Scott Co. redistricting plan affects home-buying, realtors say; "People would really like their kids in that new high school," real estate agent says

News-Graphic, Georgetown, Sept. 21, 2017

Realtors expect bump from new school districts
By Dan Adkins

Spring break can’t come soon enough for Scott County’s real-estate agents and developers.

That’s the deadline Scott County Schools Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub set last week for completing the process of drawing district lines to determine which neighborhoods’ youngsters will be sent to which schools, including the new Great Crossing High School.

“The sooner he announces it, the better,” real estate agent Bret Halverson said.

“People would really like their kids in that new high school,” he said.

“If I could bribe somebody to get that boundary out quicker, I would,” Halverson joked.

The district lines for the new high school has become a deciding factor for many potential homebuyers in what is Kentucky’s fastest growing county, according to several agents and developers.

“That school district can make or break a sale,” said agent Alma Hopkins.

Asked about the new high school’s impact on housing sales, Hopkins said, “I think we’re in one [housing boom] now, but I think it’ll be magnified” when Hub unveils the new redistricting plan.

Hub announced the spring break goal for completing the next redistricting plan by April 2, 2018, at the Sept. 11 Georgetown/Scott County Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

At the time, he emphasized the passionate interest that parents would have in the new district lines, which will decide which neighborhoods will continue to send students to Scott County High School in August 2019, when GCHS is expected to open.

The school district also plans to open a new, ninth elementary school at that time, and likely will be building a new middle school then as well.

But Hub said Wednesday he’s well aware of the real estate agents and developers’ interest in those district lines.

“I spoke with the local realtor group a few weeks ago. They listened to our timeline,” Hub said.

“Sure, they want it sooner” than spring break, Hub said.

“Everyone does. Our goal of spring break is fair and gives citizens plenty of time to react,” he said.

Hub noted the Scott County Board of Education has not established the process yet for obtaining public input and drawing the district lines.

One developer, Jackie Ruth, is eager for the lines to come out, particularly for what it can mean to the high-end Victoria Estates subdivision off U.S. 460/Frankfort Road.

Sales in the subdivision had stalled for a few years after Ruth and the Victoria Estates Home Owners Association clashed in a lawsuit.

The HOA and Ruth resolved their issues — whether the development company owed HOA dues and ownership of the streets and lake — earlier this year. Ruth’s firm did not have to pay the dues, and transferred the streets and lake to the HOA.

Richard DeGise, president of the HOA, said the lawsuit suppressed buyer interest.

“Fear of the unknown,” said DeGise, who bought his Bold Bidder Drive home in the subdivision for $470,000 in April 2016 despite the uncertainty.

Ruth said he had hoped to see more activity in lot sales and home building in the development, where big-family houses sell for $325,000 up.

But Ruth said he expects interest in Victoria Estates to climb, if, as seems likely, the new district lines include western Scott County.

Halverson, Hopkins and real estate agent Barbara Moore are champing at the bit, but know they cannot make any claims about where west county students will wind up.

Any sales they made, based on promises about the new school district, could put them in court if the district lines are different.

“That does seem logical,” Hopkins said about assuming GCHS’s student population will include west Scott County.

“But you don’t go by logic when it comes to school lines. I’ve learned from past experience you wait for the lines to be published,” Hopkins said.

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