Springfield development project catches neighborhood by surprise

Despite knowing the project was coming soon, some residents were caught off guard when work began early Tuesday morning

Springfield development project catches neighborhood by surprise

SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WTOC) - Homeowners in a Springfield neighborhood had quite the wake-up call Tuesday.

A logging company rolled into the wooded area behind homes in Holly Court bright and early. As they worked to clear the land, neighbors like Sarah Chumley lamented the loss of the woods.

“This used to be just all undeveloped woods. We’d sit out and watch the birds and the squirrels,” Chumley says as she walked through the area behind her property which is now flattened.

Sarah Chumley has called Holly Court home since 2001.

Holly Court is a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. That was until “we wake up at 7:30 in the morning to trees coming down and the house shaking because large trees were coming down so close to the house,” Chumley said.

Residents knew that despite their best efforts, the development was coming. However, they had no idea on a specific date it would start other than a sign saying “Coming Soon” on the property.

“It would have been nice to get some kind of warning before they started taking down all the trees and that much noise and disruption especially that early in the morning,” Chumley said.

But they didn’t.

In fact, the City of Springfield said they aren’t required to give a warning and often they aren’t even sure when logging companies will begin their work.

Another one of Chumley’s concerns, “There’s a stump right there you can see they got that close to the house,” she said pointing to an area just feet from the back of her property.

Chumley was under the impression there would be a 50-foot buffer between her property line and the work going on behind her home.

However, the City of Springfield said it’s a 50-foot setback, not a buffer.

This means the building foundation itself must be at least 50 feet away from the property line, but this doesn’t apply to vegetation.

While Chumley is frustrated she hopes it’s a learning opportunity for everyone involved.

“More conversation and more feeling like we’re being a part of the conversation and that city council is actually listening to what we’re saying.”

It appears City Council is listening. They said they will look into a way to warn people in the future before projects begin and possibly get the logging company to begin their work later in the day.

They say that as always, they have an open-door policy for any resident who has concerns.

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