HERITAGE HARBOUR — Supervisors in the Heritage Harbour South Community Development District met in a closed conference room April 18, in hopes of ending a long-standing dispute between the CDD and Stoneybrook Investors, owner of the Stoneybrook Golf Course, about assessments for stormwater management.
They re-emerged, however, with nothing new to report.
Supervisors took no action on either of two agreements that would have settled the nearly identical lawsuits Stoneybrook Investors brought forward in November 2011 and December 2012. The two lawsuits were combined earlier this year.
“There’s ongoing settlement negotiations,” said Andy Cohen, interim legal counsel for the CDD.
Florida law provides for governmental bodies to meet in a closed session under specific situations, such as for discussing offers to settle litigation. Although a court reporter records the meeting, transcripts do not become public record until the lawsuit has been resolved.
Details of the settlement offer, as presented by Stoneybrook Investors, remain confidential at this time.
In its original filings, Stoneybrook Investors challenged the legality of the stormwater assessments the CDD levied, among other allegations.
Supervisors settled a similar lawsuit March 21, with the Lighthouse Cove Homeowners Association and resident Joe Ramsey — who said the assessments were “improperly levied” and unfairly apportioned to homeowners.
Lighthouse Cove also had filed two lawsuits against the CDD; those have since been combined — one about the 2011 stormwater assessments and one concerning assessments for 2012.
The settlement agreement provided for the CDD to pay Lighthouse Cove $10,000 and that the CDD would give a representative of Lighthouse Cove, and other homeowner associations within the CDD’s boundaries, a “regular agenda opportunity” to speak at CDD meetings.
In Other Business:
• Supervisors voted to move their monthly board meetings to 5 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. A meeting location still is being determined.
Chris Brandt, general manager of the Stoneybrook Golf Course, has offered the facility for use for district meetings. Brandt said he would see if the facility was available at that time the board adopted April 18.
If the time is not available, Brandt will provide days and times the facility is available, so the board can reconsider its meeting time and day.
Additionally, Supervisor Richard Lane had requested moving meetings back to their original 3 p.m. time and said he would not be able to serve as a supervisor if the 6 p.m. meetings continued.
Board members voted on the 5 p.m. time, after Lane said the change “would help.” He did not say, however, whether the modification would be enough for him to continue serving on the board.
Supervisor Lee Bettes also had asked about having an alternative meeting date in May, because he had already scheduled travel plans around the proposed May 2 meeting date. The board, however, did not take any action to accommodate Bettes’ request.
• Supervisors voted to engage the services of Brett Sealy and MBS Capital Markets for the potential refinancing of the district’s 2002 bonds.