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Heritage Harbour lawsuits expand

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  • | 5:00 a.m. January 16, 2013
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HERITAGE HARBOUR — The Heritage Harbour South Community Development District is facing more lawsuits as it enters 2013.

Stoneybrook Investors, owner of the Stoneybrook Golf Club, and the Lighthouse Cove Homeowners Association have filed additional lawsuits against the district for what they believe are unfair assessments for the district’s stormwater-management services.

The lawsuits, filed in December, follow a Sept. 6 vote in which CDD supervisors upheld a new assessment methodology for allocating costs associated with stormwater management and other CDD expenses.

Both Stoneybrook Investors and Lighthouse Cove challenged the methodology change in late 2011, after the CDD board adopted it. Those lawsuits still are active, with depositions for the Lighthouse Cove case slated for this week.

“They’re basically the same issues (we had before),” Stoneybrook Investors attorney David Wilcox said of the new lawsuit, noting plaintiffs have a certain timeframe to contest assessments before their right to do so is waived.

Stoneybrook Investors alleges the golf course “is not included in the district” and should not be required to pay CDD assessments, as was the case from 2002 to 2011. Lighthouse Cove alleges the assessment is not properly apportioned, among other concerns. Both sides believe the new methodology is flawed.

Heritage Harbour CDD supervisors and their attorneys, however, believe the new assessment methodology is fair and enforceable — a claim they are prepared to defend in court.

Heritage Harbour South’s attorney John Harllee said the new lawsuits simply trail the lawsuits from the prior years, because those cases have not been resolved. The original cases, however, are preparing to go to trial.

Depositions for the original Lighthouse Cove case were slated to begin Jan. 17. A non-jury trial date has been set for on or around June. 10.

A judge is expected to set a trial date for the original Stoneybrook case at a Feb. 1 hearing, unless both parties can agree on a trial date before that time, Harllee said. Potential trial dates for the Stoneybrook case range from March to December.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].


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