No Answers for Homeowners at Public Meeting

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - It was a packed house Tuesday at City Hall. Residents came out to hear what the developers of the Blue Ridge Apartments had to say about their project and how they're going to fix the mistakes they've made.

But when a representative with the Santa Rosa Development Company took to the podium, homeowners, and even some council members, were outraged to find out the developers wanted more time to come up with some answers.

"Disappointed is probably the predominant feeling I have," homeowner Kris Moore said. "Disappointed in Midland, disappointed in the business ethics of that developer."

Moore is packing up and heading out to Washington D.C. but those plans may be halted because he can't sell his house.

"We put the home up for sale in August and in five months, we've had maybe five people come look at the house," Moore said.

He said since the construction of the Blue Ridge Apartments began, he can't even get someone to rent his house, and on top of that, the value of his home has gone down.

And now he's even more upset at what the Representative with the developing company calls a series of honest mistakes.

"An honest mistake doesn't end with a developer who spends several months saying 'Oh we'll figure something out,' and then not make any solutions," Moore said. "If you make a mistake, the honest thing to do is live up to it and take responsibility for it, be proactive and work with the residents around there that you have damaged."

The developers did have a few alternatives in mind. They suggested applying an opaque window film on third story windows, planting trees and building tall carports so future tenants can't see into a resident's backyard.

But Rhonda Trammell says all of those alternatives don't fix the problem.

"I open my door to call my dogs in and there was a worker on the second story balcony, waved at me. The second story," Trammell said. "You know it's not just the third story, it's the second stories that can see in. We enjoyed our patio the first summer we moved here. We have not sat in our back yard one time this year. Not one time."

Trammell said she wants the City Council to see that the homeowners are not the enemy but instead the victim and Moore says plenty of time has gone by for the developers to present their options, but the damage is already done.

"Five months have gone by and they can't do anything because they don't intend to," Moore said.

Developers said they were in the middle of conducting an analysis and asked to wait until the January meeting to give folks a complete list of alternatives.