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Council OKs gated townhome community
Conditions set for private street
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Richmond Hill will soon see more housing after the City Council unanimously approved Tuesday a master plan for Harris Trail Townhomes.

At its regular meeting in City Hall, the council approved plans for the development — a 42-unit, three-bedroom townhome gated community, according to developer Dillon Baynes.

The master plan was approved with conditions requiring the development to have a private street, be a gated community and that a fund is set up for future maintenance to the street. The council wanted to ensure the developer would be responsible for any costs associated with upgrading the street so the responsibility did not fall back on the city.

Baynes told the council a per-home collection of $4 a month would provide enough funding to upgrade the street when the time comes, which would be after 20-30 years.

“I’m looking at 20 or 30 years down the street when these covenants or homeowners association dissipates and they no longer have something holding over their head to pay the $4,” council member Jan Bass said.

Mayor Harold Fowler told the council it is in a private, gated community, it still would not be a city street and the developer would be responsible for maintenance.

Planning and Zoning Director Steve Scholar also said in a worst-case scenario, the city could do a special assessment to upgrade the street and then charge each of the residents.

Council member John Fesperman was also apprehensive about the future of the street. With Harris Trail Road in line to one day be a major road, he said he wanted to make sure the private street was properly cared for.

“We will have invested $5.5 million in this property, so we’ll be motivated to keep it up,” Baynes said.

Read more in the Jan. 21 edition of the News.

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