From The Tribune staff reports
SPRINGVILLE — The city of Springville has given the green light to several families that have been waiting to move into their Archer’s Cove homes.
Seven families have been asking for certificates of occupancy that were originally denied over a sewer issue. Springville Mayor Dave Thomas said he would not release certificates until the sewer system was completed. He said it was only one-third of the way finished. Developers argued the system was finished enough to handle the first 100 homes in Archer’s Cove. The developer said by the time more homes are built in the subdivision, the sewer system would be 100% complete.
A group of concerned home buyers met with Mayor Thomas and the City Council on Monday night, Feb. 1, to voice their concerns.
“We don’t understand. We’ve been trying to close on our house since mid-November,” said Barbra Ash, one of the buyers waiting on the paperwork to move into the neighborhood. “I just ask you to think about the families that are being impacted here. We have changed our move four times.”
She and her husband, Ben, sold their home in another city to an investor with plans to retire in Springville. They are currently renting their home back from their purchaser until they are able to move.
“We have a family here that is going to be homeless at the end of April,” Ash added. “Just release the certificates and let us move into our homes.”
“There’s no inventory,” said Lea Corley of EXP Realty.
Corley spoke representing her client, a Springville resident who purchased a new home in Archer’s Cove.
“I can’t find answers as to why this is stopped,” Corley continued. “I need to tell her what to do. She’s going to be homeless. She’s got two kids in school. Can we get an answer?”
Corley said she has been unable to get clarification from Odenville on the issue. Several of the families in attendance stated they were told the sewer connection was completed and approved.
“The city finds itself in a difficult situation. The sewer has not been completed,” said Mayor Thomas, during the meeting. “We’re trying to find a solution. There is a pathway forward that all parties could be satisfied but we are not currently on it.”
Thomas said the connection from the Springville system to the Odenville sewer is not complete.
“The conversation was ‘I will grant these COs (Certificates of Occupancy) on an interim basis, but we are renegotiating the development,” said attorney Lynne O’Neal. “we didn’t ignore you, we didn’t want to renegotiate the PUD (Planned Unit Development) the council had passed.”
O’Neal represents the developer, D. R. Horton.
The council held a special executive session, on Wednesday, Feb. 3, after hearing from potential residents. Thomas said the council advised him to come up with a solution for the home buyers.
“It’s the most stressful event in anybody’s life when you are moving and we don’t want them to feel like they’re pawns in all of this,” Thomas said.
So, Thomas said he came to an agreement with the developer to allow families to move into the first phase of the subdivision. The sewer will be handled by Springville until the system can be completed.