Housing project is canceled

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The Augusta Affordable Housing Corp. terminated its contract Thursday with its development partners, essentially ending plans to build a controversial mixed-income development off Deans Bridge Road.

The corporation, a nonprofit agency of the Augusta Housing Authority, backed off the project after the Augusta Commission refused to support the project and receiving additional information about the 23 acres they bought last year.

The authority must now reimburse Progressive Redevelopment Inc. and The North South Cos. between $60,000 and $75,000 that they already have spent on the project, authority attorney Ed Tarver said.

The decision also leaves the future of the property, now zoned commercial, uncertain unless the authority complies with a request by Sammie Sias, the president of the Richmond County Neighborhood Association Alliance.

Mr. Sias asked the board to request a change in the zoning to R-1A, the most restrictive residential zoning, so that developers could not build such small houses on the property.

"You can't put multifamily housing on R-1A property," Mr. Sias said.

Residents of subdivisions adjacent to the property vehemently objected to the development because 30 percent of the units would be for low-income residents, which they contend would lower their property values.

"You can dress it up as much as you want, but when low-income housing comes in, your property values go down," said Sam Nicholson, the attorney for residents of Breeze Hill, Breeze Hills Estates and The Hamptons, which backs up to the site.

Mr. Nicholson said residents who bought houses in the Hamptons were promised there would be four phases in the development, but those plans were abandoned after the first phase of 40 houses.

"And that's the end of it," Mr. Nicholson told the board before asking them to go back to the drawing board and identify areas where there would not be opposition.

Authority members said they did not know of the four-phase development when they bought the property from the Hamptons developer.

DeCarla Brown, a Hamptons resident, said no one knew phases two, three and four were abandoned until February.

"It wasn't abandoned to us," she said.

"The plan was still being sold to people buying houses."

Authority Chairman Rodger Murchison said the housing authority was in the dark about the Hamptons project, too.

"We just saw some land, and we bought it," he said.

After the vote, Mr. Sias said the decision was what the city needed and the neighborhoods wanted.

"Everyone will benefit from this," he said. "We just hope they continue on with our suggestion of rezoning that property before disposing of it."

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

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patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 04/27/07 - 05:45 am
0
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It's too bad this project was

It's too bad this project was canceled when all it needed was to be relocated. Think how nice this mixed income housing would have looked off Ray's Creek at Walton Way or Boy Scout at Skinner Mill. I bet those neighbors would have welcomed the project with open arms.

THESOUTHLOST
0
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THESOUTHLOST 04/27/07 - 07:05 am
0
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Yes, too bad for those in

Yes, too bad for those in need of a little help. I doubt anyone will want to build in South Augusta other than fast food place. GOOD JOB.

Da Voice Inside Your Head
7
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Da Voice Inside Your Head 04/27/07 - 07:33 am
0
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God forbid common sense break

God forbid common sense break out and they build this project where it was needed. Great strides have been made in the Laney-Walker area. There are hundred of nice new or remodeled homes replacing the vacant lots or crack houses. Each new home raises the value and instills new pride. This Deans Bridge project is another example of somone having a brainstorm and not thinking it through. Life in Augusta.

lazeeday
0
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lazeeday 04/27/07 - 08:00 am
0
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Thank

Thank Goodness>>>>>>>>>>>>>>The developers of the HAMPTONS shame on you.......You and the developer of the the low income housing and AHA now know you can not get away with not being truthful to the residents of south augusta.AT LAST WE HAVE STOOD UP FOR OUR AREA AND WON.

butterflygina
151
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butterflygina 04/27/07 - 08:13 am
0
0
For those on the housing

For those on the housing authority's "waiting lists" it looks like you'll be waiting a little longer.

HOMELESS-NEED-HELP
0
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HOMELESS-NEED-HELP 04/27/07 - 09:34 am
0
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No more task force for the

No more task force for the homeless, no more increasing homeless transitional or permanent housing, no more homeless transporatation help, no more anyone cares about homeless and at risk singles and families. Augusta Housing Authority housing waiting list is over 5,000..................what is up with this and when will the City of Augusta Mayor and Community Development Department step up to the plate. Homeless need help - transitional and permanent housing and supportive transportation and other basic services.

toppergem
125
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toppergem 04/27/07 - 10:16 am
0
0
For the Augusta Housing

For the Augusta Housing Authority and the project developers to decide on building the project in the first place without input from the communities which were to be affected was an awful mistake. Here we go with a group of individuals deciding what's best for another group of individuals. Everyone has ideas let all come to the planning table and share those ideas. Next time, if there is a next time talk to all involved FIRST.

marien
28
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marien 04/27/07 - 02:30 pm
0
0
Well said toppergem !!!!!!!

Well said toppergem !!!!!!!

THESOUTHLOST
0
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THESOUTHLOST 04/27/07 - 02:37 pm
0
0
I can understand now why MCG

I can understand now why MCG is looking to expand somewhere else. The people here are stuck on race and income.

darkstar
6
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darkstar 04/27/07 - 04:42 pm
0
0
THESOUTHLOST, sad but true.

THESOUTHLOST, sad but true. I look forward to the day Augustans work together for the betterment of our city instead of spiteful opposition just to further political agendas.

whatashame
0
Points
whatashame 04/27/07 - 04:54 pm
0
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I work at a low income

I work at a low income property and believe me not all the residents that reside there are bad folks. They are real folks trying to provide a nice home to their children/family. However there are quite a few that are not so nice nor do they appreciate what is being provided as far as housing options. That new property would have looked very nice as long as they had a strong management company that had standards and took pride in the property and enforced the rules of the property. I don't agree building by a subdivision but there is plenty of other areas of augusta that would have loved to see new development.

iletuknow
8
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iletuknow 04/27/07 - 10:38 pm
0
0
Girard area near the power

Girard area near the power station might be feasible.

billy123
0
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billy123 04/28/07 - 12:48 am
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ahh.. this is why I LOVE

ahh.. this is why I LOVE Columbia County sooooo much, non of this mess, lmao.. I love also laughing at augusta goofiness!! It is soooooo funny!!

jackkie
0
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jackkie 04/30/07 - 08:38 am
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augusta is a beautiful place

augusta is a beautiful place to live. to billy, grow up! laughing is catching. do you know how goofy you sound!

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