UPDATE – May 2, 2012 – Dotti Higley, Marketing Manager for CCCHI, said to St. George News this morning that CCCHI did meet with USDA Rural Development’s state director, Dave Conine, on May 1. She said discussion meetings are being scheduled between between the agencies, the homebuyers for those currently under construction, the architect and eventually with the existing homewoners in the subdivision.
IVINS – Quail Cove homeowners displeased with the building of low-income housing and deviation from the original architectural restrictions for their subdivision, persisted Monday in their vigil since the protest first reported by St. George News on Sunday.
Picket signs in hand, a group of concerned residents gathered just outside the neighborhood walls Monday afternoon in an attempt to inform the public about their situation and make their voice heard.
In a statement released collectively, the homeowners said that their goal is to maintain the value and integrity of the property in their community. They also insisted for a second time that their issue is not with the families of the low-income housing that is currently under construction.
“If we’re going to live together, let’s be neighborly,” said Ward Gubler, who has lived in Quail Cove for four years. “We’re not discriminating against anyone.”
But David Kelton, a member of Color Country Community Housing’s Mutual Self Help Program and who later became part of a heated debate at the rally, said that his family has only received a negative attitude. Both he and his teenage daughters Ashley and Aubrey work full-time to afford their housing assistance, a fact he said he believed caused the residents of Quail Cove to look down upon them.
“We’ve been told that we’re ‘white trash’ because we are on a government loan,” Kelton said. “People from Ivins and Kayenta have said ‘we don’t want you here.’ That’s like a stab in the heart. That’s so disgusting it should be illegal.”
In the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for Quail Cove Subdivision, recorded May 30, 2007, by original developer, Carriage Properties, L.L.C., strict requirements for the design of proposed homes are set forth. Among them is a maximum building height of 25 feet and a maximum roof pitch of 4/12, in order to “protect the character of the Subdivision.”
According to public records, Quail Cove was originally planned to be a 49-home community. However, only eight were built before the remaining lots went into foreclosure and the lots remained empty for two years.
When the original developer fell into foreclosure, the development property was transferred to Q.C. Development, L.L.C. as developer, transacting with the CCCHI program management, and the USDA Rural Development agency participating as lender for the qualifying buyers. The Declaration was ultimately amended by the new developer vis-à-vis document recorded March 12, 2012, in anticipation of the construction of CCCHI homes.
The new design requirements allow for a steeper maximum roof pitch of 7/12 and lifted the previous ban on two-story structures; specifically, the Amendment’s provisions allow for what is classified as a 1 and ½ story home and also decreased the minimum home size from 1,800 square feet to 1,500.
According to the Amendment, Q.C. Development, L.L.C. owned 84 percent of the lots in the subdivision at the time of the Amendment, sufficient to allow for the developer’s unilateral amendment to the Declaration.
Ty Tippets, of CCCHI, said they have planned to convene with interested residents of Quail Cove sometime in the coming week in hopes of finding a practical solution that will appease both sides of the disagreement.
Dotti Higley, Marketing Manager for CCCHI later advised St. George News by email that “The State Director of USDA Rural Development is coming to St. George tomorrow for meetings on this issue. We feel it would be best to defer our comments until he has the opportunity to meet with those involved,” and asked St. George News to hold our story until after that meeting.
Janice Kocher, the USDA housing program director for the state of Utah, said that “The lots were bought in good faith and everything was done through the proper channels. These homes do not detract from anything and are a great asset to the community.”
Copyright 2012 St. George News.