After months of negotiations the county reached agreement with the developers of Rollins Ranch. The developer agreed to complete all identified improvements per the initial development agreement by August 31 and to pay the outstanding tax bill of approximately $23,000. The county agreed to waive interest and penalties on the unpaid taxes, to take the developer out of default, and to begin issuing building permits once the taxes are paid and the improvements are complete.
Over the past month the developer has completed approximately forty-five percent of the improvements required by the county. In the last council meeting the attorney for the developer had indicated that he expected the improvements to be complete by July 15. When the council did not approve the agreement in the meeting approximately a month ago the developer left with a parting comment that they would stop work. Work has continued, but has not been completed.
The county placed the developer in default several months ago after many months of negotiations and when required improvements on the subdivision were not complete. The county suspended issuing building permits last year since the subdivision was not complete and the county could not offer full services to the homeowners in the area.
As the economy has improved some lot owners in the area have requested that they be issued a building permit. The developer is also hopeful that they will be able to resolve the finance issues with their lender and be able to begin selling lots once again.
The council decided to waive the penalties and interest because of the unique situation with the taxes. The county had applied more than two million in improvements made on the entire subdivision to a small parcel at the entrance to the subdivision. This parcel of land was later dropped and the tracking of the taxes was lost by the county until the mistake was discovered. Since the county had procedural problems relating to the taxes associated with this parcel of land, and in an effort to bring the situation to resolution the council determined the best route would be to waive penalties and interest. They will, however, require that the developer pay the outstanding taxes.
There are still several steps that will be needed before the developer is out of default. The developer will need to complete the necessary improvements, they will need to post a bond for the improvements, and they will need to pay the outstanding taxes. If this completes on schedule then Rollins Ranch will be back on track with the county to begin lot sales and further development. This will successfully bring to a close the issues surrounding one of the county’s largest incomplete subdivisions.