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This is the official Web site of the Whitaker Downs Homeowners Association. It is designed to be a comprehensive information resource for the residents of Whitaker Downs and interested members of the surrounding community.
Whitaker Downs is a traditional pool-and-tennis neighborhood located in Jackson County, Georgia, about 55 miles northeast of Atlanta, 26 miles northwest of Athens, and 17 miles southeast of Gainesville. It is a covenant-protected community regulated by the provisions of the Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act.
Click here for an aerial view of Whitaker Downs and to get directions to our community.
Neighborhood Watch Names Block Captains
The Neighborhood Watch Committee has organized the community into 13 "blocks," with each block headed by the following captains.
If you would like more information about the Neighborhood Watch, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
County Water Department Opens Your Wallet
The Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority has automatically enrolled homeowners in their “Water Loss Protection” program for a monthly fee of $1.95, according to a flyer included with the most recent bill from the JCWSA.
“As a residential customer, you are automatically protected by our Water Loss Program,” the flyer states. “This is the only way JCWSA will adjust residential leaks after 1/1/18.”
The program provides coverage for excess water charges resulting from “eligible” plumbing leaks, up to $2,500. There is no deductible.
Homeowners can decline coverage and avoid the monthly fee by calling JCWSA at (706) 521-3900 .
Hobbs, Thornton Win Seats on Board
Charles Hobbs and Mark Thornton were elected to the Whitaker Downs Homeowners Association board of directors at the annual membership meeting Nov. 28, replacing outgoing directors Beth Thackery and Grover Demeter.
The new board members outpolled a field that also included Andrew Howard, Robert Penland, and Brad Puckett.
Hobbs, a retired manufacturer’s representative and business owner, served most recently as chairman of the Architectural Control Committee (ACC). Thornton, who retired from AT&T after 32 years as a manager in Network Operations, was the 2017 chairman of the Pool Committee and previously served on the Whitaker Downs board of directors from 2013 to 2016.
The final vote tally for the five candidates was Thornton – 59, Hobbs – 43, Puckett – 42, Howard - 36, and Penland -- 15.
HOA Votes to Abandon River Walk
HOA members voted 69-35 to abandon the pedestrian easement euphemistically known as the River Walk at the annual membership meeting Nov. 28.
The easement appears on plats recorded in 2002 and 2003 by the developers of Whitaker Downs as a “20-foot pedestrian easement along river bank” and stretches for nearly two-thirds of a mile along Walnut Creek from the recreation field across 15 properties to the cul-de-sac at Cole Point.
Although developers promoted this easement as a “River Walk” in an attempt to attract homebuyers, they never created a walking path on the easement or improved the land in any way, except to erect two signs that identify the easement.
During the 15 years since its inception, most sections of the easement have become overgrown with vegetation, making many areas impassable and even dangerous. Consequently, anyone attempting to walk alongside the river is forced to leave the 20-foot-wide easement in many areas and trespass on private property.
Most HOA members at the annual meeting who favored abandoning the easement cited the high cost of creating and maintaining a pathway. Based on bids obtained last year, the cost to minimally improve a 20-foot-wide swath for a distance of approximately 3,200 feet (removing only small vegetation) was estimated to be in excess of $4,000, with an annual maintenance cost expected to be about the same.
Board member and attorney David Quilliams also cited a higher exposure to legal liability if the HOA were to develop and promote an amenity within land that is highly regulated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division.
Neighborhood Watch Coming to Whitaker Downs
The board of directors appointed Misty Sutton to head a committee for investigating and creating a Neighborhood Watch program for Whitaker Downs following a presentation by Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum at the annual HOA meeting Nov. 28.
Sponsored by the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), Neighborhood Watch was developed in response to requests from sheriffs and police chiefs who were looking for a crime prevention program that would involve citizens and address an increasing number of burglaries.
Residents who would like to participate in an informational meeting about starting a neighborhood watch program should contact Misty Sutton at 706-202-8013 or at email@example.com. .
Board Allows Golf Carts on Recreation Field
The HOA board of directors voted to allow residents to drive golf carts to and from the recreation field, which previously was open only to foot traffic.
The recreation field borders Walnut Creek and is accessible by easement through the property of David Chapman at 462 Reece Drive.
“Our purpose in implementing this policy change is to encourage better use of this valuable community asset,” said board president Beth Thackery.
Persons using carts would be required to sign a legal waiver and display a permit/decal on their carts. The waiver would require permit holders to agree that carts are to be used only for travel between Reece Drive and the recreation area, that carts are not to stray from the designated easement, and that once in the area, carts must be parked in and remain in a designated parking zone. No types of motorized vehicles other than golf carts are allowed.
Permit decals are available from the board of directors. To obtain a decal, simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Failure to abide by the rules and stipulations of the signed agreement may, at the discretion of the HOA board of directors, result in fines and/or retraction of permission to access the recreation field via golf cart.
Jackson County Offers Online Mapping Service
The Jackson County Tax Assessor's Office sponsors a Web site allowing you to view online parcel maps, aerial photography, and sales histories for the past three years. Click here for an aerial view of Whitaker Downs, then click on different properties to view ownership and assessment information.