Meadowcrest's developers sue

The lawsuit says the homeowners group improperly

amended community documents and covenants in 2000.


Article Courtesy of The St. Petersburg Times

Published July 10, 2004

The company that developed Meadowcrest has sued the community association that legislates the part-residential, part-commercial development.

The lawsuit, filed June 30, claims documents regarding Meadowcrest's covenants, restrictions and easements were improperly amended in July 2000. The Meadowcrest Community Association failed to get unanimous approval of the changes from all its members, the suit states.

The suit argues the new document eliminated the association membership rights of the developers.

As a result, the owners of the commercial property have paid excessive assessments on the property since 2001, according to the suit.

The developers, including Stan Olsen of Olsen Family Partnership, want a judge to find the amended documents invalid.

Also, the developers are seeking more than $15,000 in damages due to the community association's alleged failure to act according to the proper governing documents.

Dunedin attorney Robert Tankel, who is representing the developers, did not return phone calls Friday. The lawyers who represent the Meadowcrest Community Association and some of its individual members also could not be reached.

The association has not responded to the lawsuit yet.

Some residents, however, wonder why Olsen and his representatives are suing an association they have been a part of since it was established in 1984.

The association's board of directors includes members from each of its five villages and four representatives from the commercial areas, some of which is vacant land owned by Olsen.

The suit is an aggressive step by Olsen and the other Meadowcrest developers, much like the two suits filed against Olsen last year by property owners in his Black Diamond Ranch development.

In one suit, six former members of the property owners association are seeking to be reinstated to the governing board after what they say was their improper removal from the board and freezing of the association's bank account.

In the other, which has been framed as a class-action complaint, five men contend they were misled about the value of the equity memberships they bought for Black Diamond Ranch country club and golf courses.

Black Diamond officials have disputed the claims made in both lawsuits.