This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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On Tuesday, May 2nd , the Federation of Boca Raton Homeowners Association will present two topics; to wit: a) Status of Sober Homes; and b) An Update on the Greater Beach and Parks District’s efforts in the acquisition of the Ocean Breeze Gold Course.
Community interest on the Ocean Breeze acquisition is extremely high. Residents, both city and district wide, have commented on the articles published in BocaWatch. On Tuesday, the District’s Executive Director/Legal Counsel, Art Koski, will make an oral presentation on the project’s status. The final presentation will be made on May 8th at the joint meeting between the City Council and the District Commissioners. This preliminary presentation will explore the operational numbers, the anticipated physical improvements for the course; and preliminary plans for a new clubhouse, learning center and hotel.
Boca Teeca Residents Beware….
After months of hearing about the formation of a Florida non-profit corporation, Ocean Breeze Golf and Tennis Club Neighborhood Association (OBNA), an organizational meeting was held on Tuesday, April 25 at the San de Vance Club House. Hosted by the ‘chairman’, Don Huber, a crowd of near 50 people attended to hear what amounted to an argumentative, chaotic presentation of what can only be described as a pre-determined course of action; a course of action that benefits nobody and puts at risk the efforts of the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park in its negotiation with Lennar Homes and the city of Boca Raton to achieve the overwhelming resident supported result of “Keep(ing) Golf In Boca”.
In the email announcement (see link below) sent last week and signed over the authority of an un-named OBNA Board of Directors, residents were told that the association had engaged attorneys to research and draft pleadings for a class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo; that the 1,712 property owners protected by the Restrictive Deed Covenant in the Boca Teeca Golf Course plat map sections 1 – 5 would be eligible for damages at varying amounts; and, that along with paying damages to the residents, Wells Fargo would be held responsible for restoring the Ocean Breeze Golf Course due to their asserted wrongful closure of the course and willful failure to maintain the facility as allegedly required by the restrictive deed covenant.
To all this I say….BALDERDASH!
Assuming arguendo that the legal theory survives the most basic of challenges in a motion to dismiss, this legal action will tie the property up in a long, expensive litigation that OBNA is ill prepared to fund, nevertheless fight. According to Mr. Huber, once the pleadings are filed, a ‘Lis Pendens’ notice will be served; ‘Lis Pendens’ is a written notice that a lawsuit has been filed concerning real estate, involving either the title to the property or a claimed ownership interest in the property. Filing a Lis Pendens notice will put a major impediment on the District’s efforts to acquire the property. Until lifted, no title company will be able to issue a title policy; an eventuality that will no doubt put the purchase and sale of the golf course in jeopardy.
Attendees were first learning of this plan’s details that evening. Those attending were not unsophisticated and challenged Mr. Huber on his legal theory and the reasoning for the alleged damages. When challenged, Mr. Huber became argumentative and downright rude to the crowd’s reaction. At one point, the crowd was asked to have a show of hands by those supportive of OBNA proceeding with this legal action. Not one hand was raised. The unanimous sentiment amongst the property owners was for OBNA to wait until after the Beach and Park District and the City of Boca Raton finalize their efforts to acquire the golf course and hotel from Lennar; an outcome that is currently scheduled for public comment on May 8th, 2017.
When asked directly, Mr. Huber stated “I personally do not want to wait…”, later in the meeting, he again stated that “We are not willing to wait.” The ‘we’ was never defined. Mr. Huber states he has hundreds of property owners that support his efforts. When pressed to reveal them, he became evasive and non-committal.
Also, unknown at this time is upon whose legal advice the lawsuit’s pleadings have been drafted; who would be the litigating attorney(s) and at what cost; and who would be the named plaintiff for purposes of establishing the class. Although no direct fees are being requested from the residents, there is a suggestion that property owners would consider a voluntary contribution to OBNA. According to financials offered verbally by Mr. Huber, OBNA has received some $23k in cash and in kind services and has some $6k in outstanding invoices.
To my friends in Boca Teeca…please take this seriously. Ask yourself if OBNA represents you with this threatened legal action; ask yourself what is the end game to such an action; and ask yourself how this action will resolve the community’s desire to “Keep Golf in Boca”.
I cannot help but remember what my 7th grade teacher would say….”A WORD TO THE WISE IS SUFFICIENT’