Thursday, June 19, 2008
Nantucket Leucadia, the Plot thickens
NCT.com ENCINITAS: Homeowner to ask Council to lift affordable housing restriction
Leucadia Cares and friends:
At the city council tonight the agenda item of interest was # 4 - a report and 3 options laid out by the staff concerning the affordable housing unit on Andrew and the Barratt home located on what is called Plot # 1 - their former model home on Andrew.
The story goes: Barratt sold Plot # 1 to a customer who wants to move in (of course). The customer says he was never told the house can not be occupied because the affordable house has not be built. The customer, George Shafer, came before the CC a couple of weeks ago to say he wants to move in "with his family", he is reported to have said. The city holds what is called a "certificate of occupancy" (COO) and is not suppose to give it up until the affordable home is completed as contracted.
As it turns out: David Meyer, who was under contract to build the affordable home on Andrew, has backed out of the whole deal. The council thinks Barratt is now responsible for the affordable home.
Barratt has no money and has pulled their advertising signs off La Costa and the huge one on Andrew. There is a "for sale by owner" on the lawn of Plot # 1 home tonight.
Kathleen McMillen Lees, Jerry Sodomka and I spoke to the issue of making Barratt live by the existing contact and build the affordable home before releasing the COO to Shafer. I brought up the point that Barratt gave $ 30K to the city for the last birthday party...and now is asking for favors again. We brought up the point that all we want is the city to follow their rules. They haven't in this case.
We found out on the web and through some of you that George Shafer is actually a representative for an LLC that buys model homes and leases them back to builders. No warm cuddly family to move in. And it was vaguely reported that the # 1 house had been sold to someone else before Mr. Shafer got involved. The boys on the council were hoodwinked again, but they didn't seem to care.
Maggie and Teresa didn't buy any of it and wanted more time to figure who is who and what is what. Teresa said publicly "the whole deal smells."
The boys voted them down and came up with a very difficult plan to give Barratt the COO for Plot # 1 (the model home) and somehow take back the COO for plot # 6 and hold it in hostage until the affordable home is build. I believe the city attorney said it might be very hard to get the COO back. Good luck - I understand someone already owns plot # 6...a point neglected by the boys last night.
If ever you wanted to see one hour and 20 minutes of giving Barratt and David Meyer favors -- this was the night. It was SO embarrassing to see how the boys practically fell over themselves to accommodate the wiggly players here. Wish we had bought the birthday party.
The staff is to meet with Barratt and give them the plan of building an affordable (now probably 800 sf) home on Andrew by June 30, 2009 or the city will take over Plot # 6 as the affordable home. Sounds tough, but I have my doubts about it working out like that. It was all very pathetic. The taxpayer money that has gone into this aspect of the project alone is probably staggering.
What the CC did not discuss is what happens if these properties have not paid their property taxes and default back to a lender? Is the lender responsible for building the affordable housing? Somehow in the boys' zeal to help Barratt they forgot that biggie.
Keep a look out for more deals to come.
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