Comments at the Planning Commission meeting on 21 October 2014 pointing out that Van Wyck residents oppose the Lennar Treetops Cluster Development.
     In August of 2013 fifty seven Van Wyck residents  signed a petition  (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) requesting that County Council not develop a cluster development ordinance and apply it to the Treetops property in northern Van Wyck. County Council ignored this request, developed and approved a cluster development ordinance and approved first reading for the use of that cluster development ordinance on the Treetops site.
     On 13 October 2014 about 90 Van Wyck residents attended a public meeting and listened to a presentation by Jon Hardy, President of Lennar Homes. concerning a proposed cluster development on the Treetops site. After the presentation they voted to reject the Lennar proposal for the Treetops site by a 10 - 1 margin. Residents supported by a large majority a proposal to develop the site as a camp in accordance with the wishes of the donor, Mr. Fred Wikoff.
     Property owners have property rights, one of which is the right to sell the property. Neighbors and the community as a whole also have rights, one of which is the right to the quiet enjoyment of their property. When Thompson acquired the Treetops property in 2008, it acquired a camp in which the neighbors and the community had invested about $7MM. Thompson could have sold the property a a camp if it did not fit in with their mission; in fact they turned away an inquiry at the time from the Eagle Rock Camp people to purchase the Treetops property, saying at the time that the property was not for sale.
     Thompson chose instead to neglect the property, allowing vandals to do damage estimated at $1MM to the property before petitioning County Council to rezone the property to a residential use so that it could be sold at a substantially higher price. The neighbors and the Van Wyck community believe that they are entitled to the enjoyment their property which was enhanced by the camp  in which they  invested so much time and money and to which Thompson has done so much deliberate damage.
     Neighbors and the Van Wyck Community therefore oppose the proposed changes to the Future Land Use Map and the zoning as destructive to their enjoyment of their property. The proposed Cluster Development will have a large negative impact on both the neighbors and the Community in the form of traffic, noise and congestion and the loss of the valuable community asset that Treetops had become. The neighbors and the community have considered the cluster development as presented by the builder in open forum and rejected it at least 10 to 1.
     We believe that Thompson can sell the Treetops property with its current zoning as a camp. There is an active market for camps and if the property is priced appropriately, particularly considering the damage that Thompson has allowed to be inflicted on the property, Thompson should be able to sell it.
     Thompson has no particular right as a property owner to a windfall profit of several million dollars bestowed by County Council for its destructive behavior that can only be construed as opposing the public interest.


J.R. Wilt