Thursday, December 19, 2013

Crooked Creek seeks vote to gate community.

Crooked Creek HOA Treasurer Steve Wakefield explains what the neighborhood has done to plan for the gating.

An artist rendering of the Ga. 9 entrance, which will include a security guard.

December 17, 2013

by Caitlyn Walters; The Milton Herald

MILTON, Ga. – Saturday, Dec. 9 was the first of four Crooked Creek Homeowners Association meetings that informed residents of the neighborhood's plan to build gates at the Ga. 9 and Francis Road entrances, which will privatize the neighborhood's roads.

This has been an issue brought up by the HOA for several years, and John Morgan, the HOA vice president, said, "the neighborhood has done their homework to move this in the right direction."

This project is being considered as a way to eliminate the cut-through traffic and have more control over who comes through the neighborhood.

Morgan said the neighborhood has already made requests for proposals, selected the gating technology and security vendor, conducted road studies and completed design and architectural work.

The gating needs to be approved by the neighborhood by 67 percent, which is at least 429 homes.

There are two hurdles that the neighborhood has to clear in order for the city to approve the gating. First, they must prove that it is in the best keeping of the community and the city, and second, that it does not impact the surrounding community.

"The work that we have done is prove that Creek Club Drive is not a connector road from Francis to Ga. 9, and it was never intended to be," Morgan said. "The city has already acknowledged that."

Steve Wakefield, the HOA treasurer, said the road's use is substantially residential, which helps prove the gating's community impact.

"For us, it's best for the public interest because of safety," Wakefield said. "The reality is that it's probably more of a financial incentive for the city not to have to maintain seven miles of road."

Road maintenance is the main expense that would result from this project. There would be a quarterly fee taken up from each home to cover the cost such as maintenance, payments for the security company and maintenance of the gate.

The HOA meeting Dec. 9 allowed residents to ask questions before the voting begins.

The biggest issues involved repaving, security and policing and cost.

Milton Councilmember Joe Longoria, who is also a Crooked Creek HOA board member, helped to answer questions regarding repaving. Some residents expressed wishes to repave the neighborhood before gate construction.

"I can guarantee you this, the city wouldn't entertain repaving all the roads right before they abandon them," Longoria said. "That's not going to happen."

Morgan reassured residents the neighborhood intends to repave the roads every 15 years, instead of the city's schedule of every 25 years.

"Our intention is to take better care of our roads as a neighborhood than the city of Milton," Morgan said.

Morgan said the city has been asked to continue speed patrolling within the neighborhood to ensure safety, and keep a sense of transparency between the city and the neighborhood.

To move forward, the next steps will involve the neighborhood voting and then the city of Milton's process, which includes application submissions, initial council review, initial public hearing, secondary public hearing and resolution of mayor and council.

Annual operations cost

Road reserve – $112,000 Street lights – $19,728

Construction loan payment – $76,800

Security costs (software fees) – $7,716

Security costs (guard cell phone) – $1,200

Security costs (guard) – $127,896

Total annual costs – $345,340

Total cost per household – $135 per quarter, or $540 per year.

Savannah Lee contributed to this article.

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