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Planners don't recommend mobile home plan
anglers edge subdivision sign
Angler's Edge subdivision is on Camp Viking Road in east Liberty County. - photo by Photo provided.

Anglers Edge on Colonel’s Island will remain a subdivision for site-built homes — for now.

The Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission heard a petition, filed by Ernest Collins, an agent for ELI Collins LLC, to rezone more than 40 acres in the Anglers Edge subdivision. Collins requested that the acres to be rezoned from R-1, single-family residential, to R-2, two-family residential, for the placement of double-wide manufactured homes.

LCPC Planner Jeremy McAbee presented the request.

“Anglers Edge has a total of 60 lots, and two of those lots already contain site-built homes, so the rezoning petition would only apply to the remaining 58 lots,” he said.

The narrative submitted by Collins says the multi-section homes would have: masonry underpinning, vinyl exteriors, central heating and air conditioning, decks and high-efficiency insulation.

There is a covenant, currently in effect, between the original developer and property owner’s association that does not allow manufactured homes to be placed in the subdivision. McAbee said the LCPC staff recommended that the request be denied.

Most people in the packed meeting were against the plan.

“We’re not trying to trash the neighborhood. If allowed to, I will build and sell the homes from $125-$185,000. This area already has some trailers that you pull behind a car. I wish you could see beyond the fact that they’re manufactured homes, and they’re as nice as what you live in,” Collins said. “It will help the lower-income people. You would have to make a mighty ugly home to be unattractive. Plus, it’s all enclosed where you’ll hardly see it from the road.”

Collins also mentioned that there already was a row of manufactured homes near the property. He was the only one who spoke in favor of the rezoning.

Joel Rushing, the developer of Anglers End, spoke against the petition.

“We (he and his wife) developed Anglers Edge subdivision. When we developed Anglers Edge subdivision, we intended on putting nice, site-built, brick homes,” Rushing said. “It’s costly to put that subdivision in. We put that subdivision on a 100-year flood line. It’s a very valuable subdivision. It’s the highest elevation on Colonel’s Island. It’s over 23 feet in some places, probably 24 feet above sea level.”

Rushing described the site-built homes as being beautiful with granite countertops, all-custom cabinets, faucets, lighting and appliances.

“Restrictive covenants are in place, and I am the committee of those covenants. I am the committee until I appoint someone else as the committee,” he said. “With this rezoning, it will devalue our homes, the neighbor’s property and Colonel’s Island as well. Colonel’s Island is a valuable place for people to go. I don’t know if we want to contaminate Colonel’s Island like that.”

Rushing said that approving the request will open doors for others to build whatever kinds of homes they want.
Liberty County Clerk of Courts Barry Wilkes has a vested interest in the rezoning petition. His property is next to the subdivision, where he raises horses.

“My property is zoned AR-1 (agricultural-residential), which is what this property was zoned for before Mr. Rushing had it rezoned in 2006 for Anglers Edge subdivision,” Wilkes said. “At that time, I did not object to him rezoning because he assured me that this property would be developed for single-family residential site-built homes. He also assured me that there would be a restrictive covenant in place to ensure that happens.”

Wilkes said Rushing was unable to sell the lots and had to make other arrangements with his lender.

“Those restrictive covenants are still in place. And those restrictive covenants were applicable to the homes that were already built. That would adversely affect the value of those homes immediately if you rezoned this property to become a mobile-home community,” Wilkes said.

He also mentioned the difference between what Collins and Rushing paid for the properties.

“He (Collins) paid 12 cents on the dollar for that subdivision. Mr. Rushing invested $2.7 million. It would be a travesty to allow that substantial investment now to be reduced to a $300,000 investment,” Wilkes said.

Commissioners also were given a petition of more than 200 signatures from those who opposed the rezoning.

Colonel’s Island resident Grant Montana said, “I did a canvassing of the community. Ninety-five percent were opposed to this, even the people who live in double-wides. They hope to one day take those properties and build a home. That’s the mood of that area of the island. They want to move forward.”

Montana said it sends the wrong message to future home buyers that any developer can arbitrarily change the property designation, meaning they could find themselves in the middle of a trailer park.

The planning commission disapproved the request, which drew applause. The petition has another chance to pass, however, when it goes to the Liberty County Commission.

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