By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Yesterday’s blog featured a developer-controlled HOA in Laredo, Texas.
Today we look at Kings Gate HOA in Port Charlotte, FL. King’s Gate is a 55+ active adult community in southwest Florida. It boasts extensive recreational amenities and planned social events in a maintenance provided community. HOA members can take advantage of discounted membership to Kings Gate 18-hole golf course and Lion’s Den restaurant. Both the golf course and restaurant are also open to the public.
Kings Gate was incorporated as a mandatory HOA in 1998 by Benderson Development LLC.
Benderson Development is primarily a commercial developer. Kings Gate is currently listed as the only residential project on its website.
Original governing documents stated that Declarant (developer) control would expire no later than 2013. But in 2009, in a slow real estate market, Benderson amended the documents to state that control of the association would not transfer to owners until 90% of parcels have been sold.
The developer can easily amend CC&Rs, bylaws, and articles of incorporation during the control period. In this case, Benderson is entitled to 3.6 votes per unsold parcel, and overrides any vote of homeowners because of weighting voting interests.
Concerned homeowners say that Benderson has completed roughly 80% of Kings Gate, but has stopped building homes at least two years ago. At this rate, developer control might never end.
It is another case of de facto “taxation without representation,” and yet state laws do little to prevent perpetual developer control of homeowner funded mandatory HOAs.
Port Charlotte residents cry foul over developer’s HOA control
Published: July 5, 2017 7:48 PM EDT
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. Kings Gate residents pay more than $1 million in homeowners association fees every year — but without any input on how it’s spent, they say.
Some within the 55-plus neighborhood off Rampart Boulevard near Interstate 75 are trying to gain control of their HOA, which Benderson Development Company has run for nearly two decades.
“Everything is decided by the developer,” said Bill Weil, a Kings Gate resident spearheading the effort to put the community in the hands of those who live there. “The residents actually have no input whatsoever.”
The homeowners association was to be turned over to the residents in 2013, but Benderson, which built the gated community, changed the rule in 2009 so that control wouldn’t go to the residents until 90 percent of the homes were sold, Weil said.
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