The Statham City Council gave approval Tuesday, May 18, has cleared the way for Ellington Farms, a residential subdivision that has been in the works for about 15 years, to be built.

In a 3-2 vote during its monthly voting session Tuesday, the council approved the final plat for the 50-home subdivision planned to be situated on just under 17 acres at Sunset Drive and Lillian Way. The vote was 3-2, as councilmen Gary Venable and Dwight McCormic were joined in favor by Mayor Joe Piper, who broke a tie after councilwomen Betty Lyle and Hattie Thrasher voted against the request. Councilwoman Tammy Crawley was absent.

The council’s approval comes with the condition that the mayor receive and sign off on three performance and maintenance bonds for the subdivision totaling over $100,000. City attorney Jody Campbell said there was a COVID-related delay with the applicants’ surety company not being able to deliver the bonds in time for Tuesday’s meeting. But he said the bonds were expected to be received next week and, by the council granting conditional approval Tuesday, that would save the applicant from having to wait another month to come back before the council in June.

The project had been bogged down after a preliminary plat was approved in 2007, but council earlier this year granted developer Abe Abouhamdan three variance requests for the property relating to city curb-and-gutter, buffer and open-space requirements.

Several residents have expressed concerns about the potential impact 50 homes could add to heavy rainwater runoff issues at the property and the subdivision’s potential impact on traffic congestion around Atlanta Highway. City officials have said the performance and maintenance bonds should at least alleviate some of the infrastructure concerns.

The three required bonds that are being secured by the developer are a two-year, $24,945 bond for roadway maintenance and infrastructure improvements, a four-year, $45,120 bond for sidewalks in the subdivision and a four-year, $41,340 bond for required cart paths.

In other business during Tuesday’s voting session, the council met in closed session for about 10 minutes to discuss a personnel matter. No action resulted from the session.

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