect for Trey Allen, and I only hope he can distance himself from the stench associated with what the Columbia County Commission has done to our county! This project could have been stopped by not giving them bond approval! just that simple! zoning is in place on the land, but the key, no bond guarentee! and when the county gave them this, they gave us up! Shame on the misuse of office.

seenitB4
81891
Points
seenitB4 12/06/11 - 07:43 am
0
0
How long did you think it

How long did you think it would be B4 Richmond county spilled over into CCty??
Some of the RCty posters have been saying this on HERE...ya just didn't believe it......Aleaves & I know from1st hand how BAD it can get...Patty P also knows....I don't live there now but believe me I know plenty who do...we have seen the damage of neighborhoods ---begged for SOMETHING from county & police to correct the problems..

Just ask the folks around Meadowbrook-Fleming-Wheeless-Lumpkin-Hy 1--how safe they feel..

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 12/06/11 - 07:55 am
0
0
You are right seenit. As much

You are right seenit. As much as folks want to think crime is only going to effect certain areas, it WILL spread. We can see that now just by looking at the news lately.

Riverman1
79735
Points
Riverman1 12/06/11 - 08:49 am
0
0
A mushroom cloud was seen

A mushroom cloud was seen rising over the Magnolia Trace property and the county was determining the wind direction and type of fallout. Residents around the area were advised to move to a safer area. County officials wearing protective gear were seen entering the area. Decontamination points on the road leading away from the area have been set up. Vigorous hosing and scrubbing with brushes in the contamination pit before entering the safe area. Experts expect the area to be affected for decades.

MartinezCitizen
24
Points
MartinezCitizen 12/06/11 - 09:19 am
0
0
I wonder why it keeps

I wonder why it keeps escaping everyone's pervue that these "low income" housing developments keep popping up in the Lakeside school districts and not Evans or Harlem? It seems to me that they are concentrating in school zones that meet AYP. I am sure it won't be that way much longer (especially if Magnolia Trace moves in) and then Lakeside will be just another Georgia school that doesn't meet AYP. I guess it will be onto Greenbriar district next...

Little Lamb
44012
Points
Little Lamb 12/06/11 - 09:43 am
0
0
John Capes posted: This

John Capes posted:

This project could have been stopped by not giving them bond approval!

I don't understand. What is "bond approval?" How does the county government bond a private development?

Little Lamb
44012
Points
Little Lamb 12/06/11 - 09:49 am
0
0
Damon Cline wrote: This

Damon Cline wrote:

This project will not be a “positive” for the surrounding area. It will, in fact, lower surrounding property values.

The county commissioners have bigger fish to fry than merely the “surrounding area.” They have to balance the costs and benefits for the county at large. It is not the commissioners’ task to keep every single parcel from dropping in value. Some will go up, some will go down. It is inevitable. Sure, some of the modest homes surrounding the project will go down a little; but think of the bright side. The 15-acre parcel will go from a valuation of about $100,000 at the present time to over $9.5 million once the houses are built. That is a net increase in tax revenue for the county. And let us not forget the sales tax revenue brought into the county by the residents of the 50 homes. You have to look at the big picture, folks.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 12/06/11 - 10:04 am
0
0
Low income housing has

Low income housing has never:
Decreased crime
Increased property values
Been good for local schools
Beautified a region

Columbia County commissioners........You are idiots.

Vote them ALL out of office when they are up for re-election. They are incompetent and they are ruining our county with stuff like this and all the apartments they've approved that have been built lately. They purchase expensive ponds in gated communities that cost millions to maintain but no one except certain citizens can use. They make bad business deals and cost taxpayers tons of money in "settlements".

Out with them all!

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 12/06/11 - 10:25 am
0
0
Little Lamb said This

Little Lamb said
This project could have been stopped by not giving them bond approval!

I don't understand. What is "bond approval?" How does the county government bond a private development?

It happens often . It is called an "Industrial Revenue Bond"

JRC2024
8082
Points
JRC2024 12/06/11 - 10:56 am
0
0
Who among you thinks Richmond

Who among you thinks Richmond County should have all these fine people and all the problems that go with them. They need to spread their welfare money and food stamp money around. Richmond County shouldn't get it all. (Sarcasam)

Little Lamb
44012
Points
Little Lamb 12/06/11 - 11:03 am
0
0
Thanks, Scooby. However, the

Thanks, Scooby. However, the remarks that Ron Cross made on the radio indicated that the financing for this housing project is being done through private investment and federal tax credits. Therefore, the county is not involved in the financing.

If that is the case, then John Capes' post about the commission stopping the project by denying the developers "bond approval" does not hold water.

LouP
13
Points
LouP 12/06/11 - 11:08 am
0
0
I agree with much of what

I agree with much of what Damon wrote, but he should not lump Springlakes into his "cocoon" communities. Springlakes has suffered much as a result of poorly thought out decisions made by the Columbia County Commission, the most recent being the atrocious mess they have made of the flood control project. Although I cannot speak for all my neighbors I know the majority of them to be concerned with the same things all good citizens of Columbia County are concerned with; crime rates, schools, quality of life none of which are enhanced or improved by building a low income housing project in the middle of the county.

CorporalGripweed
0
Points
CorporalGripweed 12/06/11 - 12:09 pm
0
0
You can "vote them all out"

You can "vote them all out" but the damage is done.I live in Richmond county. Columbia county....welcome to our world. A world where politicians make carte blanche assumptions and decisions under the radar as much as possible, then when they are caught plead "what?. I didn't mean for THAT to happen". Then retire to their cushy gated community and have regular citizens deal with the "garbage" associated with their poor judgement.
Voting them out will help, but I suggest becoming more involved and watching their every move. And make it known that you are watching. Maybe this will help with any future shenanigans.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 12/06/11 - 11:54 am
0
0
Little Lamb said; If that is

Little Lamb said;

If that is the case, then John Capes' post about the commission stopping the project by denying the developers "bond approval" does not hold water.

I agree. Something is not right

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 12/06/11 - 12:00 pm
0
0
It is possible that federal

It is possible that federal funds are involved. I say possible as i have no way of knowing. If that is the case strings are attached as with all "gifts"
from our government. The feds call the shots. I think Ron Cross should explain why they made this decision.

blues550
355
Points
blues550 12/06/11 - 01:04 pm
0
0
Well said Damon! Capes, are
Unpublished

Well said Damon!

Capes, are you kidding? Spring Lakes Trey is at the source of this stench and sits on the DCA. Respect is earned and he deserves absolutely none. I have supported Cross for years but this certainly has been an awakening. As for the other commissioners, including Thigpen, they voted for this and they need to go as well. It is painfully obvious a sea change is needed in Coumbia county, starting with using our current commissioners - all of them - as sea anchors. Democrats would not screw things up this badly and Brett Mcquire would be a welcome relief at this point.

onlysane1left
216
Points
onlysane1left 12/06/11 - 01:55 pm
0
0
Crime growing into Columbia

Crime growing into Columbia County? Coming to your neck of the woods in Columbia County, please, we must stop it before it reaches our doors, because, of course, there is no crime now in Columbia County, only Richmond County, where the poor animals live. No, crime can not be possible in Columbia County, like it is separate from most crime-riddled nation in the world. (Exaggerated sarscasm!)
Crime can happen anywhere, Columbine, Augusta, Atlanta, Wrens, or Evans. It is the savage nature of us, as human beings. Something needs to change, we can't just close our doors and think maybe it will stop if we don't let the poor people in.

allhans
23292
Points
allhans 12/06/11 - 02:27 pm
0
0
Who was the previous owners.

Who was the previous owners. A history of the property taxes might help us to understand.

Riverman1
79735
Points
Riverman1 12/06/11 - 02:32 pm
0
0
Well......It is only 50

Well......It is only 50 houses. The houses can be sold after 15 years which is an interesting aspect. That's not THAT long.

Riverman1
79735
Points
Riverman1 12/06/11 - 02:36 pm
0
0
Allhans, isn't this where the

Allhans, isn't this where the old lady who used to have the ostriches and other animals lived on a small farm type thing?

allhans
23292
Points
allhans 12/06/11 - 02:44 pm
0
0
If taxpayers are subsidizing

If taxpayers are subsidizing the housing, I don't know what bearing property taxes might have. Your money is taken away with one hand and given back with the other? Help me out, here.
And puleeze, don't say it's Federal taxes...Taxes are taxes, they come from the same source.

Little Lamb
44012
Points
Little Lamb 12/06/11 - 03:00 pm
0
0
What is it you do not

What is it you do not understand about this project, allhans? The newspaper articles have been pretty clear.

watchman64
0
Points
watchman64 12/06/11 - 03:36 pm
0
0
The bond means that this

The bond means that this developer has no skin/capital in the game. They have gotten tax credits from the state and sold them to corporations like GE and now the county has fronted them the money in a bond to connect the sewage, power, and water. This is the reason why Large corporations Like GE do not pay any taxes. Meanwhile this developer is going to make a great profit considering they havent fronted any capital. It is like a 0 down 100% financed loan that the developers never have to pay back. They will just take their millions back to Missouri with them and leave Columbia County a new place to handle the resdients of cherry tree crossing after it is shut down. Obama himself could not have designed a better plan that has been Signed sealed and delivered by the RHINO Columbia County Commission.

CobaltGeorge
150917
Points
CobaltGeorge 12/06/11 - 03:42 pm
0
0
64, well thought out and

64, well thought out and written post.

I still say Clay better open his eyes and make sure his deputies have additional ammo.

Little Lamb
44012
Points
Little Lamb 12/06/11 - 03:51 pm
0
0
CobaltGeorge, do you think

CobaltGeorge, do you think there will be overflow crowds at the meeting tonight, or do you think feelings have fizzled and the crowd will be a bust? The commission probably was wise to stick to their guns and hold the meeting in that cramped meeting room. The people stranded in the parking lot will just dwindle and go home.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 12/06/11 - 04:13 pm
0
0
Whose going to pay for the

Whose going to pay for the extra police presence needed? For the extra prosecution of crimes? For the extra jail time?

CC residents, that's who.

CobaltGeorge
150917
Points
CobaltGeorge 12/06/11 - 04:25 pm
0
0
LL, This is bad, very bad

LL, This is bad, very bad destructive issue that will effect all of the decent living conditions of citizens in CC and I feel that there will be a big effort to denounce this destruction. Like I said befor, in 5 years there will be no need of a county line between Richmond and Columbia county.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Frazier retires after demotion

Long-time Richmond County principal Wayne Frazier, known for his unorthodox approach to school reform, submitted his resignation Wednesday after being demoted to a teacher this summer.
Search Augusta jobs