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Residential Real Estate

Dec. 2 – The Landings on Skidaway Island property owners asked to support $400 assessment to fund cleanup

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

December 2, 2016 - Nearly 120 residents turned out for the Community Recovery Special Assessment Town Hall Meeting held this week at the Plantation Club at The Landings on Skidaway Island, the largest gated community in Chatham County with more than 3,800 completed homes.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Special Recovery Assessment Vote recently mailed to all residents asking them to support a one-time Assessment of $400 per lot. Although residents can elect to pay this fee in full, it is payable over a two-year period.

Landings Association Board President Rex Templeton, Jr. began the meeting by thanking the Association for all that has been done to date to facilitate cleanup in the community due to two storms this fall, including Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 7, and a tornado that touched down caused by tropical storm Hermine on Sept. 2.

Before the community could completely recover from the downed trees and debris caused by Hermine, Hurricane Matthew hit, now identified as the worst storm that Chatham County has experienced in more than 100 years.

Templeton said that Matthew caused the downing of thousands of downed trees, 25 gas leaks, and widespread power outages for days.

“Since Matthew, Landings Association Public Works along with companies contracted by the Association have removed 140,000 cubic yards of debris, and nearly the same amount remains to be removed. By December 24, The Landings Association will have spent $1.8 million dollars in debris removal,” according to a statement issued by the Association.

“This Assessment is needed to continue the momentum of restoring The Landings’ common property so that it in turn enhances the value of all property in The Landings,” Templeton said. “Additionally, these monies will restore The Landings Association’s Reserves Fund, which plays a critical role in assuring the integrity of our infrastructure and capital assets.”

“It is important to note that even if the Assessment passes, if another storm like Matthew were to hit The Landings, our Operations and Reserves would take another significant hit. Traditionally, the Association has never budgeted for significant storm debris cleanup, as yard waste and storm debris is the County’s responsibility,” the Association adds.

As a private, gated-community, the Association is responsible for a significant portion of its infrastructure, including roads, pathways and marina maintenance, and maintains a multi-million dollar capital reserves fund.

“Templeton addressed the fact that rumors continue to circulate within The Landings that if the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reverses its denial of funds to Chatham County that The Landings would receive some funds and there will be no need for this Assessment. This is not true. Even if the decision is reversed, The Landings will receive no funds from Chatham County,” the Association said, in a statement emailed and mailed to all property owners.

He also cleared up the fact that if passed, the Assessment will not be used for repairs or debris removal at The Landings Club as it is a separate legal and business entity from the Association with its own governing documents, Board of Directors, staff, and budget.

Templeton urged the group to join him and the Association Board Directors in voting “yes” for the Community Recovery Special Assessment.

“One of the reasons we chose to live here is because of the beauty of our community,” he said. “Join us in voting ‘yes’ for this proposal so that we can get our community back where it needs to be.”

Ballots are due for the Special Recovery Assessment Vote by 4 p.m. on Dec. 23. In order for the vote to pass, 60% of owners must vote, with at least 66% of those voting “yes”.

The Association has insurance on its physical assets, but the insurance doesn’t cover storm debris, he reports.

Included in needed repairs are Sunset Park, Sunrise Park, Moonrise Park, and a small park where residents congregate in the Village Green area, some of which lost trees and need to be re-established.

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