After a failed attempt to maintain the golf course of the Humble, Texas club, nearby homeowners allege Pinehurst has allowed the property to go into disrepair, prompting a battery of lawsuits over dropping property values.
Two years ago, residents near the golf course of Atascocita Country Club in Humble, Texas observed unsightly conditions shortly after the club closed. As a result, they sued the new owners, Pinehurst Trail Holding LLC (PTH), and its partners Joe Stunja and John Hammond, The (Humble) Tribune reported.
On May 15 of this year, a jury ruled in favor of PTH, saying there are no implied restrictions on the property that formerly held the club to be a golf course, as it is now private property.
“Everybody is disappointed,” said homeowner Bob Garlington. “So many people have been hurt and so much [home] value has been destroyed by this. There are many retired people who bought homes here. It was a big investment. The value of my property is down $40,000.”
PTH bought the property from ClubCorp in 2009 and continued operating it as a golf course for seven months before closing it in 2010.
An additional trial claiming Stunja has not complied with orders to clean up the property by removing dead trees he contracted to have cut down on the edges of homeowners’ properties will take place on June 19. The Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services filed two counts against him.
PTH offered to donate the disputed restricted parcels to the homeowners association to be used as a green space or park earlier this year. The homeowners rejected the gift, saying they did not believe they would be able to maintain the property.
Residents of Atascocita were called as witnesses during the trial, arguing that the golf course was the reason they purchased adjoining property, as a $10,000 lifetime membership was offered as inducement. Memberships were transferred to Kingwood Country Club when Atascocita closed. While property values have dropped, the residents added, taxes have stayed the same.
“I’m in limbo,” homeowner Debra Polk said. “I wish he [Stunja] would tell us what he’s going to do with [the old golf course property]. It’s a huge question mark over what’s going to happen. It could bring the property values down even further.”
The clubhouse and surrounding area have been leased from PTH and the property now houses a restaurant, IncrEDIBLE Delights.