Lafayette County residents concerned about Oakmont development

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2016

For generations, Mark Baker’s family has owned and lived on a farm in rural Lafayette County.

In the last 100 years, his family has only had to fight the weather, but now recent housing developments have caused him and his brother to take on another battle.

Baker is one of many residents who are concerned with Oakmont, another subdivision development proposed near the Oxmore and North Point subdivisions just off Highway 7.

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Jeff Williams of Williams Engineering presented his plan Monday to the Lafayette County Planning Commission, which includes 108 lots that meet the 10,000 square foot minimum mandated by the county.

Williams was seeking preliminary subdivision plat approval from the commission. He will also have to go before the Oxford planning commission because the development will be connected to city water and sewer, as well as the county board of supervisors.

Baker wanted to be sure that his concerns were heard.

“I have a major problem,” Baker said. “I have no problem with progress. Do what you want with your property as long as it doesn’t affect me.”

The problem is that when North Point and Oxmore were developed, debris caused washed out culverts which caused flooding in Baker’s hayfields due to what he described as inadequate retention ponds.

He’s afraid another development is going to cause even greater issues.

“I’ve been dealing with this for years now,” Baker said. “I had some issues with North Point that cost me several thousand dollars to recover from.”

Baker is not alone when it comes to concerns.

The presidents of the Oxmore and North Point homeowners associations also approached the board with their concerns, in particular, traffic congestion, speeding, and contractors using their roads to access the new development.

But the HOAs took the step of reaching an agreement with the developer, J.W. McCurdy, in regard to their issues.

Specifically that the developer not use any existing roads in North Point or Oxmore until 80 percent of the lots have been built out.

Also that connecting roads only be used by realtors to show property.

The developer has also agreed to “pay his fair share” for maintenance on North Point and Oxmore roads since many of the residents in Oakmont will be using those roads.

“We’re concerned,” said Tony Sprewell of the North Point HOA. “Everybody out there is concerned. We’ve beat already almost every alternative. And we think that now we are at a point that knowing we are going to have issues later, particularly traffic and speeding, that we agree this probably the best thing for all of us.”

Sherry Wall, president of the Oxmore HOA, said they have also signed an agreement with McCurdy.

Contractors, sub-contractors and concrete trucks will use a construction access road off Highway 7 to reach the Oakmont development, according to McCurdy.