To quote our newly elected BOD President (Mark Capalongan) from the December 9th Somersett Happenings Email: “I’m very pleased to announce to homeowners that Somersett Owners Association (SOA) and Somersett Golf and Country Club (SGCC) have resolved the years-long dispute and lawsuit that pitted the SGCC against the SOA, and has divided the community for so long……” So what was the settlement? It can be summarized as follows:
The SOA and the SGCC agreed to share the costs for repair of the Hole 5 hillside due to the failure of the upper (on SOA Property) and lower (on SGCC leased property) rockery walls, apparently without regard to which one failed first, thereby resulting in the failure of the second. After considering costs expended by both parties (some might consider the SGCC’s as unsubstantiated), dividing them on a 50% – 50% basis, and giving credit to the SGCC for payments made to the SOA under the Tolling Agreement, SGCC’s agreed to liability to the SOA equaled $263,097 (a far cry from their previous offer of $30K over time, which prompted the lawsuit)
Given that the SGCC does not have sufficient cash reserves to pay off the liability and “you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip” a time payment plan was negotiated. Herein lies what some might quote “therein lies the rub” as it is to be paid over the remaining 44 years of the property lease agreement by increasing the annual lease payment to the SOA in the amount of $5980. What about the present value of monies to be collected in the years to come one might ask? Apparently, the Board took this into consideration and using CPI data determined that, with this payment plan, the SGCC was actually getting an $85K discount. Some might object to this. However, when you consider the cost of litigation to pursue the lawsuit against the SGCC, the $300K estimate quoted by Mr. Capalongan in the Somersett Happenings email is realistic and goes to offset the $85K.
A win-win situation? SU believes only marginally so, but an acceptable one for the SOA. Therefore, SU congratulates the new Board members for putting this behind us and living up to a campaign promise. If only now we can put the Somersett Development Company et al. lawsuit behind us berore we spend another $500,000 in legal fees on a losing appeal. Also, kudos to our new Board President for communicating directly to owners via the Somersett Happenings emails. A welcome transparency that one can only hope continues.
Once the Settlement Agreement is recorded with the Court, SU will make it available on this website in its entirety.