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Golf course owner describes 'The False Narrative'

April 22, 2015
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

This is a rebuttal to a letter to the editor posted on April 8, 2015 by Mr. Bill Morris, a Bay Beach resident. I wish to thank Mr. Morris; it clearly demonstrates "The False Narrative" Estero Bay Improvement Association has led the condo owners to believe. Documents supporting my statements below, will be posted on, click on "The False Narrative."

In 2009, we learned from South Florida Water Management District that all condominium associations throughout the Bay Beach Community were in violation of stormwater permits issued by SFWMD. These violations continue to this day. I hired a stormwater engineering firm to educate me on the stormwater system. The engineering firm notified me that all the condo associations were dumping their storm and surface water onto our golf course property. Many of the condominium associations were in violation for not meeting construction certification, while all condominium associations are in violation of draining their surface and storm water onto the golf course property without an easement to do so, nor do they currently have the SFWMD-required operating agreement with the golf course owners.

EBIA was charged with creating a stormwater management program for the residential portions of the Bay Beach Community from its inception, however, EBIA failed to do so. This led to EBIA being sued in 2003 for unjust enrichment by the original developer, Stardial. EBIA lost in arbitration, and was notified then that future and successive claims would be imminent.

In 2005 EBIA obtained a cost-sharing agreement, not an operating agreement, with our predecessor in title. EBIA's cost-sharing states it must be filed with the clerk of court in order to run with the land; so successors in interest like myself have reasonable notice of its existence. EBIA chose not to file the document. Since EBIA's cost-sharing agreement was not filed in Lee County, it became invalid upon our purchasing the property. Furthermore, EBIA's cost-sharing provides no easement rights to the golf course property. Further yet, EBIA's cost-sharing does not meet SFWMD requirements to satisfy the violations. We tried for nearly a year to compel EBIA to meet with us to resolve these violations. Finally, EBIA agreed to meet with us on February 11, 2013, but, at the time of the meeting EBIA President Errol Hohmann called and stated EBIA had nothing to talk about, suggesting EBIA had no interest in representing its members in this matter. Then we attempted to meet with the condominium associations individually, mostly our requests were ignored, but a few did reply referring us back to EBIA.

Litigation was brought on by EBIA as a result of the individual condominium association's refusal to meet and negotiate a resolution. While many of you believe we sued EBIA, the truth is EBIA sued us. As for our asking price, its less than its 2014 appraised value, which does not support your calling me greedy. The 78 percent open space you mentioned applies to the entire Bay Beach Development which includes Lenell Road. It also takes into account two building parcels remaining on the golf course property per the original Development of Regional Impact that remains in force today. Parcel 14 has 100 building units remaining, and parcel 17 has 128 building units remaining. Litigation could have been avoided altogether had EBIA been well-managed, and most likely had EBIA or the individual condominium associations met with us to negotiate a resolution to their permit violations. It's "The False Narrative" and what EBIA doesn't want you to know that has prolonged this unfortunate situation.

Chip Durpo, owner

Fort Myers Beach Golf Club



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