KHA Seeks Legal Opinion to Purchase Golf Course Without Approval of Killearn Property Owners

KHA Seeks Legal Opinion to Purchase Golf Course Without Approval of Killearn Property Owners

At the February 5th Killearn Homeowners Association Board meeting, the Board voted to seek a legal opinion that would support the Board’s purchase of the Killearn golf course without the approval of Killearn Estates property owners.

The Board noted in the minutes of the meeting that previous legal opinions have indicated that approval by property owners would be required before such a purchase.

A recent poll by the Board indicated property owners did not favor a purchase of the golf course.

The minutes of the February Board meeting indicate that the Board voted to allow JT Burnette to seek the answer to four questions from the “Ausley & McMullen” law firm.

The four questions were:

Does KHA have the authority to purchase the Killearn Country Club as a golf course without the vote of the membership (contrary to previous legal opinions)?

Does KHA have the authority to purchase the Killearn Country Club as a conservation easement without the vote of the membership?

Can KHA exchange common properties to offset the purchase price of Killearn Country Club with either use?

Can KHA accept Killearn Country Club as a gift for either use?

Tallahassee Reports has previously reported about an “Executive Board” meeting with Mr. Burnette.

20 Responses to "KHA Seeks Legal Opinion to Purchase Golf Course Without Approval of Killearn Property Owners"

  1. Frankly I don’t care what happens the the Country Club as long as the HOA does not try to buy it. Not one dime of HOA monies collected from non-country club members. (ie: homeowners in Killearn, that have absolutely no desire to be a member.) Let the members pay for it.

  2. There’s a lot of “moving parts” to this issue.
    (1) Uncertainty about the future of the golf course IF bought from Barton Tuck: Private course, public course, or even remaining a golf course? Walking trails and green space or housing development? KHA needs to be specific and list all the realistic options. As a Killearn homeowner, how can I vote for or against something when I don’t know the possible outcomes?
    (2 A huge concern: involving JT Burnette, who’s been named in a peripheral way to the FBI investigation. Simply doing business with someone who may or may not be involved in that is unwise at the very least. JT’s name alone sets off warning bells in my opinion.
    (3) Some keep insisting “Killearn Country Club MUST remain a private course.” Well, maybe – only if it’s economically possible. If not, wishing so won’t force it into reality. If it has to become a public course to become economically realistic as a golf course, then it has to.
    (4) Killearn was built with this beautiful course as a centerpiece. It’s condition and attractiveness are absolutely key to home values in our neighborhood – so this is a MAJOR issue for home values here.
    As homeowners, we need to know CLEARLY what the options will be for the course IF purchased.
    I’ve bought 4 homes in my life and a make-or-break buying question is always “What happens to that adjacent land or that land down the road a bit – how is it zoned, what’s going to be there?” If the developer or seller can’t or won’t clearly answer that question (or it didn’t check out), no sale. Now in Killearn, we’re all confronted with that same question with the golf course – we have to know the specific answers to that question.

  3. If the homeowners association manages to pull off the purchase, they will increase the homeowners annual dues for the costs of the country club and then turnaround and charge a membership fee just like they did with the community pool in the front of Killearn. The Country Club must stay privately owned! Don’t fall for this! Don’t allow the purchase without approval by the homeowners! Don’t let the Good ‘Ol Boy network win again!

  4. According to the KHA website, on the agenda for the last week’s KHA February board meeting was “Elimination of the Elections Committee”. The Executive Committee reviewed this meeting agenda item as well as the other meeting agenda items before it was sent in advance to the board. According to KHA by-laws, the Elections Committee is an integral part of the election process- they count the votes. Interesting…
    There are 4 available board seats this election cycle, the KHA Board election is supposed to be held sometime in October or November of 2019, after the October board meeting, when the Nominations Committee is required to report its recommended slate of nominees to the board. FL Statutes Chapter 720 allows people who are not vetted by the nominations committee to be on the ballot. At the December board meeting, the board will vote for officers. Newly elected board members begin their terms on January 1, 2020. FYI, this board just voted that the new deadline to apply is June 15, 2019, approx 4 months before the 2019 election. Interesting…

    Then the board discussed attempting to make a deal with developer JT Burnette to purchase Killearn’s golf course for $1M, then close it, without HOA member approval, because Burnette implied his lawyers think it’s not necessary to get KHA member approval to do this. Interesting…

    Looks like it’s time for Killearn homeowners to start attending board meetings

  5. I am not a Killearn resident, but I am a City & County resident. This dilemma does nothing to raise the bar for our community at-large. The fact is, the golf course is an integral part of Killearn’s on-going community development. It seems everyone is overlooking the obvious. The solution to this problem exists in redistricting.

    If the golf course and related properties are redesignated a Community Development District under agreement, Mr. Tuck could be bought out after a district bond is granted. The membership of Killearn would gain autonomy and Mr.Tuck could continue along his merry way.

    At the end of the day, the bottom line is this. What happens to this substantial property in Killearn *matters*. It matters what happens and how it happens to many more than just the 3900 +/- Killearn Homeowners. The neighborhood was platted and permitted with the golf course being the central feature. The only way for the neighborhood to maintain it’s integrity is to secure it’s autonomy. Otherwise, the fate of homeowners’ property values lay in the hands of some private developer’s agenda. A designated community development district answers the problem.

  6. I think the Board should think seriously about taking action to purchase without all members having the opportunity to approve or disapprove this action. Who in the hell does the various Board members think they are even suggesting such a dumb ass move. This neighborhood is not close to being managed by a dictatorship, although the Board must think in those terms. Make this move without the HOA membership approval then “buckle your seat belts Board members'” for I would think would be a ROUGH ride for you..

  7. Missed in all of this controversy is the fact that there has been lawsuits that have been dismissed in the courts, but there has been one individual that has continued his pursuit to drag this through the courts. That’s the culprit that has held up all planned improvements to the club. There’s no way Barton Tuck could have made investments based on the lawsuits still in the courts. To lose this great gold course because a few people couldn’t understand economics is a dadgum shame.

  8. I don’t have a problem with the KHA trying to get a legal opinion on creative solutions to the crisis in our neighborhood. But I don’t think turning over more property to a person that has not put a dollar into his own in 20+ years is the solution. Best way this gets resolved is for the place to go bankrupt and be sold to a new owner subject to the restrictive covenants the existing owner bound himself to to 2061 requiring this to remain a golf course and the North a conservation land.

    1. Well said. Fyi, there is no such thing as a “bondable opinion”. Giving away community property in exchange for the golf course only puts other community property in peril.

  9. Prior to the FBI investigation we could have somehow woven CRA money into this project complete with kickbacks to the “usual suspects”, the hiring of do nothing over-paid insider consultants, along with connected family member construction firms to overcharge for shoddy work.
    We could have shrunk the golf course down to 1/2 its current size, made the new course public, and put in acres of section 8 housing on the remaining land. Then we could have installed an over-priced under staffed police substation to hoodwink the original homeowners into thinking they would be safe in their palatial estates from the predatory minority financially challenged section 8 residents. If the homeowners did not line up like sheep in support of the scheme we could have called them discriminatory and maybe even used the dreaded “R” word if they continued to resist.
    Oh well thanks to the FBI thats all over. Yes folks its a new day and a new way of conducting business in the Capital City. So we must now rely only on good ‘Ole JT to come up with a new and exciting scheme to fleece the homeowners and ruin the neighborhood. Of course we can count on JT cooking up an airtight scheme which the FBI will never be able to detect any wrong doing in.
    Maybe JT will set up a corporation with Sean Pittman, Harold Knowles, and Ron Book as the trusted board members to oversee the operations of the golf course, act as landlords for the section 8 housing, and take over all operations of the original HOA. And of course doubling the HOA fees for the original wealthy members in order to subsidise the financially challenged section 8 renters access to the golf course and other HOA amenities.
    If anyone can pull this off it’s good ‘Ole JT.

    1. Shouldn’t at least Ron Book fire Sean Pittman for being a partner in crime with Andrew Gillum … Trips to Costa Rica, providing fake addresses for contractors, and for just plain delivering a poor product regarding lobbying work?

  10. It is interesting to me how many golf course management experts we have in killearn that are ready to tell someone how the KHA should be ‘Making Mr.Tuck’ run his business! Our KHA recieves on average $150.00 ‘a Year’ from the about 3900 home owners members to maintain 11 parks, seven lakes and all of the other common property in killearn estates. Also pay three KHA employees and office building expenses. The board members Volenteer their time and receive no compensation, except hopefully being able to help keep up the ‘property values’ of their homes and those of their neighbors. So when I read remarks from people saying the Executive Board or board members are not doing what is in the best interest of all of killearn , it ticks me off. KHA a year ago had three or four open board seats and not one member of killearn estate put their name in to replace the current board members. If members are not pleased with the board there are four more board seats coming up for re-election this yeas and I would encourage people to apply on the website. Until then I hope Neightbors in killearn estates would come up with real ideas and advice that would help! Not just leave negative statements in the comments section of TP..

    1. JP…Why is JT Burnett involved in this at all? You have to know the concerns many have with it. Also, what about the ending of publishing minutes of meetings and other concerns posted above. Those seem to be fair concerns.

  11. Thanks Steve for keeping us in the loop on this as The KHA Board damn sure does not..Is it any coincidence they have stopped publishing Board Meeting Minutes on their own Website as of December and turned The Newsletter into a quarterly publication as they are trying to do this?…I don’t think so..Every one of them should be expelled from their duties immediately for even considering this stupid idea…I tell ya what the first time they send me an assessment for extra fees to cover this purchase or assured Yearly Deficit I will be on the Court House Steps waiting to file a Lawsuit the next morning…SMH

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