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An Evans neighborhood association has blocked a group that was prepared to build a home free of charge for a local veteran who was injured in Afghanistan. The homebuilding group, Homes for Our Troops, says Knob Hill Property Owners Association approved the home’s design June 2 but reversed its decision in a later meeting….
Homes for Our Troops worked for four months with the Knob Hill Property Owners Association to get the design approved, according to John Gonsalves, [HfoT’s] founder. But at an association meeting, members said the 2,700-square-foot home was too small and neighbors thought it would bring property values down, Gonsalves said. A cease-and-desist order was issued as the site was being prepared last week.
“We’ve done everything they’ve asked. For them to do this at the last minute is very disturbing,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a community in America that shouldn’t embrace this family after what they’ve sacrificed. No one deserves it more.”
But owners association member Tom Rogers said Homes for Our Troops did not do everything asked of it. The group did not have written approval from the association’s architectural review board, but negotiated through e-mail only.
“What’s important to understand is the family already lives here. They’re a great family. We have no qualms with them,” Rogers said. “The problem is, that street down there has 5,000-square-foot homes all the way up and down the street there. … It just doesn’t fit. That’s the whole issue.”
Gonsalves said his team checked association documents, which do recommend that at least 2,700-square-foot houses be built, but Rogers said homeowners in that section built much larger homes.
“We want to protect our homes that we worked hard to achieve, and we want everyone to be treated equally,” Rogers said. “These people will have to go through the same process as everyone else did.”