New management firm holds out hope to Settler’s Ridge residents

By on April 2, 2010

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Residents of Settler’s Ridge can expect better maintenance of the common areas, empty lots and the yellow house that is the gateway to the community. Coast Oak Group officials told homeowners in a meeting on Tuesday that the market will need to turn around significantly before they might envision a club house, pool or any of the other amenities included in the original plan.

Officials for the Coast Oak Group, which has been hired to manage the property, met with Settler’s Ridge homeowners on Tuesday to address their concerns.

Following the completion of approximately 100 of the projected 2,678 homes in the development started in 2005, developer Kimball Hills Homes filed for bankruptcy in 2008, and work on the subdivision ceased.

The subdivision remains unfinished.

Residents have since complained of standing water and weeds growing in the empty lots, as well as other maintenance issues. They also asked the village when and if other public improvements would be completed, such as finishing paving some of the roads within the development.

When it developed the subdivision, Kimball Hill Homes, had to post performance bonds that were to pay for maintenance. However, these funds have not yet been released.

“To the credit of Sugar Grove, they’ve taken action,” Coast Oak Vice President of Asset Management Lane Wright said. “They created a punch list.”

He and another Coast Oak Group representative, Josh Nichols, will talk to Sugar Grove village officials this week to ensure that performance bonds that were put up by Kimball Hill will pay for the work, Wright said.

“We desire to keep it looking good for your benefit and ours,” Wright said. “We will do the best we can to be a good partner with Sugar Grove. We want to do right by the village and by you as homeowners.”

However, some of the homeowners remain skeptical of the future.

“The empty lots are like swamps,” Karan Pigatti said. “My sod is going to be washed away.”

Pigatti said that since the streets have not had their final paving, there is a danger of the roads and alleyways collapsing due to the water that has collected under them.

Other residents expressed concerns that with the finger-pointing between the bonding company and the village, improvements have been held up indefinitely with no end in sight.

Kimball Hill Homes Director of Community Development Bill Purcell acknowledged the problems with the roads.

“The sub-base wasn’t designed to remain exposed for three years,” he said.

Wright told the residents that they plan to keep the lines of communication open between them and the homeowners. He said that another meeting will be scheduled sometime in June.