Builder has big plans for Swan Lake

Dawn Rye | Writer

drye@ncppub.com

During last week’s Turner County commissioners meeting, a motion was made for the first reading to adopt the proposed amendment for the lake residential district-zoning ordinance for Turner County. 

Real estate developer Jason Schumacher explained he applied for a lake residential permit with 65 lots available, commercial property future development. There are 15 lakefront lots vacant and 31 lots with one acre or acre and a half. He explained that rural water and single-phase power are accessible on-site. 

For the commercial property, there will be two more phases for an approximately two miles stretch. In Phase II, the properties are two-acre lots. However, if the development is approved and someone is looking for three or four acres, it would be feasible. He explained there is a HOA (Homeowners Association) convenance in place, which he owns 51 percent of the development. Property owner Kristi Stewart has the first right of refusal on decisions of the 145 acres. Before the planning and zoning meeting, he held an informative neighborhood meeting regarding the new development.  

Schumacher commented that what he envisions is a residential area that offers a lakeside view, but not necessarily water access. This would be year-round housing for families, or some might use it as a summer home. 

Miller questioned what the projected completion date is?

Schumacher said estimated 10-12 years for all three phases. 

Miller asked why Schumacher didn’t break up the phases into smaller projects? 

Schumacher said they were trying to utilize the roadways and development to meet the requirements for the planning commission. 

State’s Attorney Katelynn Hoffman noted he could address the board on the portions of property he wants to rezone. 

Engineer Nick Johannsen explained his company would plat the roadway down to the lake lots then as the as the lots sell along the road on phase I, the plats would be individual. 

Commissioner Lyle Van Hove asked Schumacher if he had experience with building a development? 

Schumacher said with six years of real estate experience this development would be his first. 

Concerned resident Don McCarty noted he spoke with Schumacher regarding the development plans. McCarty explained in the 2007 Turner County Comprehensive plan, the county approached the lake residents regarding their input on the Lake District. Since the adoption there have been limited changes to the zoning ordinances and minor changes to the lake district. 

“I’m opposed to it at this point. And I’m opposed to it for a couple of reasons. Number one, you have a master plan and I don’t know that anything has been put forth that would indicate one way or the other that it’s consistent with the master plan adopted by Turner County,” commented McCarty. 

Second, the county did the work when they created the master plan to identify lake residential properties and Turner County has a limited amount of lake residential properties. What is the standard for modifying the Comprehensive plan? And is the development consistent with the lake residential district the county currently has? McCarty noted he hopes the county would give strong consideration to what the people in the community gave for opinions before incorporating the development into the entity. 

In this case, he explained the added component, the lake residential district ties to public use in Turner County. Does the development serve the public interest? The county doesn’t have that asset anywhere else.

The second reading was held on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 9 a.m.

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