August 12, 2017
A little research on the internet brings into question how the Key Estate property on Jackson Lake will really be developed. A similar property—The Peninsula at Lake James in North Carolina—may give us some insight.
Here is what Jim Deal and John Snow have told the Jasper County citizens, the P&Z Board and the BOC:
Neither of these two men, nor “Premier Land” are the land buyers. The company appears to be a land liquidation company. According to comments on the internet, “They’re simply (state) licensed auctioneers by a different name.” Their website is http://www.premierdevinc.com/ and the company name on the website is “Premier Land.” It appears they have also used the name Premier Land Liquidators. During their talk to the P&Z and the BOC, we never heard them mention their company name.
The Peninsula at Lake James sounds a lot like The Peninsula at Lake Jackson, so we took a look at it.
People living on or near Lake James have protested the Lake James development, with many of the same complaints voiced by Jackson Lake residents. You can read the entire news report here:
Advocates for Lake James speak out at Planning Board meeting
- By MIKE CONLEY email@example.com
- Sep 27, 2016
The issue about development on Lake James has come up again because of a new controversial housing development that is in the works and others that could happen as well. Last month, the Planning Board gave its unanimous approval for the first phase of the development called The Peninsula at Lake James.
This subdivision will be located on the northwestern part of the lake, past Bear Creek Marina and right off Lake James Road. The proposed development will cover 223 acres with 150 lots for both phases. Phase one will have 62 lots, according to County Manager Ashley Wooten.
Opponents say this development will make the lake and its shoreline more crowded and would harm the quality of Lake James. It will also make the boat traffic on the water more congested. At their Sept. 12 meeting, the McDowell County Commissioners heard from the opponents of this development and agreed to have the Planning Board take another look at the rules concerning subdivisions on the lake, which were adopted in 2003, and see if any changes should be made.
The “developers” also seem to be involved in Towns County, GA. A comment on the Topix board in Hiawassee—
I was wondering if anyone has encountered this company before which is now operating in our area. They apparently buy bankrupt properties or subdivisions and then re-sell them at “below market” prices. They just did a sale on the Hiwassee River outside of Murphy and I heard that they are buying property in Towns County. I’m concerned that this is one of those companies that “flip” properties. They create a lot of hype, send out flyers and buy radio and television ads. Then they have a one day “sales event” with a lot of high pressure. There is usually one property they advertise at way below market, but that one is always “sold” when someone inquires, and the rest are much more expensive. What happens is that people buy into a lot of promises that never materialize while the seller moves on to the next bankruptcy. Nobody wins but the seller and the bank. Often these companies will dissolve after a few years and form a new LLC, trying to stay just out of reach of all the promises they made to their buyers. I hope this is not happening in Towns County, but unfortunately in Georgia, the law is “buyer beware.”
Unfortunately, our BOC does not do a lot of research; they depend on the P&Z Director, who in this case, has allowed the real estate agent for the property to lead and guide him.
It appears Lynn Bentley, the BOA Chief Assessor, has given the BOC exaggerated figures of the values of the proposed development lots, and especially if they are liquidated as seems to be the case with most of the Premier Land developments. She valued dockable properties at $160,000 and interior lots at $30,000 to give a “high estimate” of the taxes the county will collect.
People living on Jackson Lake and along Jackson Lake Road, need to do all the research they can and then call and/or email all the Commissioners before the August 28th hearing and decision, and then show up for the hearing.
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.