City deeds lots to Oaklyn Hills

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham Mayor Don Murphy handed over a pair of deeds for two lots in the Oaklyn Hills subdivision during an Oct. 1 City Council meeting after the neighborhood’s homeowners association recently finalized purchasing the land.

The Oaklyn Hills HOA is planning to use the currently undeveloped lots to construct a neighborhood playground. In May, HOA members worked out a deal to purchase the lots for $5,000 apiece from the city.

“We worked out a payment plan, and they actually exceeded it,” Murphy said, noting the HOA paid for the purchase faster than scheduled. “We look forward to having a good park out there, and I can’t wait to come out to opening day.”

Oaklyn Hills HOA President David Fielding previously said the deal helped the HOA acquire the two properties while giving some revenue back to the city.

Pelham received several undeveloped lots in Oaklyn Hills – along with the bond money the original developer put up – as payment to complete the neighborhood’s roads after the developer went bankrupt.

Pelham Mayor Don Murphy said the two lots deeded to the HOA were unsuitable for real estate development, but said they will work well as a neighborhood park.

To keep the park private to neighborhood residents, the city had to sell the lots to the HOA instead of donating them. Had the city donated the lots, it would have required the park to be open to all Pelham residents.

Fielding previously said the neighborhood’s original developer “promised” a neighborhood park before the developer went bankrupt.

Once the park is completed, it will include playground equipment and a flat field to allow kids to play sports.

In other business, the council unanimously approved a plan to add 37 new street lights in the Old Weatherly subdivision over the next six years. Through the plan, the Weatherly Homeowners Association will pay to install the new lights and the city will pay for electrical service to power the lights.

Once all 37 new lights are installed in six years, it will cost the city $9,909 a year to power them.