Settlement To Fund Repairs At Chautauqua Housing Development

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a settlement with the sponsor of a Chautauqua County housing development who was accused of failing to fulfill the terms of a contract with homeowners.

The settlement requires the sponsor of The Villas at Chautauqua Point to compensate 40 homeowners for repairs to the road leading into the development and for other improvements to the property.

"This agreement ensures that those who purchased a lot and a home in this development are treated fairly," Spitzer said. "The settlement monies will fund repairs necessary for the physical and financial well being of the development."

Under the settlement, Chautauqua Point Development Corp. will to turn over to the local homeowners association 23 vacant building lots, which have a value estimated to be between $250,000 and $350,000. The homeowners association will be able to sell the lots to raise the money needed to fund the repairs. The settlement amounts to an average of between $14,700 and $20,600 per unit owner.

Chautauqua Point Development Corp. was owned by Charles McBride until his death in 1993. The company is now owned by his son, Charles McBride, Jr.

Following a complaint from the homeowners association, the Attorney General investigated the development and found significant defects in the property that were not disclosed in its original offering plan. The most significant problem was that the road servicing the property was supposed to be 16 feet wide, with a 12-inch gravel base; it is actually 12-feet wide with a base of 6-inch of sand and gravel. Additional problems included failing retaining walls and an improperly functioning drainage system.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Oliver Rosengart of the Real Estate Financing Bureau, under the supervision of Acting Bureau Chief Eric Dinallo.