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Cottonwood Shores transfers water taps to land investors to lure development

Cottonwood Shores land awaits development

The Cottonwood Shores City Council on May 6 approved the transfer of a water tap agreement to land investors for property behind Bay View Restaurant. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Cottonwood Shores City Council on May 6 agreed to transfer water taps paid for 15 years ago to land investors trying to lure developers with the amenity.

“The folks who own the property aren’t developers; they’re investors in the land,” Mayor Don Orr said. “They’re going to solicit developers and sell those properties to them. (The water taps) are a bargaining chip.”

The property, the former Castle Rock development, is located on the east side of Cottonwood Shores behind Bay View Restaurant and Bar, 4401 Cottonwood Drive, and Hozhoni on the Hill.

About a decade ago, Castle Rock developers paid the city $102,000 for water tap fees for the project, which was going to consist of a 34-room hotel/condo and boutique. 

The development came to a halt when the 2008 recession hit. 

The current land investors wanted the water tap agreement transferred to them so they can entice developers to build on the land. Councilors unanimously approved the action at their May 6 regular meeting but added a two-year deadline. If construction isn’t underway by the deadline, the investors or a developer must pay new water tap fees.

“Those kinds of things can’t hold over forever,” Mayor Orr said. 

Councilor Roger Wayson agreed.

“I think it’s fair we give them a transfer,” he said. “They have two years to use it, they’re not going to get the money back (if they miss the deadline).”

jfierro@thepicayune.com