The Morristown Regional Planning Commission – largely at the behest of Mayor Gary Chesney – has drawn a line in the sand with respect to extending performance bonds at the slow-to-develop, lakefront Windswept subdivision on Spout Springs Road.
Developers post performance bonds as a means of ensuring they will perform all the work in accordance with the terms of a contract. In Windswept’s case, Lake Developers II posted a $974,000 performance bond to guarantee street construction, sidewalk and utility installation and building a marina driveway in a 24-lot area of the subdivision.
The bond has been extended since the plat was recorded in 2008, according to Lori Matthews, senior city planner. Chesney says city government will extend the bond only through this time next year. After that, calling in the bond will be an option, according to the mayor.
“I think 12 years is enough time to do it,” Chesney said.
The mayor says city government “squeezes” other developers to live by the terms of their contracts, and Lake Developers II should be no exception.
Frank McGuffin, planning commission chair and a former city council member, says city officials “saw stars” when they heard developers talking about dozens of million-dollar homes blinking onto the tax rolls.
Councilmembers agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to extend sewer service to the subdivision.
The first problem was that several lots sold, but very few houses were constructed. The sewage was so scant that it didn’t even flow through the sewer line, and Windswept residents were forced to pump and ship their waste by tanker.