Crawford Creek residents concerned about closed amenities

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 10:58 PM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As summer quickly approaches, kids are out of school, playing outside, swimming, and playing basketball.

If you have a basketball court in your neighborhood, it’s usually a hot spot this time of year. But in one neighborhood in Columbia County, the Homeowners Association does not think it’s a good idea to have one any longer.

One mom who lives in Crawford Creek says the reason the HOA claims they’re getting rid of it is due to crime.

Two moms say their sons play on the court almost every day- that was until it was shut down only a few days ago for criminal activity.

Other neighbors say there’s more to the story.

It’s quiet and quaint in the Crawford Creek Neighborhood.

“I enjoy it here. My neighbors are nice, we’re all friendly,” said Tenita Pullens, Crawford Creek resident.

But when the basketball court is open, one woman says all the quiet goes away.

One resident, who wishes to stay anonymous, said: “The locks on the gates have been broken. Multiple times. If they can’t get in the gate because they don’t know the code, they untie the bottom of the fence and crawl under it.”

She says it’s people who don’t live in Crawford Creek, who vandalize the courts and leave behind the smell of marijuana. Some neighbors say it’s making this amenity a headache.

With the recent closing, two moms are fighting back.

Linette Cowart, Crawford Creek resident, said: “We received no notice stating that the basketball court would be shut down.”

It came as a surprise for some neighbors and most importantly their kids who use the court often. It’s an amenity they expected to have when they moved to the neighborhood.

Pullens said: “There’s an amenity available to help develop more in his craft and his skills and now it’s no longer there and it’s gone without any explanation. It’s very upsetting.”

In an email sent to residents, the HOA states the court “isn’t being used in a manner that is in keeping with the Crawford community.”

According to the sheriff’s office, a record of criminal activity at the court doesn’t exist. No reports have ever been made of vandalism or any other issue.

Cowart said: “I genuinely wanted to know what criminal activity was spotted or was reported because you know, that affects us. It affects us all.”

It leads some neighbors to believe it isn’t the undocumented crime, but the people using the court, they have a problem with.

Neighbors on both sides of the issue want some common ground. They’re just not sure what that would look like.

We did reach out to the HOA and we’re still waiting on a statement from them.