Residents show opposition during public hearing

Residents show opposition during public hearing By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw

Residents of Gaston and Mabus Streets in Ackerman showed opposition to a proposed residential housing development in a public hearing on March 14.
The Town of Ackerman held a public hearing on the request for an exception to zoning on behalf of Spurgeon Moss, Susan Kruse and Reese Kruse.
The three filed an application with the Town of Ackerman requesting an exception to the C2 zoning on property along Highway 12.
Mayor Dick Cain said the area of the exception application is approximately 100 feet running east and west of Highway 12. The other property borders Gaston and Mabus Streets which is already zoned to allow multi-family dwellings.
Moss, neither Susan Kruse nor Reese Kruse were present for the public hearing.
Frank Farley with Hughes Companies was present on behalf of Moss and explained what the proposed plan includes. He said Hughes Construction has an agreement with Moss and the Kruse’s to purchase their property then build a housing development on the three parcels of land.
Farley said they propose to build a 24 unit housing development for seniors aged 62 years old or older.
“Everyone working in the household has to be 62,” said Farley. He added that the tenants must have an income level of $20,000-$24,000 and will be screened.
Farley said the plan is to build 24 units, a clubhouse and the development will be gated. He said Hughes Construction estimates the development to cost approximately $5 million right now.
Farley also said that the developer, Hughes Construction, will receive tax credits for building this development.
The Ackerman Board of Aldermen asked several questions concerning the development and how it would affect the Town of Ackerman.
Residents of Mabus and Gaston Streets present at the hearing asked several questions of how it will benefit their property and how will be development be managed.
They are concerned about the development damaging their property values and it having unruly tenants. They are also worried about the development changing management companies and how that could affect the restrictions of tenants living in the development.
Residents also cited problems with traffic control and road maintenance right now and said the development would increase those problems.
After Farley left the public hearing, Mayor Dick Cain asked if everyone present was against the development. The crowd of approximately 25 said yes they are against it.
The Board of Aldermen took no action during the public hearing.
The board will vote on whether or not to allow the zoning exception in their regularly scheduled meeting on April 3 at 6 p.m. in the board room at Town Hall.