CLINTON — A leading home builder and 30 homeowners living in Cranefield Estates, a high-end residential development, are debating the fine points of what a clubhouse is and the amenities it should contain.
The homeowners want a meeting place where they can gather for special occasions, while Ivory Homes Development officials are envisioning a pool and spa area with a picnic pavilion.
The two sides are meeting to find a middle ground.
“There are some definitions of misunderstanding,” City Manager Dennis Cluff said of the differences he expects to be worked out by the two groups, which have pulled the Clinton City Council into the debate to serve as a mediator.
Cranefield Estates, adjacent to an 18-hole golf course — which is not owned by Ivory, but independently — is a 10-year development that was originally to include 565 homes and two clubhouses, Cluff said. The project is located in the northwest corner of the city.
The first clubhouse was to be built after 100 homes had been sold in the development, Ivory Homes Area Manager Eric Freebarin said.
But due to the economy, there are presently only 30 homes in Cranefield Estates.
Freebarin said that rather than keep those homeowners waiting for the clubhouse to be part of the development, Ivory has decided to start building the project and has submitted plans to the city.
“They (the residents) thought we were trying to shortchange them,” Freebarin said of homeowner’s concerns after receiving late notice of the development firm’s proposed plan. “We are actually expending a lot of money up front,” Freebarin said of developers building the clubhouse before the development meets the 100-home contracted threshold.
Cluff said the developer is hoping the clubhouse will serve as incentive for more people to buy lots.
The issue will come back before the Clinton City Council at 7 p.m., April 24, at the Clinton City Hall,
Freebarin said between now and April 24, Ivory officials will be meeting with the homeowners to discuss what amenities the clubhouse should include.