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Palm Coast and Matanzas Golf Course Owners Reach Agreement, With Conditions

| February 28, 2018

The Matanzas golf course snakes around hundreds of properties in Palm Coast's L Section, at the north end of the city. (© FlaglerLive)

The Matanzas golf course snakes around hundreds of properties in Palm Coast’s L Section, at the north end of the city.
(© FlaglerLive)

The long-running dispute involving suits and counter-suits between Palm Coast government and the owners of the Matanzas golf course, which led to foreclosure litigation, has been settled out of court.

But while Group Golf of Palm Coast, the name of the entity that owns the 277 acre that snake between and around L-section properties at the northern tip of the city, has made some payments pursuant to the settlement agreement, it has yet to make others (it still has time), and has not met certain code enforcement conditions, including a requirement whose deadline was today.

The course weaves around hundreds of homes along Lakeview Boulevard and its offshoots to the east and west. It was in disuse and overgrown. Palm Coast government was getting pressure from residents to compel the owners to clean up the property. The city sued for foreclosure in 2016 after exhausting its avenues through the Code Enforcement Board, and as fines had piled up. Group Golf sued in turn the following year, seeking to stop the city from enforcing certain ordinances it termed arbitrary.

Palm Coast’s action against Group Golf progressed, unfolding before Circuit Judge Scott DuPont, the embattled judge whose behavior during one of the hearings involving both cases regarding the city and Group Golf was cited in the many charges against DuPont, who now faces removal from the bench. (Group Golf had been 19 minutes late to a hearing because of a traffic crash, DuPont had gone ahead with it anyway, concluding it before Group Golf counsel showed up.)

That was last May 31. Within days Group Golf filed a motion to have DuPont disqualified. DuPont ruled against the motion, only to face a second motion for recusal, now involving the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal. On Aug. 23, Chief Judge Raul Zambrano reassigned the case to Circuit Judge R. Lee Smith. (Last Friday Zambrano ordered DuPont barred from all courthouses unless he was there to conduct personal business.)

The golf course case proceeded under Smith’s new watch, and on Nov. 20, the two sides went to mediation. The mediation appeared to be successful, resulting in an agreement the same day.

The four-page agreement doesn’t necessarily end all litigation. It does so only conditionally. It calls for Group Golf to pay off the $58,553 utility lien in two installments, with the first installment, to have been paid in early December, resulting in the cancellation of what was to have been the next-scheduled hearing before Judge Smith. Group Golf made both payments and satisfied the utility lien, according to a city spokesperson.

Circuit Judge Judge R. Lee Smith replaced Scott DuPont last August in the Palm Coast-Group Golf case. (© FlaglerLive)

Circuit Judge Judge R. Lee Smith replaced Scott DuPont last August in the Palm Coast-Group Golf case.
(© FlaglerLive)

Group Golf also faced a $170,138 code enforcement lien that’s part of the same foreclosure proceedings. Palm Coast agreed to reduce the lien and a reduction of attorneys’ fees to $60,000, a reduction of almost two-thirds of the original bill for $170,000. Those payments are due in three installments to the trust fund of the city’s law firm, Garganese, Weiss and D’Agresta, starting with $20,000 due by March 30, and additional installments due by April 30 and May 30. None of those payments have yet been made.

Finally, Group Golf is required to resolve code enforcement violations by either demolishing a cart barn on the property or receiving a certificate of occupancy by Feb. 28 for it. “If substantial progress is being made by Group Golf, the city agrees to extend the deadlines by 30 days.” As of Feb. 26, those conditions had not been met.

Once all the conditions are met, the city agrees to dismiss its case against Group Golf, and Group Golf is to dismiss its case against the city. But if Group Golf were to default on any of the conditions, the city will move ahead with a final judgement for foreclosure and a $168,553 payment, minus whatever Group Golf may have paid until then.

The Settlement Agreement Between Palm Coast and Group Golf (2017)

9 Responses for “Palm Coast and Matanzas Golf Course Owners Reach Agreement, With Conditions”

  1. USA Lover says:

    Here we go again…..smh.

  2. Veteran says:

    It is very sad that the best golf course in the area is gone.

  3. Really says:

    Make it a park move on

  4. RayD says:

    Wonder what it will be in the end, after all the legal junk is cleared up? Houses in a parklike setting is probably a pretty good guess. Golf course and houses? Probably not. Pretty much anything but a 7-11 would be an improvement. Olive groves amid homes and other residences of various sizes and capacities? Or the owners could just flip it to a developer or builder like Horton and let that entity deal with it. At some point soon, those owners will want a pay out. Better hurry before the bubble bursts.

  5. Pat says:

    maybe they’ll go 18 rounds

  6. Joe says:

    As usual, the residence continue to suffer!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The city lost money on this issue, all the manhours that went into this , hearings , inspections and lawyer fees , they drop the amount from 170,000 to 60,000.

  8. palmcoastpioneers says:

    Palm Coasts’ Heritage and History for the Newer Palm Coasters. ( It was the largest Federally ORDERED Redress Compensation ever ordered up to that time of issuance).
    To: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
    Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2018 1:44 AM
    Subject: Federal Consent Agreement F.T.C. Docket C-2851 & Federally ORDERED ’15 Year Compliance Report ‘ c Exhibits ; Integrity of Official Records; FL 000931; Community Protectors Historic MARKERS

    Good Morning.

    This communique to you is generated by what FlaglerLive has published this date at
    this URL address:

    From a Historical Perspective this is to inform you that fmeeker and netts ,john were regularly informed, by this mechanical device, that any and all of the Federally ORDERED Public Recreation Acreage, as Federally ORDERED Redress Compensation,
    was indeed encumbered by F.T.C. Docket C-2854 and the Federally ORDERED ‘ 15 Year Compliance Report’.

    As a courtesy I share some of F.T.C. C-2854 along with ‘ 15 Year Compliance Report ‘ .

    Therein you will hopefully take special note of the Exhibits included in these Offical Records. In this specific
    instance the ‘ Matanzas Woods Golf Club ‘ is clearly named and identified obviously to ensure that the Federally ORDERED Public Recreation is adherred to.

    Hopefully also the Integrity of all Official Records
    have not nor will be compromised. regarding F.T.C. Docket C-2854 and Federally ORDERED ‘ 15 Year Compliance Report ‘ c Exhibits.

    Additionally, the Matanzas Woods Golf Club most probably would be eligible for a Historic Heritage MARKER since it was one of the many public recreation Amenities / acreage that was offered to many prospective buyers by the ‘Father of Suburbia’ Levitt and I.T.T. To us; it was often part of the Golf Clubs referred to as ‘ The Four Sisters ‘ Golf Clubs.

    Hopefully you will pursue the appropriate Historic MARKERS and if approved network with the State of Florida Historic Golf Trail. Again, I ask, would you please consider Historic MARKER(S) for
    areas associated with our ‘ Community Protectors’.

    I hope you understand the rational of this communique to you since
    so many of the Homesites / Residents
    living in / around the Matanzas Woods Golf Club have been devalued and are suffering and worldwide Community Protectors need all the support and recognition possible.

    Thank you very much.

  9. palmcoastpioneers says:

    For the newer Palm Coasters:

    FMeeker: former Palm Coast City Countil now deceased
    John Netts: former Palm Coast City Council
    FL 000931 the Number Assigned by the State of Florida Historic Preservation Offices required for the process for Historic MARKER consideration / approval / disapproval for ‘ The Palm Coast Golf Club ‘ a.k.a and now known also as ‘ The Palm Harbor Golf Club’
    Alissa Slade Lotane: The State of Florida Historic Preservation Officer for the State of Florida; also I believe a Federal Marshall and the liason for Properties / items that may be eligible for the National Registry of the United States.
    Dr. Elaine Studnicki: allegedly the upcoming replacement for the City of Palm Coast Historical Society
    Toby Tobin; maintains a very informative Webpage for this area:

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