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Green space, not park for Harbor Heights

Three lots in Harbor Heights are causing much confusion.

Salespeople for Ryan Homes are telling potential homeowners in the new section of Harbor Heights there will be a park and boat-ramp available to residents, according to Van Buren Supervisor Claude Sykes. The fact is Eldan Homes, the developer, has donated three lots for green space, but that combined property will most likely feature a couple of benches and garbage receptacles.

"We have been receiving feedback from people who are buying property that there will be a full fledge park and a boat ramp," said Van Buren Supervisor Claude Sykes. "Ryan has been told through Eldan that is not the

case, and they should stop using that as a sales tactic."

Officials believe there was some confusion regarding development policies. When a developer creates a subdivision, they have an option of building a park or providing a payment in lieu of park development. Payments made are invested in Van Buren Central Park on Canton Street. Eldan Homes both made a payment and donated three lots for park space, but the money was invested in Van Buren Central Park. Sykes said small improvements, such as installing benches and garbage receptacles, may be included in next year's budget for the Harbor Heights green space.

While residents were misled, Sykes said they are still interested in investing and making the best of their green space. Discussions are underway regarding design options for the property, after which a proposal will be presented to the Van Buren board for approval. Sykes said approval is dependent on what equipment and maintenance is required for the property.

"We have to have regular commercial style equipment that has to go in there. It can't be homeowner grade," he said. "We [also] want to minimize maintenance because all our park equipment has to be shipped there."

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