While there is no plan set for the cleared lot, as of yet, there is a plan for the 136 acres that sits behind it.
There is an asphalt road directly across from Walmart that leads into a private subdivision that has been names Secluded Estates. Just down the road is a covered bridge that is not only inviting, but practical. It was built high enough over the creek that runs through the subdivision that it is crossable during heavy rains. It was also built with a high enough clearance for a semi and a load capacity that will support one.
Nothing about the name Secluded Estates is misleading. The property owners of this subdivision have the amenities of paved roads, a creek, underground electricity and city water with the bonus of large timber filled lots.
The property has been divided into 40 lots, all of which are at least three acres. Of these, four have been sold and a custom home has been built for resale on one.
Fred Goodwin of Ash Flat, along with a partner, purchased this property in 2006. And just like any development, it has taken time. One obstacle has been the boundary lines of the land. Part of the property sets just outside of the Ash Flat city limits, but an annexation is in the works to make the whole subdivision in Ash Flat.
And, while Hackney Creek makes a beautiful addition and allows the subdivision to offer creek lots, it has caused it's own problems. In the 1970s FEMA assessed the area and established base flood plains. Within Secluded Estates 18 lots are in that base flood plain.
Without even factoring in the economy, any property within a base flood plain is very hard to get financed. Goodwin said he is working on getting FEMA to reassess the property and reestablish the base flood plains.
Goodwin said during the floods in the Spring of 2008 the water never got to high too cross the creek. He has set flags along the bank where the water was highest.
Goodwin is confident from the level of the creek during the floods, that a structure would be safe on any of the creek lots. The only lot that he doubts is lot number seven, which as of now, he plans on making a common area for the subdivision owners.
The lots range in price, depending on location and size, from $19,500 to $39,000. Goodwin said he chose to divide the property into larger tracts not only to allow space and privacy for each owner, but also to be able to guarantee each lot will perk.
There are a few stipulations in the bill of assurance within the subdivision. Any house built in Secluded Estates has to be a minimum of 1,800 square feet and no manufactured homes will be permitted. The roofs on all houses have to be set at a specified pitch, eliminating flat roofs. No livestock or equine will be allowed and among other small things, aesthetics such as yard maintenance must be tended to.
The speculations set in the bill of assurance helps maintain each owners property value. Goodwin said while one person might not mind the sound or smell of horses, someone within the same area may not be able to live with it. He wants all of the owners in the subdivision to be happy and stay that way, which is the reason for the bill of assurance.
The first home in the subdivision is one that Goodwin had built. It is just over the required 1,800 square feet, and in the finishing stages. Everything from the siding on the house to the detail in the fixtures is top of the line.
The home has three bedrooms, including a master suite. Everything from the 3/4 inch hardwood floors to the custom tile work gives the home it's wow factor. Being a local himself Goodwin not only purchased many of the materials locally, but he also hired local contractors when possible.
"I think the best part about the division is the seclusion that it offers while being so close to town," Goodwin said. "My favorite feature is one that can be enjoyed by everyone - the covered bridge."