100-home development nears reality

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Selma is on schedule to receive about 100 new homes from the No. 2 offensive tackle in the National Football League.

At Monday’s Selma City Council meeting, the council voted 9-0 in favor of rezoning a 20-acre parcel of land that lies roughly between two streets named Valley Creek Circle &045;&045; just north of Highland Avenue and south of 10th Avenue.

The rezoning occurred because of a development plan by CRS Development, a company owned by Washington Redskins member Chris Samuels. Samuels and engineer Armsted W. Joyner first announced the development plan in June 2003.

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Joyner said his goals for the land included creating integrated neighborhoods that are catalysts for investment and reinvestment, homes that have nice views and make use of green spaces as well as an area that provided training opportunities.

About 100 homes are slated to be built along with a community center and housing for the elderly. Infrastructure for the development is scheduled to be built first as will the elderly housing and a few homes.

CRS Development is expected to remain in Selma about five years adding homes to the area as houses already built are purchased and the economy improves, Joyner said.

One part of the plan that brought some citizen input on Monday was the joining of Valley Creek Circle. Currently the two roads end in cul-de-sacs with a portion of the undeveloped land between them. Joyner’s plan proposes connecting the two dead-end streets as a method of egress and ingress to the development.

A number of residents, though, disapproved of the road’s connection, though not to the project itself.

Another Valley Creek Circle resident expressed concerns over children’s safety.

Mae Bowes, Valley Creek Circle resident, said she thought the average Selmians’ income was $19,000 and wondered how someone with that level of revenue could afford a $90,000 home.

According to Joyner, homes will range from $90,000 to $100,000.

Joyner said there were no plans for subsidizing the homes, except for the elderly housing. He also noted that two people with incomes of $19,000 could afford a mortgage on a house.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. said many city residents want improvements, but that he had never been somewhere that wanted improvements and also wanted change.

Perkins added that a neighborhood meeting was needed. The meeting will be scheduled at a later date.

In other matters the council:

Councilwoman Rita Sims Franklin made the motion for the executive session and Councilwoman Nancy Sewell seconded it. The motion passed by a unanimous vote of the council.

All council members, the mayor, city attorney and accountants from Borland Benefield, the city’s financial auditors, were present for the executive session.