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Sep 21, 2007

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mick riggs

Im all for the park. But if these concerned citizens and The State screw the landowners they will lose me on this one.

The value of a property is what a ready and able buyer is willing to pay. This has been established.

Pay up or shut up.

Roch101

"Is Alston still a business partner of Bluegreen attorney Henry Isaacson?"

We should know, huh?

Ed Cone

The price is contingent on the rezoning.

The ready and able buyer (Bluegreen) wouldn't be ready if the land is not zoned for development.

The zoning decision should be made on the merits of the case.

John D. Young

The info below from Justin Catanoso's piece today helps bring clarity to this issue. The State is aware they must treat the property owners fairly. Rumor has it that Bluegreen's current option with the key property owner is at $17,000 per acre. So Sue McBean's comments below are very important: "We can pay between $16,000 and $20,000 per acre for that land." The property owners are financially in good shape with Bluegreen but in equally good shape with the State.

"So, is the state willing to pay the three property owners of the 690 acres roughly the same amount of money Bluegreen has agreed to pay? If not, Isaacson will certainly seek to score points with the commissioners on that front."

"Sue McBean, the superintendent of the Haw River State Park, knows that's a sensitive issue."

"We can pay between $16,000 and $20,000 per acre for that land, which is what we believe the developer is paying," McBean says. "We are definitely not looking to hurt any of the property owners. If we had been able to make those appraisals two years ago, this all could have been resolved."

jc

John, how much acreage along the Haw River is the State willing to pay $16,000-$20,000 per acre? That is an icredibly high sum for property along that river. You shouldn't have much trouble acquiring land at that price.

John D. Young

The tract in question is the huge 690 acre tract adjoining the current HRSP. That price has greatly been determined by the current Bluegreen contract with the three property owners. It is a rare gem and the State is now willing to basically pay the same price as Bluegreen has offered. They do have procedures that they have to follow but this tract is greatly wanted now by both Bluegeen and the State. Any appraiser will have to consider the unique character of this land and the fact that it is being sought by two key players. Expansion of the HRSP and preservation of this property along the Haw River will be greatly appreciated 20 years down the road. This huge tract could be developed by many other large developers down the road. So the State must be somewhat aggressive.

"Meanwhile, Gibson, the board chair, says, "In a perfect world, I would rather see a state park out there."
"He says he recalls his board service nearly 20 years ago when the county purchased the formerly private Bur-Mill Park in the northwest part of Guilford County. "We caught a lot of grief for that, but it's one of the best things we ever did," Gibson says."


John D. Young

JC, also the long term plan is to purchase land from Hwy 220 to Hwy 29 for connecting corridors to protect the Haw River and provide hiking trails. But a lot of this land will be purchased wetlands with a connecting corridor of uplands that do not have the potential to attract a huge development group like Bluegreen and therefore, much less expensive. But some other large tracts, that developers may have their eyes on, will also need to be added to make this a dynamic state park.

jc

John, are you looking at land on both sides of the river or just the south side? Is there a proposed map of what land along the river will become State Park?

John D. Young

JC, my first exposure several years ago to the Haw River State Park was from a friend (a true lover of the Haw River) who told me about the long range plans for the park. My wife and I had land on the north side of the Haw River and we sold around 22 acres of mostly wetlands and 3 upland buffer acres to the HRSP. Our land was in the back of Greensboro National that surrounded our property around 1996.

So our purchase was part of the HRSP very long term growth plan. Some preliminary maps probably do exist but a lot of the leg work is being done by the Piedmont Land Conservancy and some by the Guilford County Open Space Committee. They have more details. (You can also check with the HRSP office out at the Summit for more information.)

But land on both sides of the Haw River will be needed for their long term goals. If the 690 acres, mostly core uplands, immediately adjoining tract is developed by Bluegreen I think the entire long term project will be reassessed and possibly dramatically scaled back.

Why pursue a state park in a community that does not support the project and long term goals? (The new Mayo River State Park is being strongly supported by everyone in that community.) The decision by the Guilford County Commissioners will probably help determine if the park really expands or just dries on the vine.

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