Sage Utilities: The Plan C Condo Owners Respond

The one who states his case first seems right,
    until the other comes and examines him. 
Proverbs 18:17

In a prior article I wrote about Sage Property’s (SP) filing related to the utilities it jointly owns with the Condominium Corporation (CC). In this filing by a representative of the CC owners we get a bit of a different story – and allegations of some more CEF / District “shoes” falling on the floor.

Following is my summary of the document. “p” refers to paragraph # in the source document. If you have any questions, please consult the source document and/or appropriate legal counsel.


p6: Discussions between SP and CC started back in 2016.

p7-10:  Nov 2017 SP sent a memo to the CC Board. The CC Board then formed a CC Committee (CCC) to act as their spokesman in discussing with SP in Feb 2018.

p11: A lot of up-front work was needed to put together a proposal. This was complicated by people being away on vacation and inaccessible.

p12: When the applicant returned in April she learned about the SP application.  The CCC worked with counsel to get a response to SP on Apr 10, 2018.

p13: The CCC feels it would be helpful to allow time for formal negotiation to take place between SP and CC and are asking for an adjournment of the court application in order to do this.

Background:

p14: “Parcel C” development started back in 1997 with District owning the properties and the residents having life leases to the properties. In 2006 District created ECHS to manage the Sage and Parcel C lands.

p15: In 2008 ECHS offered to convert the “Parcel C” life leases into fee simple for a small fee. The CC representative feels this cost should’ve been borne by District/ECHS and be part of the settlement discussions.

p16: Around 2003 District built the “Manor” on Sage lands. The CC as an extension of District/ECHS entered into a rental agreement to use parts of the Manor. The CC rep feels this rental had no beneficial to the Condominium Owners (CO) and was largely an unneeded expense used get more revenue to District and increase the perceived value of the condo units. Given that the terms of Easement 374 establishes a facilities agreement with the CC the rental agreement with the Manor was believed to be redundant and unneeded and needs to be reviewed as part of the settlement.

p17: The rental agreement is still in place, SP wants CC to renew it, and CC wants to talk about it.

p18: In 2011 the CC Board, controlled by the CO, agreed with ECHS with respect to certain snow removal on Luther Rose Blvd. To date neither ECHS nor Sage has performed in according to this agreement.

p19: Street light power was drawn from the same source as the Manor and was managed by ECHS. In 2015 the CC agreed to pay the Manor for power used for their street lights. The CC have been making good-faith payments to SP for this power. SP is now demanding  the CC disconnect from the power lines and remove their power lines from Sage property at an estimated cost of $25K. The CC notes that Sage et al have benefitted from the CC lights particularly when social events like weddings are taking place.

p20: When Sage was established it held itself out to the COs as the utility provider and charged them for the utility service which the CO have been paying.

p21: The forgoing is in contravention of Easement 374. District et al usurped the role of the Parcel C owners with the net result that they’ve been overcharged for utilities for nearly two decades. The COs want to be connected to a potable water infrastructure and individual meters installed to confirm the utilities charges are accurate.

p22: Concern that if additional irrigation lines are connected to the irrigation pond that the CO lands would be affected.

p23: School use of Luther Rose Blvd for parents to drop off and pick up their children, parents breaking the speed limit, the creation of excessive traffic, and an increase in crime. The CO/CC feels that only CO owners and visitors should be using Luther Rose Blvd. Since the original plans set out 20 years ago won’t be realized, they want to relinquish their joint access benefits in exchange for Luther Rose Blvd being rezoned as a private road.

p24: CO concerns about Sage’s future development affecting the quiet enjoyment by the Parcel C owners of their lands and want to discuss the matter with SP.

p25: Applicant believes there has been a pattern of mistreatment by Sage, District, and ECHS that needs to be addressed before Easements 273 and 374 are amended or replaced. If an agreement can be reached the CO will co-operate with the modification or removal of Easements 372 and 374.

p26: The applicant does not think that removing Easements 372 and 374 benefits the Parcel C owners at this time.

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