CRS moves ahead

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 7, 2004

After a small road bump, Selma’s newest development is back on track.

Selma’s board of adjustments approved a variance for the 20-acre development, located between Highland Avenue and 10th Avenue, at its Tuesday meeting. According to City Attorney Jimmy Nunn, CRS Development, the company building the development, needed the variance in order to build three-story townhouses.

“Code only allows for two stories,” Nunn said. “They need a variance.”

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The development, which will include 20 townhouses, 43 detached single-family sites, an elderly assisted care facility and a community building, is the brainchild of Washington Redskins player Chris Samuels. Samuels announced in June 2003 that his company, CRS Development, would build the subdivision over the next five years.

CRS Development has already received several ordinances for the development, according to Martha Jackson, who takes minutes for the board. It just needed one more.

“This is really an oversight, and it’s really an embarrassment,” Mayor James Perkins Jr. said. “The code was probably written when the fire department couldn’t reach that high. It shows how old our code is.”

A vote to approve the ordinance passed 4-0 after a motion from board member Evelyn Speed. Board member Velma Brewer wasn’t present.

Armstead W. Joyner, the engineer with CRS Development, thanked the board after its vote, and invited it to the development’s groundbreaking on Wednesday at 11 a.m. A reception will follow at the Performing Arts Centre.

A Powerpoint presentation detailing available mortgage programs will be shown at the reception, Joyner said. He added that all participants in an essay contest about marketing and selling homes would receive prizes.

Models of each home are expected to go up in October. Joyner noted that prospective buyers would be able to view the models and choose which one suited them.

Wayne Vardaman, president and CEO of the Selma-Dallas County Centre for Commerce, said the project would bring funds to the area. “It will create jobs,” he added. “It’s a positive thing that they’ve decided to invest in Selma and Dallas County.”

Gail Lovelady, broker and owner of Town & Country Real Estate, said the project would bring in $10 million over the next five years.

“I think it looks beautiful,” Selma City Councilwoman Rita Sims Franklin said. “I appreciate that they’re trying to keep the natural beauty. It’ll just make the aesthetics that much better.”

Development plans include the use of green spaces and walking trails. Homes will utilize heating and cooling technology not yet seen in the South, Joyner said.

A number of cedar trees will be removed, but they may become cedar closets. The homes are expected to range in price from $90,000 to $120,000.