|By Steve Davidson |
Live Oak Mayor Henry Edwards made good on his vow to put the volatile Bridlewood Park subdivision-Ryland Homes issue at the top of the citys June 26 City Council meeting.
What I want is the truth to come out, Edwards said. Since June 12, Ive been working with the city manager about an agenda to inform citizens as well as council on the situation between Ryland Homes and the residents of Bridlewood Park. This kind of negative publicity doesnt do any good for Live Oak or Ryland Homes. Hopefully, some middle ground can be reached and we can put this issue to bed.
From the meetings onset, which included the presence of a representative from the Bexar County Appraisal District, gaining any middle ground had to be a fleeting thought for the mayor and concerned citizens of Bridlewood Park as Ryland Homes representative Rick Schroeder told the group, Ryland Homes is not going to buy back homes. We want to encourage the homeowners in Bridlewood Park to work with us.
Schroeders proclamation did not sit well with the disgruntled residents of Bridlewood Park, who packed out the City Council chambers to standing-room-only, while the overflow listened in from the hallway outside.
For Todd and Nancy Ferguson of Bridlewood Park who remain steadfast in their demand that Ryland Homes buy back from them their home Schroeders stance was especially bothersome. Armed with official documentation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that their Bridlewood Park homesite was built upon a floodplain, a letter from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott voicing his concerns over the Live Oak matter, and e-mails to Ryland Homes dating back nearly a year asking Ryland to fix their home problems, Todd Ferguson built what appeared to be an argument representative of most every irritated Bridlewood Park neighbor in attendance
The homes need to be bought back from those homeowners that choose to no longer live within such close proximity to the flood plain, Ferguson said. We were not given a choice of living in or near a flood plain. The first 12 units located on Biltmore Lakes are located in or within close proximity to an existing flood plain. The flood plain is located near the only entrance and exit to the subdivision. This affects every resident in the subdivision.
Ferguson continued: How are these residents to escape or evacuate during a flash flood? Ryland made that decision for us by deceiving us with undisclosure and fraud. I no longer wish to risk my familys health and welfare. I want my home bought back!
Angry residents from Bridlewood Park were not the only persons on hand to voice their discontent with Ryland Homes. Schroeder and four other from Ryland representatives attending the meeting also heard from Ryland homeowners in San Antonio and Cibolo who voiced concerns regarding how Ryland, if not willing to buy back the Bridlewood Park homes in question, will address the matter of the significant depreciation of home values Bridlewood Park residents will most certainly experience whenever they attempt to sell their homes.
For Bruce Wigley, project manager for Furstenberg Construction Company, the disaster his sister-in-law has had to contend with as a result of her experience with Ryland Homes in the troubled subdivision can be attributed to one thing.
The homebuilding industry is praying on the ignorance of the people, Wigley said. What needs to fixed is the homebuilding industry. Its broken.
Whether a resolution could be claimed at the conclusion of the three-hour meeting depended upon which camp one asked. For Schroeder and Ryland Homes, a promise to the city of Live Oak and the Bridlewood Park residents was made. Concerns over drainage walls, lot drainage, floodplain issues and warranty repairs would be immediately addressed with the dissatisfied residents.
City attorney Mayo Galindo voiced his concern as to why Pape-Dawson, the developer for the area in question, was not in attendance, What we can do is to look into the city itself. Did we miss the boat? Galindo asked. When was the plat for that subdivision approved? Was there an ordinance in place at the time? We dont want to see something like this repeated.
For the Fergusons, it looks as though they will continue to stand their ground as they take a wait-and-see attitude an attitude strongly shared by newly elected Councilwoman Ann Mancillas, who made clear to Ryland Home representatives that she would personally see that things are not only changed in Bridlewood Park, but monitored as well.