The Tellico Village Property Owners Association Board of Directors is discussing the potential purchase of 8.74 acres beside the entrance to Kahite.
The property is on the market for $200,000.
Carla Johnson, POA board member, led a presentation during the board’s Nov. 17 meeting. She said it would be in the POA’s best interest to buy the plot to have control over what gets built there.
“It is contractually designated as commercial, and so the reason I feel like it’s important for the POA to own this property is, currently, the only control we have over it is through our architectural control committee and what we call the red book, which are the guidelines for commercial property in the Village,” Johnson said. “My concern, just me personally, is that if a developer purchases that piece of land, they will be able to clear cut it and build whatever they want to for whatever use, within permitting requirements of the Village and the ACC.
“That land is also the perimeter land for our property here in Monroe County, and there’s a farm that is adjacent to it which we have no idea what the future disposition of the property might be,” she added. “Should the owner of that property sell that land and something be developed on that, maybe fairly undesirable to look at, we wouldn’t have any buffer if somebody clear cut that property.”
Johnson mentioned two parties had already expressed interest in the plot. One wished to build 20 condo-style garage storage units, while the other hoped to clear-cut the land and build 50 townhouses.
A few board members expressed concern over setting a precedent for other similar plots and asked that the POA develop a larger vision and plan for such decisions.
The matter was tabled until the December meeting, which surprised Johnson.
“Last month, the board voted 5-2 to direct the CEO to pursue purchase of that property, and the president basically asked me just to make a presentation in the open board meeting so that people knew what was going on,” Johnson said. “So I was very surprised when I finished my presentation and then the board president suggested that it was going to go to a vote, because the board has already voted on it and already approved it. So I actually have a meeting scheduled with the CEO in the coming weeks to talk about an overall strategy for those kinds of properties that may come available in the future, and how that overall strategy may impact the decision that we make regarding this parcel of land.
“So yeah, I guess quite frankly I was a little blindsided by the direction that that conversation went, because there were board members who had supported it and voted in favor of pursuing that land purchase who then had apparently changed their position prior to yesterday’s meeting,” she added.
Beth Kuberka, POA marketing communications director, explained the switch.
“That was an executive session and at that last meeting the board did vote to go ahead and authorize our CEO to acquire that property and put in an offer possibly, but he wasn’t at that meeting,” Kuberka said. “He didn’t really get a chance to say his part because he wasn’t at that meeting, and so that’s why it’s being brought up again. He had a little different insight than what the board had when they originally voted, so that’s why they brought it back up to kind of re-discuss it.”
Board members will now meet to consider a broader vision for future land acquisitions.
“What’s going to happen in the meantime is I’m going to meet with the CEO, and some of the board members are going to meet as well, and we’re going to discuss that type of acquisition, whether it be that parcel of land or other desirable parcels in key locations in the Village that may come up for sale,” Johnson said. “This is the only one of those types of property that is currently on the market, which is why I recommended moving on that piece of land. So in the meantime, between now and the December meeting, we will have those meetings and discussions to determine what we want our overall strategy to be, and then we’ll reopen discussion on this particular parcel of land and see, you know, determining how that fits in the strategy.”
Kuberka acknowledged the delay could be a risk, as other buyers could swoop in before the POA makes a decision, but she said additional discussion was for the best.
“We have to have good reasoning and decision-making behind it, so I think waiting until the next meeting is a good idea,” Kuberka said. “Seeing all sides and having a really good plan moving forward is in the best interest of the POA.”