Curtis homeowners halt subdivision

Published 2:05 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The  Board of Supervisors, by a vote of 4-1, this week upheld a decision by the Land Development Commission to deny a minor subdivision request by the owners of 77 acres in west Panola County.

Supervisor James Birge was the only dissent of the appeal filed by ABR Development for a parcel of land that lies on the southeast corner of Nash and Seven Roads in the Curtis community.

Homeowners in the area had objected to the plans presented to the Land Development board last month, saying they were concerned about new homes in the area placing a strain on infrastructure and potentially increasing the crime rate.

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The developer was not asking for permission for roads or infrastructure and never said he intended to build any housing – only to sell lots. He only was required to seek the county’s approval because his plan to subdivide frontage property on Nash and Seven Roads into 22 lots – each 1.5 acres – because county ordinance only allows a parcel to be divided into four lots per calendar year.

The developer had surveyed lots – 8 on Seven Road and 14 on Nash Road – and can legally divide and sell four per calendar year without any county oversight or permission. County ordinances only require that houses, conventional and manufactured, be placed on a minimum of 1.5 acres and have its own wastewater treatment system if not connected to community sewage systems.

By asking to divide the parcel into 22 lots at one time, ABR Development became vulnerable to the county subdivision ordinances. After the original application was denied, representatives of the investment group met with supervisors and Curtis area homeowners, hoping to reach an agreement to enact some sort of building standards for future housing.

Those talks broke down, though, and the Curtis group asked the supervisors Monday to stop the process. The board voted to not allow the formation of a minor subdivision for the parcel.

Should the frontage lots on the two roads be sold the developer could then petition the board to create a subdivision for the remaining property behind the sold lots. In that case, a developer would have to pay for the construction of a road built to county standards with approved egresses.

ABR Development was not represented Monday at the meeting, but have reportedly decided to sell four lots per year, unless demand increases enough to necessitate another attempt to do a major subdivision of the property.