Ocean Ridge Developer Lawsuit

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ocean ridge developerNorth Carolina lawyer Mark Hamlet was selected by both parties as the mediator for the now settled lawsuit, filed by the developer of Ocean Ridge Plantation, between the Ocean Ridge Plantation property owners association known as ORMA, and Ocean Ridge developer, manager Mark Saunders.

Mark Hamlet is certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a mediator for North Carolina court mediations, and a member of the New Hanover County and NC Bar Associations. He formed his firm, Hamlet & Associates, PLLC, out of Wilmington, NC, in May 2012.

Mark Saunders, manager of the Ocean Ridge® development companies, and the Ocean Ridge Master Association, the property owners’ association for the Ocean Ridge Community, announced that they have reached an amicable settlement to resolve the litigation between them pertaining to past assessments.

The issue began in 2010, when the governance of the association was turned over to board members elected by the property owners. The community’s protective covenants called for the developer to be exempt from assessments and its funding obligations ended at the time of turnover. Unfortunately, the exemption provision was apparently overlooked, and the developer paid assessments on exempt home sites for several years until the error was discovered. “We’re confident that the payment of assessments for exempt home sites was an innocent mistake – most likely a simple carryover from prior years. We are pleased that the lawsuit is resolved and extend our gratitude to the association’s board of directors for working with us to settle the issue amicably,” said Saunders. The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court of Brunswick County, NC, last year (16 CVS 2340).

While the terms of the settlement, including the total sum paid, are confidential, the association did refund a portion of the assessments, and contributions also were received from insurance companies who were representing the parties involved. The association’s current and future budgets account for the developer’s recognized dues-exempt status.

“We have always had a cordial and productive working relationship with the association members, who are an important reason that Ocean Ridge Plantation® has thrived,” Saunders said, “and, while the lawsuit was unfortunate, it is good to get the issue resolved. We look forward to continuing to work with the association’s board of directors.”

Ocean Ridge Plantation is an elegant, residential beach and golf community located by the southeastern coast of North Carolina. This award-winning community features four championship-level golf courses, unmatched amenities, and stunning homes.  Ocean Ridge is considered by most to be one the best places to live in southeastern North Carolina. It offers a welcoming, active and fun-filled coastal lifestyle that many families dream of and are seeking today.

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