Developers win housing suit

Golden Eagle residents to appeal


Article Courtesy of the Tallahassee Democrat

Published October 8, 2004

A judge has ended a 2-year-old lawsuit against the developers of the Golden Eagle subdivision by ruling in their favor.

The lawsuit was filed by Andrew and Lynn Graybar, Golden Eagle residents, in March 2002. Andrew Graybar said he intends to appeal.

Circuit Judge Nikki Clark this week rejected the Graybars' claims that lot sizes were too small and that setbacks were too shallow.

She also disagreed with the suit's contention that the developers improperly owned the gatehouse and maintained offices in it and that they did not pay enough dues to the homeowners association.

Clark, who ruled from the bench Tuesday, is expected to issue a written order next week.

The defendants were Twin Action Realty, Twin Action Properties, Hobbs Brothers Inc., RK Development Inc. and Premier Design & Construction Inc.

"They're just happy the case is over and that they won," said their attorney, Daniel Manausa of Tallahassee's Smith, Thompson, Shaw & Manausa law firm. "They're proud of what they've created in Golden Eagle, and they're proud the (homeowners) association stood by them."

Andrew Graybar said he and his wife were not seeking any money for themselves from the lawsuit: "We were doing this just because it was the right thing to do."

Graybar said he objected to the developers using homeowners association dues to pay the electric bill for the offices they used in the gatehouse, for example. They also owe about $212,000 in unpaid dues and for other costs, he maintains.

"We're respectful of the legal process, but we don't think we have any choice but to file an appeal," Graybar said.

Golden Eagle, in northeast Leon County off Thomasville Road, includes some of the area's most upscale homes, an exclusive country club and a private golf course.