Cypress Point neighbors angry over private developer

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Neighbors in Florence’s Cypress Point neighborhood want answers as to why a developer took over land that is beside their pool access.

Cypress Point, built in 1975, is along South Cashua Drive and serves as a private unit development that operates under a set of restrictive covenants.

The city of Florence cannot get involved in any civil action between the homeowners association and the private developer, Jim Stroud, who said he is ready to start building on the property.

He purchased two fields right next to the pool area one year ago. The parcel of land also includes half of the pool and access to it, but Stroud said he wants nothing to do with the pool because of liability.

According to Stroud, he is trying to deed it over to the HOA. However, financial concerns with the president are keeping that from happening.

“We never expected anyone to come do what he has done, no,” said Wanda Coates, a Cypress Pointe homeowner and HOA member. “He says the access to the pool is his. What are the children going to do this summer if they are not allowed to swim?”

Normally, Cypress Point neighbors would be able to walk through a door and pathway, cross the bridge over Jeffries Creek and go into the pool. That is no longer possible.

Angel Diaz and his family are worried for the others in the neighborhood who also own townhouses.

“There should have been a sign, he should have posted something giving us a heads up, letting us know there would be construction,” Diaz said. “You know, we have kids that play and run around and play along here.”

On Tuesday, neighbors noticed the bulldozing, the no trespassing signs, the new surveillance cameras and no access to their pool.

Stroud said he has the right to secure the land and put up barriers. He added he plans to build 40 brand new brick townhouses that are modeled after ones he just built on Waxwing Road. His hope is to increase the area’s property value.

John Rowell, another Cypress Pointe homeowner, has owned three properties since 1979. He said the neighborhood has been paying taxes on the property since 1975.”

Rowell and others believe their tax payer money that has gone into the roads, the bridge and the pool should keep this issue from happening.

“My wife used to live here as a little girl and that was the whole point moving here, for our little girl to have the same experiences and grow up, and part of that is the pool,” Diaz said.

Florence city officials said they are not getting involved until Stroud submits building plans, which he said will happen in the next few weeks.

Stroud said construction of the townhouses will start within six to eight months after he receives approval.

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