A so-called “orphan pond” between two Forsyth County neighborhoods will get a closer look from Forsyth County’s attorney.
Forsyth County Commissioners discussed the pond at a recent work session and voted unanimously for County Attorney Ken Jarrard’s office to bring back an opinion for the title of a property to find the owner of the pond on Fairview Drive, between Nuckolls and Samples roads in southeast Forsyth.
Commissioners previously notified the Gates homeowners association and other property owners to purchase the property through a tax sale, though County Attorney Ken Jarrard said neither party was interested in taking over and maintaining the property.
“The piece of property from a fair market perspective is worthless,” Jarrard said. “It’s got negative value because it is a liability, so the question becomes what, if anything, we want to do with it.”
Jarrard said while storm water from the Gates flows into the pond and the neighborhood would likely be responsible if zoned today, the Gates is not the owner. To get the title, the county will need to go through a condemnation or judicial tax sale.
“It’s not our property, but on the other hand it’s got to be someone else’s property,” he said. “We’re talking about an entity now that has been in a state of dormancy for 20 years, it would appear. Again, none of this makes sense unless we’ve got somebody that’s willing to take over it in the long run.”
Jarrard also went over a title opinion from 1997 stating it was vested in a company called Ridgewood Properties. The company does not appear to exist any longer and the last agent to sell the property has passed away.
District 5 Commissioner Laura Semanson, who represents the area, said the county needs to find a solution and the matter shouldn’t have gotten this far.
“Nobody wants a liability,” she said. “This should have been done when the property was developed, but of course, this is another one of those situations where sloppy work was done and allowed to catch up with us 15-20 years later.”
The pond will be discussed at a future meeting.