Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bond Insurance Company Files Federal Lawsuit Against Grey Rock Developer

Bond Safeguard Insurance Company filed a federal lawsuit against Grey Rock Developer, Land Resource, LLC et al on September 12, 2008. Land Resource, LLC Buffalo Creek is the developer of Grey Rock at Lake Lure.

Plaintiff: Bond Safeguard Insurance Company

Defendant: LR Buffalo Creek, LLC, Land Resource, LLC, Land Resource Group, Inc., James Robert Ward, Robert Vacko, Michael Flaskey, Jason Beaird, Realan Investment Partners, LLLP, DPB Solutions, LLC, Weeks-Grey Rock, LLC, Euram Grey Rock Associates, L.P., Daniel D Dinur, Barrington H Branch, Blue Mist Farms, LLC, Bridge Pointe at Jekyll Sound, LLC, Clarks Hill Lake, LLC, Coastline Properties, LLC, Roaring River, LLC, Laird Bayou, LLC, Laird Point, LLC, Land Resource Group of North Carolina, LLC, Land Resource Orchards, LLC, Land Resource Satilla River, LLC, Land Resource Watts Bar, LLC, LR Baytree Landing, LLC, LR Riversea, LLC, Point Peter, LLLP, Villages at Norris Lake, LLC, Land Resource Meigs County, LLC, LRC Holdings, LLC, Land Resource Round Mountain, LLC, Southern HOA Management, LLC, Wachovia Bank, N.A. and KeyBank USA, N.A.

Case Number:1:2008cv00434

Filed: September 12, 2008

Court: North Carolina Western District Court

County: Rutherford

Nature of Suit: Contract - Other Contract

Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Other Contract

Jurisdiction: Diversity

Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Third Lawsuit Filed Against Ginn Company

On September 17, 2008 Toby Tobin, a Florida real estate reporter, advised that another lawsuit has been filed against Ginn Development Company, LLC and some of its subsidiaries. The lawsuit was filed on September 12, 2008 in St. Lucie County, Florida.

The 17 Ginn/Tesoro plaintiffs claim that the company violated Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Previous Ginn lawsuits allege that the company violated SEC regulations and the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act.

The Ginn Company is currently developing Laurelmor in Western North Carolina.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Clear Skies Required for The Cliffs at High Carolina Land Sales

Smog covered downtown Asheville on July 21, 2008. A Code Orange air quality alert was issued for most of Western North Carolina, especially mountain elevations. Photo compliments of the Asheville Citizen-Times.

It is all about the timing.

In November 2008 when Asheville’s haze has dissipated and the state has stopped issuing air quality warnings, Jim Anthony, founder and President of the Cliffs Communities, Inc will begin selling land in his newest resort, The Cliffs at High Carolina. This steep slope mountain development encompasses 3,200 acres and is the largest land project in Buncombe County. Homesites will be priced from around $500,000 to more than $2 million.

The Cliffs Communities, Inc. Vision for The Cliffs at High Carolina:
A thriving community…in a setting like no other. Years ago, when the Cliffs founder Jim Anthony first set foot on this land, he knew he was experiencing something extraordinary. Hiking along the ridges, he encountered high mountain meadows, natural mountain springs, and tumbling waterfalls. As he inhaled the fresh mountain air and felt the cool summer breezes, he was also mesmerized by the 360-degree views.

Mr. Anthony’s memories are true. A long time ago, he would have breathed Western North Carolina’s clean air and enjoyed the region’s stunning vistas but today, summer smog clouds the landscape and is a major health hazard.

How serious is Western North Carolina’s air quality? Critical, according to North Carolina lawmakers and environmental experts. On January 30, 2006 Attorney General Roy Cooper filed a suit on behalf of the citizens of North Carolina against the Tennessee Valley Authority. In his press release Mr. Cooper stated that “TVA’s pollution is making North Carolinians sick, damaging our economy and harming our environment.”

During the course of the trial this summer in U.S. District Court in Asheville, Bill Cecil, Jr. president and CEO of the Biltmore Company addressed the court about the issue of air pollution. He stated that the region’s poor air quality is threatening travel and tourism. Mr. Cecil said that during summer months Biltmore visitors cannot see Mt. Pisgah and on some days the smog reduces visibility to less than 3 miles.

It is unlikely that Judge Thornburg's findings, which are pending, will affect change. Duke Energy is constructing a new coal-burning plant in nearby Rutherford County. This facility along with others in North Carolina and those operated by the TVA will continue to release millions of tons of carbon dioxide waste into Western North Carolina's air.

Western North Carolina residents can see the contaminated haze and they understand the medical significance of a Code Orange day. The question is, will High Carolina purchasers be warned of the risks before they sign their contracts?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Grey Rock at Lake Lure Developer

The following information was obtained from The lawsuit, Goetz et al v. Land Resource, LLC et al was filed on August 26, 2008 in Florida Middle District Court. (Case Number: 6:2008cv01471)

Plaintiffs allege violation of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Are Land Resource, LLC Developments Encumbered?

On July 9, 2008 Mike Flaskey, CEO of Land Resource, LLC advised the media that the company was forced to shut down sales operations in six developments. Flaskey cited a souring economy and banks reluctance to lend as the reasons for the closures. Land Resource has 9 projects under development. They are:

Bridge Pointe at Jekyll Sound-Waverly, Georgia
Cumberland Harbour-St. Mary’s Georgia
The Docks at Caney Creek-Kingston, Tennessee
Grey Rock at Lake Lure-Lake Lure, North Carolina
Laird Pointe-Panama City Florida
Roaring River-Fayetteville, West Virginia
Still Water Coves-Lincolnton, Georgia
The Villages at Norris Lake-LaFollette, Tennessee
Wild Ridges-Marion, North Carolina

Land Resource has stopped sales in two Western North Carolina developments, Grey Rock in Lake Lure and Wild Ridges in Marion.

On August 31, 2008, Land Resource issued a press release on their proprietary website advising that the company was still in negotiations with lenders. Land Resource Chairman and CEO J. Robert Ward said that company officials are… “focused on preserving the value of its enterprise for the benefit of all company stakeholders, including vendors, suppliers and most importantly property owners and customers. We will remain steadfast in the pursuit of the financing we need…”

On August 1, 2008 a Topix Land Resource participant said:

My heart goes out to everyone here, such a shame. I just wanted to throw something else into the mix. LRC's actions have extended far beyond the boundaries of their developments. Not only has LRC done an incredible injustice to the property owners, but they are in tremendous debt to many vendors. Some vendors are having to absorb losses so large that it might put them out of business. I represent one of them.
Land Resource property owners have the right to know the nature and extent of the debt that may encumber the various named projects. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development reminds purchasers that restrictions or encumbrances on lots, or on Subdivisions, could affect titles to lots.

On August 26, 2008 a group of Grey Rock at Lake Lure property owners filed a federal lawsuit against Land Resource, LLC and associated parties. The plaintiffs allege violation of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act. Please see Goetz et al v. Land Resource, LLC et al.

Rain Triggers Mudslides in Two Western North Carolina Counties

Intense rainfall on August 26, 2008 set off mudslides and mudflows in Haywood and Rutherford Counties. Local newspapers provided the following information.

Haywood County

The Mountaineer reported in their August 29, 2008 edition that an east Canton home had been damaged by a mudslide.

In the article, "Welcome rain brings woes, too," Greg Shuping, director of Haywood County Emergency Management Services told Staff writer, Beth Pleming that, "Due to heavy rains, the mountain behind the home slid off and broke down a retaining wall, sending water and mud sliding up against the house. It was a pretty dangerous situation, but again nobody got hurt. The homeowners (who were in the home at the time) self-evacuated."

In the same issue of The Mountaineer Staff writer Justin Waybright covered the Haywood County industrial site mudflow. In his article, "Mud plagues Beaverdam site," Waybright reported that a dam on a sediment trap at a county construction site gave way and unleashed a river of muddy water onto a nearby roadway. Marc Pruett, Haywood County erosion control director, assessed the damage and stated, "The basin did not blow out, it filled up over the top, it caught hundreds of cubic yards of mud. The minimum requirement for a state site is to have a 10 year storm design and the rain last night may have exceeded the design."

Local residents have complained about construction activities since the project began and they say that the county has not observed 1996 regulations that restrict public nuisances.

Lake Lure/Rutherford County

Jean Gordon, a writer for The Digital Courier, spotlighted the mudslides that impacted Chimney Rock and Lake Lure.

In her article, “Mudslides hit lake area,”Gordon focused on the mudslide that forced the closure of a local lake front restaurant. The manager of The Beach Grill, Anthony Simmons, said he believed the mudslide had been caused by a developer who had clear-cut the slope behind the building. Officials also reported mudslides along Highway 64/74 and a mud flow near the Esmeralda Inn.