Alva’s proposed stewardship district falters with locals but isn’t done

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

State Representative Spencer Roach said it quickly became clear to him after he introduced his bill that the people of Alva need more time to review the plan.

Alva is an unincorporated part of Lee County that traditionally has one home per 10 acres. But there is a lawmaker and a developer who would like to change that.

They’ve got their eyes on land in the North River Road area, but neighbors said they’re ready to fight any plans for mass development.

“They want to bring a city cookie cutter home development,” said Darius Cochran, a fourth-generation Lee County resident.

State Representative Spencer Roach hoped to create a “stewardship district” in Alva in the river road area to pave the way for a developer, Neal Communities, to build a thousand homes on approximately a thousand acres.

But Monday morning, Roach changed his mind.

“​That’s the most pleasing result you can get is when your representatives actually say that they’re going to do the right thing and review make sure that they understand what’s being proposed how it impacts,” said James Kennedy, life-long Alva resident.

“It’s just clear to me that that members felt that they had not gotten adequate information in time to make an informed decision. And also that members of that community felt that their voices had not been heard. And we want to make sure that both of these things happen before we move forward with something that would have such a dramatic impact,” Roach said.

Spencer Roach made clear a landowner can’t be stopped from developing private property. He said he still wants that to happen, but he just wants neighbors in Alva to be on board.

He did not give a firm timeline, but he believes sometime over the next year, he will reintroduce his stewardship district idea again.

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