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Date Posted: 23:50:25 12/05/07 Wed
Author: No name
Subject: Re: CROOKED DEVELOPERS & BANKING COLLAPSE
In reply to: Judson Witham 's message, "CROOKED DEVELOPERS & BANKING COLLAPSE" on 22:21:55 12/05/07 Wed

Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2007 18:55:00 -0800 (PST)

From: "judson witham"

Subject: Crooked Developers & Banking Collapse

To: Hapa1234@aol.com

CC: "Bobby Harmon" , "David Farmer" , "Michael Dowling" , "James Cribley" , "Lawrence Goya" , "Pension Benefit Guaranty Association" , "Robert Bruce Graham" , "Nathan Aipa" , "Michael Mukasey" , "Curtis Ching" , "Steven Guttman" , "Hugh Jones" , "Linda Lingle" , "James B Nicholson" , "Excutive Office for U.S. Trustees" , "David A. Ezra" , "Kevin S.C. Chang" , "Barry M. Kurren" , "Sue Beitia" , "Office of Inspector General US Dept of Justice" , "Colbert Matsumoto" , "George Will" , "Ruth Ann Becker" , "Hawaii Chapter Nature Conservancy" , "Haunani Apoliona" , "Michael Marsh" , "Leroy Colombe"

Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Date: SUN 06/21/1987
Section: 1
Page: 1
Edition: 2 STAR

POTHOLES & PROMISES/Montgomery County's crumbling subdivisions/ Homeowners handle property woes

By CATHY GORDON, Staff

Polish immigrant Steve Szladewski's ruddy complexion grows redder as he rattles off the sales pitch that led him to buy property in the Shepard's Landing subdivision in Montgomery County.

Former astronaut Alan Shepard, the subdivision's developer with former Houston Mayor Louie Welch, was to be his next-door neighbor, a salesman bragged. Szladewski's land, though bordering the San Jacinto River, was unlikely to flood. And the horseshoe-shaped road winding through the subdivision would be paved.

"Alan Shepard didn't move next door. A guy from New Jersey bought that lot," said Szladewski, a small, gray-bearded man who struggles with his English.

The road also failed to materialize, and on one occasion, Szladewski anchored his tiny clapboard house to two large oak trees to save it from being swept away by the rain-swollen river.

"In Poland, I learn people in America help each other. But in America, I learn sometimes they say things so you buy."
Szladewski is not alone. Shepard's Landing, developed in Montgomery County's real estate boom of the late 1960s through early 1980s, is one of hundreds of problem-plagued subdivisions that have come back to haunt the county and its residents during the bust.

They are speckled throughout the county's dense pine forests, the legacy of a ripe economy gone sour. In many instances, they are the handiwork of unscrupulous developers who skirted the county's rules to make a fast buck.

Some developers, however, say the county is to blame for encouraging development without spelling out or enforcing any restrictions.

Some of the subdivisions have plats recorded with the county as required by state law. Others - about 600 - are unrecorded or "red flag" subdivisions that do not meet county road and drainage standards and have no plats, or plans, filed.

All of them hold disgruntled, heartbroken homeowners with similar stories:

When Mike and Pam Jordan purchased five acres of land in The Wilderness subdivision off FM 1488 for $21,000, they were told there would be no problem in getting basic services such as electricity to their wooded lot.

"But we found out it really was the wilderness," said Jordan. The only access to their trailer home is a narrow, muddy gas pipeline easement. No electrical easement to his property exists. The couple lived by a gas lantern for several months and had to pay $2,000 to run a wire through the woods and hook up with an electrical line. Their utility bills run double as a result.

In the recorded Park Place mobile home subdivision near Magnolia, the streets are named after those in the popular board game, Monopoly. But the similarity stops there, says resident Pat Wuensche, whose back yard on West Boardwalk is mushy with sewage.

Thirty families have joined the Texas attorney general in suing the developer, claiming he falsely represented that septic tanks would work in the subdivision's soil.

Wuensche said she is still waiting for the 24-hour security, recreational facilities and county-standard roads she was promised.

In the Indian Hills subdivision off 2978, Richard and Mary Blunk were shown a developer's plat of the subdivision, reflecting a nice chunk of property on which they later built a home. They later discovered that the subdivision's road cut through an area reflected on the map as their property.

Residents in some problem subdivisions are denied basic services such as mail delivery because of roads that turn into slick obstacle courses at the first rain. School bus drivers refuse to travel them. Fire and ambulance personnel live in fear of the day someone dies because an emergency vehicle cannot clear the mud and potholes.

Realtors won't waste their time listing such properties.
Hardly a Commissioners Court session goes by where residents don't plead for help from the county.
The county has decided to go to the courts.

"In the past, I think developers thought `what's the county going to do? They don't have the stuff to come after me,"' said County Engineer Don Blanton. "I think they realize the county means business now."

Last year, the county hired attorney Nelda Radabaugh to address the problem and force developers to comply with the subdivision requirements. She has sent numerous warning letters to developers asking them to upgrade their roads and drainage systems and has filed a lawsuit against one developer, S. E. Rutledge, of the Southern Pines subdivision off FM 1314.

In the past, county officials bowed to public pressure, maintaining the substandard roads to please constituents and gain votes.

But a downturned economy, tighter road and bridge budgets and a need to properly address what's become a monumental problem has all but precluded that practice, say county officials.

Radabaugh said most developers the county has contacted are cooperative. "But some of them are bankrupt, gone to Timbuktu, Kansas, hiding.

"We don't base our investigation on which residents are screaming the loudest. It has to be on which subdivisions are the worst. It's not easy explaining to someone `Yes, your subdivision is bad. But you're number 400 on the list."'

Jack and Ernestine Daniel, residents of the Southern Pines development, hope the county's efforts will pay off.

They joke that they own lakefront property. The subdivision has no drainage ditches. When it rains, the water puddles up in chug holes, some nearly as wide as the road itself. Water moccasins sunbathe on the road after the water recedes.

Mrs. Daniel has named the subdivision's narrow, dirt roads herself: Rub Board Road, Slip 'N Slide Drive and Dip 'N Dive Drive.

"It about says it all."

To hammer her point home, she sent notices to the developers, inviting them to "The super slide and roller coaster ride in Southern Pines." The letter continues "bring your bulldozer, dump truck, backhoe or grade as the pot holes and mud holes are at least three to four feet deep. Use of an ordinary car will destroy your tires, shocks and springs and put bruises on your skull."

A postscript reads, "The next invitation will not be as cordial."

"Our children have been embarrassed to bring friends home," Mrs. Daniel said. "The head coach at Sam Houston State came out here once to talk to our son. He said he never had to come down such deplorable roads in his life to recruit a boy."

Polish immigrant Szladewski hopes the county's efforts will benefit him as well.

His property in the unrecorded Shepard's Landing subdivision off FM 2854 is not only in the flood plain, it's in the river bed. County officials have told him his home would have to be built 21 feet off the ground to be above the 100-year flood plain.

Shepard, Welch and businessman Jack Coogan initiated the project. A now-defunct Conroe real estate brokerage company sold the lots.

The county filed misdemeanor charges against the three investors in 1980, claiming the subdivision was falsely represented as county approved. The investor's attorney, Dan McCrary, said the charges were without merit and were dropped on condition that certain things be upgraded at the development. None were.

McCrary said purchasers in Shepard's Landing signed letters acknowledging the land was in the flood plain.
"This is nothing my clients have escaped from unscathed," he said. "They're still paying for this flood plain property."

Szladewski, with the help of a neighbor, keeps the lone road in the development graded. But land that he paid $4,000 an acre for has been appraised at $500.

He said he relied on the word of a salesman "and got taken. They told me it was recorded subdivision. They promise to fix the roads. They say they build a nice entrance to subdivision, something beautiful. We have nothing."

Szladewski said he figured the subdivision would be well maintained when he was told Shepard would be his neighbor. "And Louie Welch, they say he build on lot 11 or 12.

"In Poland, I learn nobody cheats in America because everybody helps each other. If one person's house burns, neighbors build another. That was America in my mind."

In the Park Place subdivision off Dobbin Huffsmith Road, residents are hoping Attorney General Jim Mattox's lawsuit against the developer will stop an odor the development on hot, humid days.

Mattox visited the recorded subdivision in 1984, declaring it unlivable. He then sued developer C.L. Conner, alleging he misrepresented that septic systems would work in the subdivision's soil.

Residents want the developer to install a central sewage system or buy them out.

"When the wind blows just right, the smell can knock you over. It's like living in a cesspool," said resident Ralph Schafer, who chose the mobile home subdivision as his retirement home four years ago. He paid $10,000 for his lot.

"I wouldn't have paid that much if it weren't for all the amenities promised. They advertised this place like your favorite vacation resort. My wife and I used to like Las Vegas, but boy, this is no where close. My wife is even ashamed to have friends over to dinner because of the smell."

Schafer and other residents say they were promised 24-hour security and recreational facilities that never materialized.

Conner claims the soil is suitable for septic tanks but several residents had systems improperly installed. He denies misrepresenting the development, and said he sued his contractor for not completing road shoulders.

Park Place civic association president Wuensche said residents suing over the septic systems have proof they were inspected by the county.

She is convinced a lingering kidney infection was caused by the problem with septic overflow.

"Our drinking water is well water and if the sewage is seeping into the ground, it would be in our water," she said. "I had a $3,000 water-filter system put in and have had no problem since.

"The sad thing about situations like this is you've got so much money invested and you're just stuck."

Joe and Judy Patterson, residents of The Wilderness subdivision southwest of Conroe, can sympathize.
They purchased 18 acres last year and were not told by salesmen that the development could be under water in a few years, the potential site for the Lake Creek reservoir.

"It's not so much the things they did tell us, it's the things they didn't," said Mrs. Patterson. "We were misled on a lot of things."

The couple was told that the dirt roads would be graded by nearby oil company workers.

"And that's not true," said Patterson who has repaired the suspension on his new truck twice within a year because of the rugged roads.

"We'd like to sell," he said. "But where are you going to find another fool like us?"

--------

Hapa1234 wrote:

IF THE DEVELOPERS OWNED MOST OF THE DEFUNK SAVINGS AND LOANS INDUSTRY BACK IN THE 1980S UNDER THE REAGAN - BUSH {41} ERA WITH THE FORMER SEC CHAIR AND CIA {WILLIAM CASEY, ET AL}, WHY WASN'T NEIL BUSH AND NORM BROWNSTEIN {AIPAC} EVER INDICATED OR CHARGED SINCE THEY HAVE BECAME A PART OF THE "VICHEY" SHADOW GOVERNMENT FOR YEARS WITH NO ACCOUNTABLITY. ABRAMOFF WAS SNARED WITH THE MOB LINKED FLORIDA SUN CRUZ CASINO WHILE BROWNSTEIN'S FORMER EMPLOYEE AND THE FORMER DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR'S GALE NORTON POLITICAL ORGANIZATION, WITH HER CONVICTED DEPUTY, STEPHEN GRILES BOTH DISAPPEARED INTO A HUGE POLITICAL COVER UP IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC WITH DISMISSED U.S. ATTORNEY FREDERICK BLACK......A POLITICAL PATTERN LATER FOR GONZO-GATE AND ROVE WITH FUTURE U.S. ATTORNEY'S NOT TOWING THE POLITICAL LINE FOR COVER UPS OR GOP AGENDAS FROM WASHINGTON DC.

little gray fox with the catbird seat {harmon}

Ck out:

http://www.kycbs.net/Developers.htm
http://www.kycbs.net/MaunawiliValley.htm
http://www.kycbs.net/PunaConnection.htm
http://www.kycbs.net/Punaluu.htm
http://www.kycbs.net/Title-Vultures.htm
http://www.kycbs.net/YAKUZA.htm

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