Golf community owners still paying for Ginn

        Property owners at the Reunion Resort near Orlando continue to pay for having purchased property from Ginn Development. Recently they were notified of the next series of increased assessments for road and swimming pool maintenance.  Those facilities are financed and managed through a Community Development District, or CDD, a “special purpose government entity” that is separate from the property owners association.  The increased assessments are a consequence, at least in part, of the fact that a Ginn-controlled entity owes nearly $11 million to the CDD, and isn’t paying, according to Toby Tobin, a Florida blogger who has followed the Ginn saga as closely as anyone.

        The property owners, who were able to protest their way to a reduction in 2011 annual assessments from $472 and $482 to between $293 and $302, respectively (depending on which side of the golf development they live), are tilting at some significant windmills.  Holding the gavel at the CDD Board meetings, according to Tobin, is John Gray, Ginn Development’s own vice president of operations.  Ginn Development will continue to lead the board of the CDD until 250 single-family properties are sold in each half of the golf community.

        Ginn followed a similar strategy at The Conservatory at Hammock Beach, where the developer kept title to three of that golf community’s lots in order to retain all three spots on the community’s three-member board.  The Ginn controlled board hired outside contractors for security and other duties; reportedly, Ginn was an investor in the companies doing the work.  In one case, says Tobin, property owners were paying $20 per parcel for property management services while residents in other golf communities in the area were paying $4 to $5.  Once the developer sold 90% of the properties at The Conservatory, Florida law mandated that property owners take control of the POA.  After they did, they changed contractors.

        The Ginn saga is like a multi-volume saga without a final chapter.  You can read the latest chapter in this twisted tale at Toby Tobin’s web site,

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