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.