Property developer suing his own residents

Property developer suing his own residents

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A local property developer is suing his own residents.

Mark Saunders developed a number of big communities in Brunswick County during the housing boom. Since then, he's made headlines for failure to provide promised amenities in those communities, and failure to pay millions of dollars in property taxes to the county.

Now, Saunders is suing the Ocean Ridge property owners association, alleging he is owed over $650,000 for overpayments in assessments on properties he still owns in the community.

Saunders claims the developer should have been exempt from property assessments under the recorded restrictions, and should never have been billed.

Since Saunders was billed and has been paying assessments on the lots he owns for several years, he is now seeking a refund. He sent a statement to Ocean Ridge resident that read in part:

"The Developer had hoped for a quick, non-litigious, friendly resolution....  It's the fair and the right thing to do and everyone knows it.  An equitable correction of this assessment mistake will allow the Developer to continue its investment in the exclusive Ocean Ridge community and create even greater satisfaction for all property owners."

The property owners association has retained council and is fighting the lawsuit demanding repayment.

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