Time to move on Doherty

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

We had high hopes when Partners Management Group entered into an agreement last year with the city of Cherokee to sell lots in the Doherty Addition. The agreement called for the building of seven spec houses in the addition, with two to be built within six months.

The city and Partners Management disagreed on certain details and the council decided to call off the agreement.

This brings us back to the situation we were at a year ago. There have been only seven houses built in the Doherty Addition in over a decade and there appears to be no plans in the immediate future to develop any more lots.

A year ago, the city had thought about giving away lots, a move that other communities have used to successfully generate publicity and sales. The other alternative is to aggressively market the lots with an advertising budget of several thousands of dollars.

Passively marketing the lots with one or two small local ads and a posting on the city's website hasn't worked and will not likely work in the future.

The problem with spending money on extensive advertising is that it does not guarantee results.

If the city gives away lots, there would need to be a time limit on getting construction of a residence completed or the city would retain ownership. The lots are on the small side, so the lots may need to be redrawn to provide about a lot and a half.

Some property owners in the addition wanted to buy adjacent lots. If there is a giveaway of lots for new homeowners, these present homeowners should still have to pay for adjacent lots or have their requests denied outright.

After all, the giveaway is for purposes of expanding housing in the city, not expanding a few people's yard sizes.

Whatever is done, the city needs to get out from under these properties.