The Flowery Branch City Council voted Monday to negotiate buying back sewer and water tap fees from a company that, because of the stalled housing market, has put off plans for a townhome development.
JNS Venture in Atlanta bought the connections in 2004 from a previous owner, Starboard Acres, LLC, which had paid the city $471,000 for them.
JNS has planned to develop the 157-unit Starboard Townhomes on 18.7 acres off Lights Ferry Road.
Planning Director James Riker has said that JNS requested the refund because it is in a financial condition that it needs the cash more than the connections.
The company "understands that by asking (for the refund, it) would give up any rights to water and sewer for (the) property," he said.
Flowery Branch also would stand to gain financially in a buyback, as tap fees are much higher now than in 2002.
The council authorized City Manager Bill Andrew to negotiate with JNS.