Implications of sale of AV Homes in Poinciana, known as Avatar, on ongoing litigation not yet known

Article Courtesy of The Ledger

By Mike Ferguson

Published August 10, 2018

POINCIANA — How the sale of a Poinciana developer will affect the homeowners’ association elections or ongoing litigation seems to be anyone’s guess.

Arizona-based Taylor Morrison Home Corp. has agreed to terms to purchase AV Homes, commonly referred to as Avatar, for the price of $963 million. AV Homes is the primary developer in the Association of Poinciana Villages, an HOA of about 27,000 homes.

APV is involved in ongoing litigation with three homeowners — Peter Jolly, Victor Destremps and Annette Brown-Best. The three claim the HOA has allowed the developer to manipulate vote counts and maintain control of the community by casting large block votes.

APV is divided into nine villages with each governed by a five-member board. One member of each village board is selected to serve on the APV master board. For unplatted lands, the developer can cast block votes for homes that could be built on those properties.

A civic group of homeowners known as Friends of Poinciana Villages says the number of votes cast are inconsistent with land development regulations and conservation standards. It claims the developer has used large block votes to keep people on APV boards who are favorable to the developer.

The ongoing litigation claims APV has violated the 1985 agreement that the developer was supposed to turn over control to the residents. Another claim is that the HOA violated the state’s Marketable Record Title Act that requires deed restrictions to be updated every 30 years.

Attorneys Jennifer Englert and Jeff Smith, of Orlando Law Group representing the homeowners, did not respond to multiple calls or emails from The Ledger requesting comment on what the sale could mean for their clients. Tom Slaten, an attorney with Larsen and Associates who represents APV, also did not return The Ledger’s call, but told an APV spokeswoman that he would know more about election protocols once the sale is finalized. A media contact number for Taylor Morrison was no longer in service.