About 400 homeowners in the Odessa National community will soon get back some of the fees they were forced to pay for long-promised golf course amenities prior to their completion in 2011.
Property developer Joseph M. Capano and two of his companies – Odessa National Golf Course LLC and Odessa National Development Corporation LLC – have reportedly agreed to pay $139,900 to settle a 2-year-old lawsuit filed by the Delaware Attorney General’s Office after they failed to complete the promised amenities on time.
Attorney General Beau Biden’s office said today that the payment would provide about $300 in reimbursement to each of the community homeowners who paid the fees in the second quarter of 2011, following the developer’s failure to meet a state-negotiated completion date.
The settlement concludes years of legal action taken against the developers of golf course community off Fieldsboro Road near Townsend.
For years, Odessa National homeowners were charged a mandatory $1,200 annual fee for use of various community amenities – including a clubhouse, a swimming pool and a tennis court – even though those facilities had not yet been built.
Several homeowners filed complaints against Odessa National, leading Capano to enter a legally binding agreement with the state in 2009 in which he promised to complete the work by Dec. 31, 2010 – a deadline that was later pushed back to March 31, 2011.
Capano failed to meet that deadline, although the clubhouse, pool and tennis courts were eventually opened on May 12, 2011 – ten days after the attorney general’s office filed its lawsuit.
That suit followed prior suits the attorney general’s office filed between 2008 and 2010 against NVR, Inc., which built several sections of Odessa National under the name Ryan Homes.
In total, Ryan Homes eventually agreed to pay more than $750,000 to consumers and the attorney general’s office to resolve complaints that the homebuilder never told buyers about the amenities fees, and had not completed the amenities that were promised.
Capano and officials from NVR could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Officers with the Odessa National Civic Assocation, which represents residents and homeowners in the subdivision, also were not immediately available for comment.