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News 12 first met Sergeant First Class Sean Gittens in March through a story about Homes for Our Troops. The nonprofit organization makes homes more accessible for members of the armed services who are confined to wheelchairs.

On June 21, we found out that the Knob Hill Property Owners Association in Evans, Ga., reversed its prior approval to allow Gittens to build a home in the community.

Construction on the 2,700-square-foot home was supposed to start this month. A cease and desist letter was sent to contractors on the site, and they were told that the house needs to be at least 3,400 square feet and multi-leveled to even be considered.

Homes for Our Troops purchased the land in December and had been working on getting the house built. On Friday, June 24, the president of the Knob Hill Property Owners Association said plans were moving forward for the home's construction.

Both organizations had said they hoped to make a joint announcement on Monday, June 27, in regards to moving forward with the plans.

On Monday, June 27, the joint announcement did not come. Instead, News 12 heard from Sgt. Gittens' wife, Sharon, who said she no longer wanted to live in the Knob Hill community.

Sharon said she no longer felt welcome in the Evans neighborhood because of the dispute between Homes for Our Troops and the Knob Hill Property Owners Association.

Later that day, Homes for Our Troops President John Gonsalves issued a statement saying the organization was going to move the project to another area.

He said he believed the two organizations could have found a solution but wanted to respect the family's wishes, as Sharon does not feel comfortable staying in Knob Hill.

"The fact that she no longer felt welcome in the community speaks volumes about the way this matter was handled," Gonsalves said in the press release.

Now the organization is back to square one and is on the hunt for a new lot. News 12 is told they are already in talks with a few builders.

"I'm confident that someone will step up and help find us a lot to build a new home," Sharon said.

Homes for Our Troops says they would have never picked Knob Hill if they had known how picky the board members would be.

"It had everything that these other homes here have, and this project should have never been stopped," Gonsalves said.

The organization is planning to sell the Knob Hill lot, and even take a loss if it has to.

"We're going to build a home for this family and although it wont be here in Knob Hill, I still expect there will probably be many residents who live here who are going to still come out and help us," Gonsalves said.

There were no board members at the press conference Tuesday morning, either for or against the home. Homes for Our Troops says moving forward, they will be recommending that Knob Hill and other neighborhoods update their covenants if they want specific requirements.

News 12 will keep you updated on the latest.

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  • by bob Location: not snob hill on Nov 25, 2011 at 11:24 AM
    I hope these "estate homes" keep depreciating. I think its time the owners in this subdivision get off the high horse and vote to remove "EVERY" single member of this board. I just read a lot about this story and I could tell that the BOD kept putting road blocks in the way to prevent this building to continue. And I can pretty much bet that the owners in this neighborhood had a lot to do with this decision than they want to admit. Shame on you knob hill...
  • by W Location: Knob Hill on Sep 27, 2011 at 04:57 PM
    It's no wonder that she didn't feel welcome in this Neighborhood. Knob Hill is full of a bunch of self righteous, nosy, "I'm better than you" pricks. I have lived here for 5 years so I KNOW FIRST HAND what I am talking about. She made a good decision not moving here because the people are trash who think they are better than everyone else. They are wayyyy to into themselves and think there -beep- doesn't stink. They should consider it a blessing that the Knob Hill HOA are complete pricks who deserve a beating. These people in SNOB HILL are disgusting and think they are high and mighty. I can't even stand to walk to my mailbox anymore just because i know one of their nosey, prickish selfs are staring out the window. I am ashamed to live in this sh-- hole and can not wait to move out. Each person in this trash neighborhood is high off their own ego. Every one in this neighborhood sickens me.
  • by DC Location: Evans on Jun 30, 2011 at 11:15 AM
    If I have to answer one more question about this situation I am going to scream. It is a shame that the entire Knob Hill community now has to live with the stigma that the social media has put on the community. Knob Hill has residents that live within the community of every race, color and yes even veterans. Alot of the residents are behind this cause. Don't put them all into the boiling pot.
  • by lorraine Location: evans on Jun 30, 2011 at 07:59 AM
    Our comments have to be truthful so shouldn't the news report be required to be truthful as well. A slanted story is not fair.......telling both sides would be fair and Gonsalves is covering his incompetence using this family as his cover. The story isn't being told.......Gonsalves knows this..Sad!! IT YOUR DONATIONS BEING SPENT for overpriced lots that won't be used!!!! Yea, Mr. Gonsalves sell it at a loss........I'm thinking this is all you'll be able to do. Whose your appraiser??
  • by George Location: Not Knob Hill on Jun 29, 2011 at 04:28 PM
    I am new to this "posting" stuff... And I watch as the rumors run rampant... Kind of comical, actually... Everyone has a coment but have not done there homework (no pun intended) to find out what is really going on. But one thing that I keep seeing is that a lot of you say that the Gitten's Family is getting a free home... That is a mis-conception that needs to be set straight. The Homes For Our Troops homes are NOT FREE, the Service Members and their Families have paid one heck of a price to recieve these homes. My guess is that the Family's would give up their home(s) in a heart beat to have their loved one back the way he/she was before they went to help keep us with our FREEDOMS. The PRICE of FREEDOM is written on the WALL and is in the V.A Hospitals. Remember, FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!!!
  • by Beth Location: North Augusta on Jun 29, 2011 at 09:09 AM
    Sounds like 12 OYS needs to do some more investigating. Lots of questions remain. I think somewhere I heard the family already lives in Knob Hill they just needed something more accessible. Channel 12, please get the rest of the story and settle this disgrace for our community.
    • reply
      by George on Jun 29, 2011 at 04:07 PM in reply to Beth
      I'd just like to clear up one thing that I keep seeing... A lot of people say the Gitten's are getting a "Free" home. If you look at the reason these Homes for Our Troops homes are being built, the homes are NOT FREE. The Service Member and their Families have PAID an ENORMOUS PRICE! The price of our freedom is in the V.A Hospitals AND written on the Wall. Freedom isn't Free...
  • by reality Location: aiken on Jun 28, 2011 at 09:40 PM
    Has everyone lost every shred of common sense? We All apreciate the incredible sacrifices of our troops and most of us have loved ones that have fought and even given their lives. Patriotism is not the question here! Why did HFOT pick such an expensive place to build? With so many of our troops in need,wouldn"t it be a better use of OUR dollars to build as many quality handicapped accesible homes as possible. Make no mistake about it, the VA dollars and donations to HFOT comes from all Americans and we would like those hard earned dollars to be used as efficiently as we use them. This family deserves a free home but so do the rest. And the people of Knob Hill deserve to protect their hard earned American dollars!
  • by 1stLadyStephanie Location: Augusta, GA on Jun 28, 2011 at 08:00 PM
    This is so disrespectful!!!! These are "TRUMPED" UP reasons they are presenting as to why the house can't be built in SNOB HILL. Square footage come on Trump unless you are defrauding the county your home is only 2401 square feet. I think this needs to be investigated. Have you and your buddies dummied down your home so you can pay less taxes. If not I see why you don't want to see this family obtain a free home that is larger than yours Mr. President. Your true color is shining through. DISRESPECTFUL HATER!!!!
    • reply
      by Kelly on Jun 29, 2011 at 09:52 AM in reply to 1stLadyStephanie
      You Go Girl!!!!
  • by Allie Location: Ft. Campbell on Jun 28, 2011 at 06:27 PM
    Shame on you! This is a disgrace and totally disgusting. This man fought for our country. He was wounded for our country. His family went through the difficulty of a deployment and the horror that you face when you know your soldier has been wounded and you are stuck here, unable to rush to their bedside. This community should be ashamed. You couldn't build me a house big enough or pay me enough money to live in this community.
  • by Paul Location: Evans on Jun 28, 2011 at 05:54 PM
    From the sounds of it, I'm sure they would have said wheelchair ramps are against the rules too.
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