Last week WCI took action to amend our community’s Declaration (the most important of our documents, effectively “our Constitution”) by unilaterally filing a supplement adding 250+ acres of Raptor Bay Golf Course property into Exhibit A of our Declaration.
However, these new properties that WCI is trying to add are separate, unconnected properties that are outside the gates of PLCA. They had already been removed from the Declaration in 2002. If the amendment is allowed, WCI has asserted the right to formally annex some or all of these properties into PLCA. The new properties include the site of WCI’s proposed 4 hi-rise towers!
What is Exhibit A? Exhibit A is a legal description of all properties that could be made part of the PLCA governing responsibility. It is an attachment to the Declaration. Before WCI’s latest action, all such areas in the former Exhibit A were already part of PLCA’s governing responsibility and “within the gates”. Phase 1 of Pelican Landing is fully built-out and The Colony has only a few areas possibly remaining to be developed.
Though you may never have heard of it before now, Exhibit A is an important part of the RBC lawsuit. This is not just a technicality – it is a huge distinction. It is also a distinction neither of the PLCA legal opinions addressed. In fact, PLCA’s attorney, Tom Hart, issued a very flawed opinion stating that WCI has the right to annex until December 31, 2020 but completely neglects the (“… whichever is earlier”) clause that limits annexation rights with respect to Exhibit A:
The Declaration states that when all properties listed on Exhibit A have been “subjected to the Declaration” then WCI can no longer annex property into PLCA.
Fact 1: Once all properties listed on Exhibit A have been made subject to the Declaration, WCI can no longer unilaterally annex property into PLCA. All properties listed on Exhibit A had been made subject to our Declaration long before this current action of WCI attempting to add 250 acres to Exhibit A. WCI no longer has, nor has it had for some time, the right to expand exhibit A or to annex property into PLCA.
The Declaration also states that when 85% of the units in Exhibit A have been built and sold that turnover automatically occurs.
Fact 2: 85% of the total potential units that can be built on the properties listed on Exhibit A have been built and sold and this fact has been true for a long time. That horse is out of the barn. Turnover happened years ago and cannot be undone. But WCI never told the PLCA board or the residents, either because of negligence or fraud. By state law, once turnover has happened a developer can no longer unilaterally amend a homeowner’s association documents. WCI does not have the legal power to do what it just tried to do.
These are facts, but WCI has ignored them. WCI will get away with this effort to add property to our community if, and only if, we do not stand together to fight this legally NOW!
WCI’s recent action shows how necessary it was to file a legal action against WCI, and how fortunate we are as a community that RBC did so with the support of its hundreds of contributors and volunteers.
- Marvin Hancock Longlake