Homeowners in Eagles View subdivision met at city hall June 27 to decide whether or not to sell a 1.27-acre parcel of common ground located on the west side of Thornton Road opposite the main subdivision.
The parcel became part of a planned boat and RV storage facility when the property owner of the larger parcel knocked down trees and began to accept fill dirt to level the compound.
Property owner Jimmy Smith wants to buy the Eagles View parcel as part of his storage facility. He told the homeowners that he purchased the 60-acre site 13 years ago and did not plan to expand the storage facility beyond that.
Smith said he received a zoning permit from Franklin County for his boat and RV storage facility and was not aware that he did not own the corner parcel when he removed the trees.
“I’m sorry I knocked the trees down on your parcel,” he said. “I can’t put the trees back.”
Smith said he would buy the Eagles View property for $10,000 cash and a half-acre site that he owned on the east side of Thornton Road that abutted the subdivision.
“If you don’t sell me the ground, I’m going to go ahead and develop the boat and RV storage,” Smith said.
About 80 people attended the homeowners association meeting Wednesday.
Heather Filley, Eagles View Homeowners Association president, said everyone would be allowed to speak and asked homeowners to respect each other.
Some homeowners said they had not been given enough information during the negotiations on the sale of the property and did not know if Smith’s offer was a fair price.
They said they first learned about the negotiations to sell subdivision common ground when the trees were knocked down and there were reports in the newspaper about a possible guardrail at the site. Some said they would never sell common ground under any circumstances.
Several homeowners said they wanted the subdivision common ground restored to its former condition by replanting the trees.
Homeowners questioned whether Smith had received a DNR permit to disturb the ground. Smith said he had received a DNR permit a week earlier, but did not need it until the fill had been added to over an acre of the site.
Filley said she and other Eagles View HOA board members thought the $10,000 and half acre of land were a fair price for the parcel Smith had cleared. She also said it would be necessary to vote during the meeting because proxies had been sent out and some votes had already been cast.
The site, which is located on a deep curve, has been discussed during Pacific Board of Aldermen meetings, as officials grappled with the need to install a guardrail at the site.
Public Works Commissioner Robert Brueggemann presented a bid at the March 17 board meeting to install a 150-foot guardrail at the site for a cost of $12,700. At that meeting, City Attorney Robert Jones said the city had the legal authority to assess the property owner for a portion of the cost.
City action was postponed pending discussions with the property owner and officials of Eagles View subdivision.
At that meeting, city officials were unsure of Smith’s intended use for the property, but believed that the Eagles View HOA was in the process of selling the corner parcel to Smith.
At the HOA meeting, the homeowners did not approve the sale of the property. Filley said she did not have exact numbers, but the offer was rejected.
“With that being said, it is not a dead issue,” Filley said. “We are going back to the drawing board to see what other options there may be.”