Quail Cove protest stirs up outrage and developer response

CCCHI investors and Quail Cove residents debating at building site, Ivins, Utah, April 30, 2012 | Photo by Alexa Morgan, St. George News

UPDATE – May 2, 2012 – Dotti Higley, Marketing Manager for CCCHI, said to St. George News this morning that CCCHI did meet with USDA Rural Development’s state director, Dave Conine, on May 1. She said discussion meetings are being scheduled between between the agencies, the homebuyers for those currently under construction, the architect and eventually with the existing homewoners in the subdivision.

IVINS – Quail Cove homeowners displeased with the building of low-income housing and deviation from the original architectural restrictions for their subdivision, persisted Monday in their vigil since the protest first reported by St. George News on Sunday.

Quail Cove resident picketing, Ivins, Utah, April 30, 2012 | Photo by Alexa Morgan, St. George News

Picket signs in hand, a group of concerned residents gathered just outside the neighborhood walls Monday afternoon in an attempt to inform the public about their situation and make their voice heard.

In a statement released collectively, the homeowners said that their goal is to maintain the value and integrity of the property in their community. They also insisted for a second time that their issue is not with the families of the low-income housing that is currently under construction.

“If we’re going to live together, let’s be neighborly,” said Ward Gubler, who has lived in Quail Cove for four years. “We’re not discriminating against anyone.”

But David Kelton, a member of Color Country Community Housing’s Mutual Self Help Program and who later became part of a heated debate at the rally, said that his family has only received a negative attitude. Both he and his teenage daughters Ashley and Aubrey work full-time to afford their housing assistance, a fact he said he believed caused the residents of Quail Cove to look down upon them.

“We’ve been told that we’re ‘white trash’ because we are on a government loan,” Kelton said. “People from Ivins and Kayenta have said ‘we don’t want you here.’ That’s like a stab in the heart. That’s so disgusting it should be illegal.”

In the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for Quail Cove Subdivision, recorded May 30, 2007, by original developer, Carriage Properties, L.L.C., strict requirements for the design of proposed homes are set forth. Among them is a maximum building height of 25 feet and a maximum roof pitch of 4/12, in order to “protect the character of the Subdivision.”

According to public records, Quail Cove was originally planned to be a 49-home community. However, only eight were built before the remaining lots went into foreclosure and the lots remained empty for two years.

When the original developer fell into foreclosure, the development property was transferred to Q.C. Development, L.L.C. as developer, transacting with the CCCHI program management, and the USDA Rural Development agency participating as lender for the qualifying buyers. The Declaration was ultimately amended by the new developer vis-à-vis document recorded March 12, 2012, in anticipation of the construction of CCCHI homes.

The new design requirements allow for a steeper maximum roof pitch of 7/12 and lifted the previous ban on two-story structures; specifically, the Amendment’s provisions allow for what is classified as a 1 and ½ story home and also decreased the minimum home size from 1,800 square feet to 1,500.

According to the Amendment, Q.C. Development, L.L.C. owned 84 percent of the lots in the subdivision at the time of the Amendment, sufficient to allow for the developer’s unilateral amendment to the Declaration.

Ty Tippets, of CCCHI, said they have planned to convene with interested residents of Quail Cove sometime in the coming week in hopes of finding a practical solution that will appease both sides of the disagreement.

Dotti Higley, Marketing Manager for CCCHI later advised St. George News by email that “The State Director of USDA Rural Development is coming to St. George tomorrow for meetings on this issue. We feel it would be best to defer our comments until he has the opportunity to meet with those involved,” and asked St. George News to hold our story until after that meeting.

Janice Kocher, the USDA housing program director for the state of Utah, said that “The lots were bought in good faith and everything was done through the proper channels. These homes do not detract from anything and are a great asset to the community.”

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Copyright 2012 St. George News.

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  • Chantal May 1, 2012 at 12:06 am

    For one!! FOR ALL OF YOU FAMILIES CALLING THESE PEOPLE NAMES… You should be ashamed of yourself.. This is horrible, what has this world come to. Sounds like they are white trash, sounds like they need to be put in their place. So selfish and two faced, saying they dont have an issue with the people, yet these poor families are being called white trash…..? Someone needs to put a stop to the discrimination.. I don’t mind going out with 100 people and holding up signs in front of YOUR home and yelling no dicrimination. Neighborly???! Oh thats real neighborly, sounds like some ignorant and selfish people not wanting more people without money around. Go to church and pray, ask for forgiveness. What you are doing to these poor families is a sin and you will be judged for it… So sad…

  • Ilaria May 1, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Good. I’m glad. Maybe after tomorrow some people will realize their thoughts and opinions were instead of humanely uplifting were very low and inaccurate not to mention super selfish. Be positive and happy for others opportunity and accomplishments. Maybe this will clear things up.

  • Matty Jacobson May 1, 2012 at 1:33 am

    This sounds like discrimination to me. Like I said earlier, if these were rich people building the same houses (and who didn’t have to build the houses themselves), then the Quail Cove residents wouldn’t have a problem. Are they all seriously worried about the 3-foot difference in the pitch of the roofs? If they’re so bored that they sit up at night and sorry that the house across the street is going to be 300 square feet smaller than their own, then these people have been in retirement far too long and need to find more constructive hobbies than to attempt to ruin other people’s lives. Either that, or they’re discriminatory. Or perhaps both.

    • Matty Jacobson May 1, 2012 at 3:59 am

      In my haste to describe my disgust at the discrimination going on here, I managed to misspell “worry.” Just to be clear, these retirees are worrying too much about house size and roof pitch. And by the way, on the last story, there were comments that gated communities can choose whomever they want to live inside their walls. This is in fact, not true.

      The Fair Housing Act clearly states that no person can be denied a home due to race, ethnicity, marital status, age or religion. If people find ways to afford houses, then they can legally move in. (Suffice to say, most people in nicer houses in our community can’t actually afford the homes they’re living in, anyway. CCCH homeowners will probably have a better chance of keeping their homes than the people who already live in the area.)

      The only thing you can be discriminated against legally in Washington County is on sexual orientation (which speaks to the way our community governs itself). So, actually, these retirees are breaking the law if they are attempting to expel these families for any other reasons than square footage and roof pitch. Oh, wait, the policy was changed on roof pitch. So really, these people have no legal reasons to whine.

      And please, I’d love to meet anyone who’s really worried about roof pitch.

  • Matty Jacobson May 1, 2012 at 4:11 am

    LAST COMMENT, I PROMISE! Do we know if the original Quail Cove residents are paying an HOA fee? If so, what is the monthly cost?

  • Robb Willie May 1, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Where is the City Manager and her distinguished counsel, the City Attorney? How was this allowed to happen? You have a mayor and city council for a reason, do you not?

    • P E May 1, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      I think the Mayor is siding with the original residents.

  • Single Mom May 1, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Yes. I am white trash. I hold a 40 hour job in a financial institution. I have a child who has manners and who is polite. He is also up for an award this year as well as he recieved it last year as well. I pay my payments on time. I have a car. I have good credit. I am a good citizen who has never abused drugs or alcohol. I have never been to jail. I pay my taxes. I guess if i am white trash, then those people need to turn the finger they are pointing at us around and point at themselves.

  • Brandy May 1, 2012 at 6:09 am

    “People from Ivins and Kayenta have said ‘we don’t want you here.’

    That quote breaks my heart. I am from Ivins, I have walked through ahome site with a friend who is building there. Please don’t think that we all feel this way. The way that your families are being treated is not right. The proper legal process was followed and these residents have no reason or right to treat you and your families this way. We would rather have you than the current residents :).

    • techguy May 1, 2012 at 8:25 am

      I too am an Ivins resident and am disappointed with these people’s conduct. One of the reasons I moved to Ivins is because of the welcoming attitude we received and the strong sense of community. I hope these CCCHI people who will soon be living here find there are many people here that will be happy to have them as neighbors and they can have some positive experiences with our town.

  • T May 1, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I don’t know why the residents are kicking up such a fuss, I have friends that have just finished and moved into their new home under the same program, and its a nicer home than mine, and also because they worked their guts out to build the required amount themselves they appreciate it more and want to keep it super nice. Its such a shame to see the residents acting this way.

  • Gary May 1, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I’d really like Ivins Mayor Chris Hart to weigh in on this. As a developer himself, Mayor Hart is well respected for affordable home designs that are appropriate and environmentally sensitive to this beautiful area. His subdivisions like Copper Canyon feature small, view sensitive homes that are quite affordable for seniors living on fixed incomes. The developer who took over Quail Meadows had an opportunity to blend well priced homes for lower income families into this subdivision. You will never see a new subdivision approved in St. George with the disparate home designs this developer chose to inflict on the existing residents. I feel badly for the new homeowners caught in the middle of this dispute and hope they are in no way harmed by this insensitive developer or the Salt Lake bureaucrats who probably thought their job ended with signing contracts and cutting checks.

    • teresa May 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

      Or by the mean spirited current residents of Quail Cove and Kayenta!

  • Answere May 1, 2012 at 7:48 am

    @ Robb Willie
    The city manager isn’t involved because her husband is Ward Gublar who lives in the banana crap yellow house in the neighborhood.

    • Robb Willie May 1, 2012 at 8:43 am

      Answere- Makes sense, thanks. But what about your fine city attorney? Surely he must know someone that he could ask about this thorny legal issue…mailman? truck driver? someone. I assume you folks pay him for something.

  • Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Thanks Answere!

  • Tyler May 1, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Oh my god, here we again?!! I already stated how I felt on the previous article

  • Miss Jackson May 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Ivins/St. George, keep painting your extremely ugly picture for the world to see! This is great real-life exposure for people looking to move here, to get a real glimpse of how citizens are in general. This pretty much shatters that friendly-town image and gets the TRUE colors exposed!

  • Jason May 1, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I wonder if retirement community, Palm Springs has issues like this? Oh, probably not, if neighbors acted out like this there, there’d probably be shootings going on. That would surely shut them up and make them mind their own!

  • Barbara May 1, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Wow, could this all lead to St. George’s first riots?! Ivins is gettin an ugly rep

  • Chris Jones May 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I believe the people in the subdivision have the issue with the value not the people. They bought their homes with the understanding that the other homes built around them would be of similar value, size and quality. If they build smaller homes of lower quality it will lower the value of the surrounding homes. The debate they are having is simply about that.

    • Jessica Alldredge May 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      They are blaming the lower value on the people and the program. The fact remains that their property was devalued long before CCCHI ever became involved. Nobody wanted to buy or build in the subdivision based on the original plans. And don’t be so blind as to think these people don’t feel they are to good to live next to normal hard working people. I would think that there noses are high enough in the air to not worry about a roof pitch change.

    • Brad May 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      It’s interesting that people are blaming the values of their properties going down because of these 1,500 square foot homes coming in. Haven’t the values been falling since the market crashed? Do people think the vacant lots with weeds are not a problem on the home values. The best thing to do to make the market values go up is to start building homes and using up the lot inventory to create more demand. The quality, look and energy efficiencies of these homes will be quite desirable on the market and should only add value to the neighborhood.

    • MM May 1, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Maybe so, but they are taking out their frustrations on the people, which is not the right way to go about things. The best thing they could do is leave the ppl alone!

  • Firefly May 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Show me a homeowner in Washington County whos home HAS NOT lost value and I’ll show you a liar. I reside in the Green Springs area in Washington City and my home has taken a $50K loss in two years. These QC residents are simply using the loss of value as a front for discrimination. Shame on you current residents. And this after a popular LA tv showcased this area to the nation. Great…really shows the true nature of the residents. With neighbors like these, I would consider not living there.

    • techguy May 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      What TV series showcased Ivins?

      • P E May 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm

        Eye on LA. They did an entire episode on southern Utah

        • techguy May 2, 2012 at 8:44 am

          Thanks 🙂 When?

          • P E May 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm

            It is available online, just google it.

      • WTF May 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm

        St George, Ivins same deal dude

  • teresa May 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I don’t think you can lump all Ivins or Kayenta residents into the same category. A few people are going about this in a very bad way and making everyone look bad.

  • Barbara May 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    OMG, Tech Guy (hence your name), Ivins, St. George, same thing lol. Hurricane to Kayenta is considered St George metro area.

  • MM May 1, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    So, i went on to the public records on the washington county assessors office. I think also, the quail cove residents are mad beause their homes were AT the value that our homes are worth. they are probably mad that out homes are worth more and we paid less for them. We aren’t bringing their values down! They are already down. If anything those homes will bring the value UP-especially since the only other thing out there is dirt and weeds.

    • Emily May 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Phil Hansens home was only worth $211K last year. How will 4 brand new homes bring that value DOWN? Ward Gubler’s home was under $270K. The info is availabe on the washington county recorder page. Just type in Quail Cove in the subdivision. I did and it amazes me. These mutual self help homes have loans for around $180K but cone with built it equity. So in all reality, they are worth as much or more than the cuttent homes and i tjink that is why the QC residents are mad. Jealousy is a green eyed beast! Color Counrty home owners, remember, Good things come to those who work their a$$es off! Not those who wait! People not pitches!!

      • Jeremy Evans May 3, 2012 at 11:05 am

        Unfortunately you can not put a value on the “mutual self help homes” based on loan amounts or assume they are worth less or more until the home is completed, inspected, and appraised.

    • Jeremy Evans May 3, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Unfortunately you can not put a value on any home until it is completed, inspected, and appraised.

  • Curious May 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    So let me get this straight. The houses will be worth less when it is a completed subdivision full of slightly smaller new homes than if those houses were sitting in the middle of a string of foreclosed vacant lots? They are a little confused. The loss has already happened, they need the new homes to restore what value they can.

  • Emily May 1, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Value Summary Type
    Primary Improved
    Ward Gubler.
    Info found in PUBLIC RECORDS thru Washington County Recorders. U can find Phil Hansen’s info too.

  • Balinda Lopolis May 2, 2012 at 12:36 am

    THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joyce Kuzmanic May 2, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Editorial commentary:
    As indicated in this story, we did review the record and the CC&R’s were amended to allow the change in architectural design.
    In new developments, the developer retains superpower for quite some time, allowing unilateral amendments; homeowners don’t attain to say-so until they reach a certain percentage. This is one of the risks, you might call it, buying into the early phases of a subdivision; on the other hand, it ensures that a developer is not hamstrung in doing what it takes to complete a subdivision.
    In this case, a successor to the original developer acquired the undeveloped property when the original developer apparently ran into financial trouble and foreclosures were initiated; the successor chose to make changes and thus, the early homebuyers now receive a subdivision with some differences from what was originally laid out.
    That said, perhaps these parties can all find some meeting of the minds that will allow the development to proceed in a way that ends in a harmonious neighborhood. We can hope so for all involved.

  • Barbara Swiffle May 3, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Apreciate that info, Joyce!

  • Been there and worked on that May 5, 2012 at 8:44 am

    OK, the CC&R’s have been reviewed, the information disseminated to the existing homeowners and all of Southern Utah, and everything has been found to be legal and above board. So, if the picketing was truly about the pitch and design differences, there should be no additional uproar and the long time homeowners and new homeowners should be able to put down their cries of “foul” and start working on being good neighbors.

    Thank you Joyce Kuzmanic for the update.

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