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Crooked Creek seeks vote to gate community

HOA meetings inform residents of proposed plan for city

Crooked Creek HOA Treasurer Steve Wakefield explains what the neighborhood has done to plan for the gating. CAITLYN WALTERS/Staff. (click for larger version)

An artist rendering of the Ga. 9 entrance, which will include a security guard. (click for larger version)
December 17, 2013
MILTON, Ga. – Saturday, Dec. 9 was the first of four Crooked Creek Homeowners Association meetings that informed residents of the neighborhood's plan to build gates at the Ga. 9 and Francis Road entrances, which will privatize the neighborhood's roads.

This has been an issue brought up by the HOA for several years, and John Morgan, the HOA vice president, said, "the neighborhood has done their homework to move this in the right direction."

This project is being considered as a way to eliminate the cut-through traffic and have more control over who comes through the neighborhood.

Morgan said the neighborhood has already made requests for proposals, selected the gating technology and security vendor, conducted road studies and completed design and architectural work.

The gating needs to be approved by the neighborhood by 67 percent, which is at least 429 homes.

There are two hurdles that the neighborhood has to clear in order for the city to approve the gating. First, they must prove that it is in the best keeping of the community and the city, and second, that it does not impact the surrounding community.

"The work that we have done is prove that Creek Club Drive is not a connector road from Francis to Ga. 9, and it was never intended to be," Morgan said. "The city has already acknowledged that."

Steve Wakefield, the HOA treasurer, said the road's use is substantially residential, which helps prove the gating's community impact.

"For us, it's best for the public interest because of safety," Wakefield said. "The reality is that it's probably more of a financial incentive for the city not to have to maintain seven miles of road."

Road maintenance is the main expense that would result from this project. There would be a quarterly fee taken up from each home to cover the cost such as maintenance, payments for the security company and maintenance of the gate.

The HOA meeting Dec. 9 allowed residents to ask questions before the voting begins.

The biggest issues involved repaving, security and policing and cost.

Milton Councilmember Joe Longoria, who is a member of the Crooked Creek HOA, helped to answer questions regarding repaving. Some residents expressed wishes to repave the neighborhood before gate construction.

"I can guarantee you this, the city wouldn't entertain repaving all the roads right before they abandon them," Longoria said. "That's not going to happen."

Morgan reassured residents the neighborhood intends to repave the roads every 15 years, instead of the city's schedule of every 25 years.

"Our intention is to take better care of our roads as a neighborhood than the city of Milton," Morgan said.

Morgan said the city has been asked to continue speed patrolling within the neighborhood to ensure safety, and keep a sense of transparency between the city and the neighborhood.

To move forward, the next steps will involve the neighborhood voting and then the city of Milton's process, which includes application submissions, initial council review, initial public hearing, secondary public hearing and resolution of mayor and council.

Annual operations cost

Road reserve – $112,000

Street lights – $19,728

Construction loan payment – $76,800

Security costs (software fees) – $7,716

Security costs (guard cell phone) – $1,200

Security costs (guard) – $127,896

Total annual costs – $345,340

Total cost per household – $135 per quarter, or $540 per year.

Savannah Lee contributed to this article.

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  1. report print email
    are you kidding?
    December 17, 2013 | 03:36 PM

    What a great way to show Milton's sense of community! Let's allow a few homeowners to shut off Creek Club Drive to people like YOU.

    Imagine the indignity of "CUT-THROUGH" traffic, on a road that has connected Francis Rd to HWY 9 for 16 years.

    Is it really in the "best interests of Milton" - the Crook Creek Homeowners' Association claim - to close a road Milton describes as a "Local street typically maximiz[ing] access, providing the fine-grained connections needed to access various
    work, home, and leisure destinations"

    And WHY might Milton's Council be asked to vote to close Creek Club Drive? Because Crooked Creek's own traffic study confirmed "TOO MANY PEOPLE USE IT" , so they want Milton to declare "That no substantial public purpose is served by it" (Milton's Code : 48-168 a. 2. b. 1)- Milton's vague new standard for road abandonment.

    So, we don't like that people drive on our street and walk on our sidewalks, so Milton should keep out THOSE PEOPLE for us.

    If some people in Crooked Creek wanted to live in a gated compound, why did they move into Crooked Creek?

    keep YOU out
    crooked creek
  2. report print email
    Neighborhood voting
    December 18, 2013 | 09:22 AM

    This seems to be a neighborhood issue and not a city issue - the laws are in place and the people that live in crooked creek will have to make the decision. Also the council will have to decide if it is in the best interest of the city. Many people moved into crooked creek with the hopes that it would become a gated community. Other than being an inconvenience for people that use creek club drive as a shortcut there really is no down side for the city - or the neighborhood.

  3. report print email
    City Issue
    December 18, 2013 | 05:49 PM

    Streets in Milton, even streets in a normal subdivision, are owned by the taxpayers, not whoever lives on the street. In order for the neighborhood to add a gate, the city must first essentially donate this public land to the private neighborhood.

    Of course when a government gives public land to a private entity, there must be an abundance of caution, hence the studies and reports, etc.

    So the city will need to make the decision. The City of Milton will be voting to basically donate the publicly-owned streets to the private homeowners. At that point, the streets would become private property, owned by the HOA, subject to property tax, etc., really no different than anyone's driveway at that point.

    With the HOA owning the roads instead of the taxpayers, new possibilities appear -- for example the HOA can vote on their own speed limit, increase or decrease. Also the HOA might choose to adopt their own private system for detecting speed limit and stop sign violations and issue their own fines for these violations, a potential new revenue stream.

  4. report print email
    No to GATES
    December 19, 2013 | 06:40 AM

    We've lived in Crooked Creek since 1998. Creek Club Drive ran from Francis Rd to Hwy 9 for the entire time, so I'm a little amused to hear that it is not a connector street. Beginning in 1999 some homeowners have unsuccessfully been trying to get gates on one or both ends of Creek Club, first appealing to Fulton County, later to the City of Milton. Up to this recent appeal the invented reason for gates was to eliminate cut through traffic.

    Now, we're told gates are needed for better homeowner value and to improve safety. At no point are any of these claims supported. I'm wondering how to connect these spurious claims of better value and a safer Milton to all of Milton's citizens.

    Finally, letter writer "citizen, Milton" stated:
    " ... Many people moved into crooked creek with the hopes that it would become a gated community" SO..... I hoped I had tuesday's winning Mega Million ticket. Hope didn't help

    I agree with the first letter:

    If some people in Crooked Creek wanted to live in a gated compound, why did they move into Crooked Creek?

  5. report print email
    Gating ofCrooked Creek
    December 19, 2013 | 08:22 AM

    I live in Crooked Creek & I hope they do gate the neighborhood. One reason we moved to CC is there are a lot of kids. Gating is the right thing to do if you lived in this neighborhood you would notice too many car's cut through, speed through the neighborhood. So I say yes to Gating.

    Judy Buffa
  6. report print email
    No to GATES, rd 2
    December 19, 2013 | 11:21 AM

    .... saying "... too many car's [sic] cut through ..." simply confirms the current, non-gated Creek Club Dr serves a substantial public purpose (Milton's terms)

  7. report print email
    Think it through
    December 25, 2013 | 10:30 PM

    If the citizens donate the public streets to the neighborhood do they can put up a gate, then the HOA sets the rules for the street including speed limits, and as mentioned above, the possibility of the HOA issuing the speeding tickets and stop sign violations and collecting the fees for themselves. Good for revenue, possibly a challenge for neighbor relations.

    Also, with the road 100% private, the HOA could do like some and ban kids playing in the street. It's their land and they are paying the taxes now, they can do as they wish. Probably many of the neighbors without kids would think disallowing kids playing would be a good idea:

    If you live in a neighborhood and agree with the current HOA board and feel certain you will agree with future boards, asking the city to donate the public roads to you could be a good move- just be sure to think through all the possible unintended consequences including how things would go with another set of people running the HOA in the future

  8. report print email
    Yes to Gating
    May 18, 2014 | 09:24 AM

    1. Gating is safe
    2. Too many people cut through
    3. It's approved
    Gating Crooked Creek isn't about the other citizens that cut through the neighborhood for convenience, but for the residents' privacy, safety, and increase in home value.

    Crooked Creek Resident
    Milton, GA
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