Anderson attraction delayed, attracts criticism at River Forks.

The Shores of Asbury, a proposed disability-friendly outdoor park and treehouse resort, has been touted as a Lake Hartwell tourism boon by Anderson County officials, but new developments with the project have drawn ire from local residents.

According to Karen McCullough, founder of the project and president of the Lake Hartwell Development Group, rain delays, utility setbacks and ongoing arborist work from the Army Corps of Engineers has pushed the expected completion date back eight months.

McCullough and Anderson County officials broke ground on the park late last year with plans to launch construction in the spring of this year, starting with amenities used to support a floating water park on Lake Hartwell. Later phases would expand park capacity to 150 guests with tiny house cabins, a yurt village, Americans With Disabilities Act-accessible treehouses, a restaurant and events venue.

"If these guys are successful, they have other investors; there could be the change to have more development at more of the parks," Nelson told GSA Business Report following the groundbreaking. "And we are certainly looking forward to that opportunity."

That development may take a little longer than expected, however, and not everyone in Anderson County is looking forward to having a waterpark on Lake Hartwell's shores.

Given the delay, McCullough submitted an application to the county, including a traffic flow study, description of operations and pricing schedule for the temporary installation of the floating park at the River Forks Park's public boating dock this summer.

"Anderson County needs recreation this year," McCullough said, adding that the $97,000 inflatable is currently sitting in a storage unit. "We get hundreds of calls every week: "Please put the water park in. If you don't get the rest of the project put up, please put the water park in."

Not so fast, argue residents who live in the River Forks Road area who gathered at the May 5 County Council meeting to speak out in protest of the temporary installation or to request a public meeting first.

Complaints covered everything from congested roads, crime, child safety and environmental concerns.

"I built my house in 1972 knowing what the restrictions from the Corps (of Engineers) required of me and understanding that near us was the recreation area for swimming, a boat ramp, picnicking," said River Forks area resident Judy Johnson. "Never was I to think that it would be like an amusement park. I...

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