HISID to continue to try to negotiate Table Rock Landing lawsuit
HOLIDAY ISLAND -- Although it looks as though the HISID Board of Commissioners may end up in court over a lawsuit filed by David Bischoff, the board is still hopeful it can settle a separate suit against it by Table Rock Landing Time-Shares Association.
In a meeting Monday night to discuss and vote on settlement offers in both suits, the BOC voted to make a counter-offer to settle the TRL case.
TRL's suit protests the past formula of assessing the time-shares 10 times the regular R-1 assessment rate over many years in the past as well as the assessment level of 2.5 times the R-1 level set by the Assessment of Benefits done in 2011. It also protests the district's policies with regard to amenity usage by time-share owners; and the lack of voting privileges for time-share owners.
The settlement offer would award a declaratory judgment by the court that the time-shares would pay a single R-1 assessment rate per each of its 28 units from 2012 on in exchange for dropping its requested award of $1.9 million for alleged past excessive assessments. The offer asks for free use of golf and recreation center amenities for three years, the ability to purchase activity cards starting in 2016, time-share owner status as full property owners, voting rights on 56 ballots by the TRL board and payment of TRL attorney fees, which currently stand at $55,000.
The district's attorney, Matt Bishop, said the district would ask in settlement that the suit be dismissed "with prejudice," meaning it could not be re-filed.
Some commissioners rejected the idea of district wrongdoing in the case, claiming TRL had agreed to pay 10 times the R-1 assessment rate for each unit.
"Then they want $1.9 million back?" said Commissioner Ken Brown, protesting TRL expecting the district to give three years of free golf and pay $55,000 in fees. "I disagree with all that."
Commissioner Linda Graves also said that some provisions were "unfair" to the district.
"Free amenities -- I don't agree. No other property owner gets free amenities," she said. She also objected to the TRL board getting 56 votes in commissioner elections, stating the board could stack an election for their candidates.
But she did express a desire to settle with TRL.
"I think the time-shares are valuable," she said, "but I think the time-share owners were very fairly treated in this last assessment."
Chairman Ken Ames said that if all 3,500 property owners voted, there would be no way TRL could stack the election.
TRL Director Kelly Roberts made a nervous and impassioned plea to settle, noting that only about one-fourth of the time-share owners use the amenities, and the rest are exchanges, who pay guest fees.
The board voted for the district manager, Bishop and Ames to work on a counter-offer to bring back for the board's approval.