Santa Rosa Groves moved a big step closer to inclusion in the Indian Trail Improvement District at a Wednesday, March 31 public hearing before the ITID Board of Supervisors.
During the hearing — which was open to the public and available online — no opposition was heard from Santa Rosa Groves residents to continuing the process of “activation,” as it is known, into the district. Several residents voiced support of activation either in person or via Zoom.
“Thank you for looking out for Santa Rosa Groves owners and our safety,” said Elizabeth Accomando, a resident of the area who lives on Carol Street. “I believe our best interests are with Indian Trail.”
Having heard from the public, the supervisors agreed to move the process forward by directing ITID Engineer Jay Foy to prepare a formal water control plan and report regarding the needs of Santa Rosa Groves. Upon completion, the report and plan will be considered by the board for adoption at a future public hearing.
ITID President Betty Argue has said she expects the full process to be completed by late summer.
Created in the 1970s, Santa Rosa Groves is made up of 99 lots ranging from five acres to 20 acres. The area, west of The Acreage and north of White Fences, has a long history of flooding problems. Its roads and swales have deteriorated, and the canals are overgrown to the point that a heavy rain event in 2018 left some residents up to their waist in stormwater. Still, some property owners have resisted ITID activation, fearful of the assessment increases that likely will be necessary to fund the improvements.
At the bare minimum, upon activation ITID would commit to constructing road-rock streets, clean canals and install at least one pump for the neighborhood.
During an informal meeting in mid-March, Santa Rosa Groves residents expressed to Argue, Foy and ITID Executive Director Burgess Hanson that they would prefer milled roads to improved dirt roads.
To what degree speed tables will be installed on the upgraded roads remains a question.
“I think a majority want speed tables,” said Argue during the board meeting.
However, she pointed out that consideration of the tables will be part of the engineering survey Foy is about to undertake, as will include a reconfiguration of Carol Street.
“Residents will have plenty more opportunity to give input about the roads,” she said.
While making clear that the activation is not complete, Argue reflected on the process that began when she was first elected to the board in 2017.
“This has been a long road,” she said, “[but] you guys have been awesome to work with. Santa Rosa Groves is going to be a wonderful addition to the Indian Trail family.”
Accomando thanked Argue and the other supervisors for their efforts.
“This has been a really arduous process, but you’ve been with us all the way,” Accomando said. “You guys are the only ones who’ve been really concerned about us, who really cared about making the quality of life out there better.”