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Planning commission hears the latest on Oxford Springs

Plans for the latest massive development just outside Abbeville, that have been tossed around for a few years, may become a reality.

Architect Corey Alger, representing developers Lamar Adams and Patrick Sands, made an initial presentation to the Lafayette County Planning Commission Monday evening to put to rest rumors and explain the latest on Oxford Springs Subdivision and the 2,300 acres the developers have purchased.

Alger told the commission that over the last 18 months since the developers first began looking at the property they have been doing analysis of the land to determine how it can be used and to what extent to “build lakes, roads and real estate.”

“We’re in site analysis phase,” Alger said. “One of the reasons we haven’t been before you is that we’re not ready to come here yet and tell you here is what we think we can do because we don’t know what we have.”

Alger said he has met with Abbeville town leaders and gave them the same information he presented to the commission —a pair of maps outlining the development.

“What we’re not interested in doing is pie in the sky planning ideas,” Alger said. “They’re not that kind of people and we’re not trying to do that kind of development. It will be slow, it will be deliberate and it will be exact. We just don’t know where we are yet. But I wanted to make sure you had a clear idea where we are.”

Annexation?

When asked by commission chairman T.J. Ray if this development would be similar to a previous planned community development on the same acreage that was “so massive that it would actually be incorporated,” Alger made it clear there were no plans right now other than to do analysis.

Ray also inquired about “territorial interests” from Abbeville regarding the property, specifically if annexation was a possibility.

“I don’t know if that has any legs on it at all,” Alger said.

Alger was also asked if the plan from the original developers would be used in any way.

“In a nice way, its trash,” Alger said. “The previous plan, we feel wasn’t really based in reality. We don’t have any of the analytics to support it. They don’t exist. We’re not doing that. What we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it is dependent on what the land allows them and what the government allows them.

“Rest whatever rumor is out there. There is zero, zero planning in place or even in development for this piece of property until the analysis yields what the potential is.”

He said it may be February or March before any analysis results are available.

Protecting neighbors

Alger said the 10 3-acre lots that were recently approved by the commission and the board of supervisors will be used to determine the market value of the property. He also made it clear that there are covenants in place “that have minimum standards as part of the overall development” to try and protect the surrounding neighbors.

“No trailers, no animals. We did the best we could to keep what’s south of us consistent so that we didn’t change the character of that road,” Alger said.

Alger could not say until the analysis is complete how many plots would be developed.

“But what I can say is that what I have proposed is roughly 300 acres of lake,” Alger said. “I don’t know if that is going to be possible. There has been zero conversation about the number of houses.”

“In the end, it may be grandiose, but we’re just not sure yet,” Alger said.