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East County Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 3 years ago

Lawsuit hopes to stop purchase of University Park Country Club

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Resident alleges formation of Recreation District to finance the deal was not in homeowners' best interest.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

A University Park Country Club homeowner has filed for a temporary injunction and lawsuit to invalidate the formation of the University Park Recreation District and prevent it from financing the purchase of the University Park Country Club from its developers.

The Recreation District is scheduled to hold a referendum Feb. 7 at which University Park property owners would vote on whether to approve the issuance of $24 million in bonds to finance the acquisition of the golf course, clubhouse and other amenities. The injunction also asks to prevent the board from securing short-term financing.

Resident Richard Garrett filed the lawsuit Jan. 31  on the basis the formation of the Recreation District was “was arbitrary, capricious, confiscatory, and/or violative of constitutional protections,” according to the lawsuit.

Garrett said he knew about about the plans to sell University Park’s amenities to residents when he began the process to purchase his home in summer 2017, but he believes what was promised has not been fulfilled. He said the homeowners association has not responded to records requests and his lawsuit will include 500 pages of supporting documentation for the case.

He said the process lacked transparency and proper due diligence for purchase of the University Park Country Club property.

“In my opinion, there was a complete lack of concern for the owners of University Park,” Garrett said. “I come from a business background. This is the strangest situation I’ve ever seen.”

University Park Recreation District board members voted (Read more) Jan. 11 to approve a nearly $17 million contract for the acquisition. The additional funding would pay for maintenance of the facilities or other needs. 

University Park opened in 1991 as a joint partnership between developer Pat Neal, of Neal Communities, and the late Rolf Pasold, whose family is represented by Charles Varah. Pat Neal’s son, John, bought out his father’s stake in late 2007. Neal and the Pasold family retain ownership of University Park Country Club, which has semiprivate membership.

Conversations about University Park residents buying facilities from the developers began in March 2017 (Read more here).

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