Three forces came together to get a subdivision up to the standards of all those involved.
County Administrator Dale Dudley, developer Lloyd Murray and the residents of Demeries Lake subdivision met in homeowner Dennis Williams’ house to go over some of the residents’ concerns on March 8.
"I’m here to basically resolve the issues that need to be resolved in Demeries Lake," Murray began. "I’m very proud of what we’ve done and I’m going to finish this."
Murray anticipates roughly 30 to 45 days to complete everything discussed.
"I’m going to start immediately," he said. "I understand this is your home, your subdivision. I just want to make it right, so if you have questions or concerns, give me a call anytime. I’m going to get this done."
The two issues that seemed to be the most important for the residents were drainage issues within the subdivision and the options for amenities.
Originally, the design for the neighborhood included a 5-acre recreation area.
"Five percent of total subdivision has to designated to rec," Murray said. "Here, we had the county agree to decrease that amount and in return, we donated $36,000 to the county rec department for green space."
Dudley said the county allows developers to buy into a recreation pool during the development stage. While there were some homeowners at the time, the zoning ordinance doesn’t address homeowners and the developer still owned the majority of the subdivision at that time.
Resident Kevin Johms said as a common courtesy, he would have expected Murray to talk to the homeowners before making the decision.
"I feel it’s disrespectful. At the time, in phase one I believe most of the lots were already bought," Johms said.
Williams said there were several other amenities proposed to the county, and now the residents don’t have them – but they’re paying the same amount for their Homeowners Association dues.
Murray offered up business cards to all the residents and told them to call him with suggestions. He wanted to know from them what they wanted for recreation and other amenities.
Drainage of land and the lakes was the other big topic.
"The roads will be sloped so the water drains to the catch basins. The basins will be seeded around there," he said. "The lake level got relatively high last summer, so it was lowered quite a bit and there’s going to be an overflow out back to a ditch, in coordination with the county and Dale."
Dudley said the lake is designed to hold much more water than it needs to.
"If a storm were to occur, it could hold it," Dudley said. "It can be brought up or down and still take on storm water. Last Labor Day weekend, we got 14-16 inches of rain, and it didn’t come into the county roads. Backflow didn’t affect things, so as far as household basins, you have to make sure they drain away from your house."
Several residents had concerns about the water levels being consistent throughout, to make up the varying elevations of properties throughout the neighborhood.
"This is an aesthetic thing, because it can’t be too high in one yard or too low in another, but it could handle storm drainage right now," Dudley said.
Mault requested a dam being put in so the water could be maintained at two different levels.
"If we can get this lake elevation thing taken care of, I’m really in favor of splitting it into two lakes," she said. "We could do it where the lake curves, there’s a very low spot where there was an original dam that could be built back up."
Murray said he thought that would be possible. Other improvements were discussed, with Murray noting he was always open to suggestions and input from the residents.