Monday, January 9, 2017




KENNESAW MARKETPLACE WORK CONTINUES

Dec 25, 2016

Christmas Day is a good time to take photos of the $180,000,000 project as there is no traffic there.

Many establishments are still under construction, some are already open in this 450,000 sq ft retail and residential development.

The original CLMHP consisted of 3 separate parcels whose total acerage was 87.02.

1810 OLD 41 HWY  Total Acres 1.16

ERNEST BARRETT PKY  Total Acres  2.64

1650 N COBB PKY Total Acres  83.2267

The section developed into the Kennesaw Marketplace retail and residential complex is approx 53 acres with 34 acres remaining as the adjoining Castle Lake MHP.

Castle Lake Info is available at these sites:



























If you haven't noticed yet - there are quite a lot of restaurants, mostly fast food ones.  In the area of Cobb Pky and Barrett Pky there will shortly be 19 restaurants.  This is more than can be sustained by the customer base for this area.  

Unfortunately I predict that there will be half a dozen going out of business in 2017.  Of course many times a location that goes under is replaced by another restaurant that hopes that their franchise will do a better job.







This Castle Lake MHP 87 acre property was divided up, with about 53 acres being incorporated into the City of Kennesaw and the remaining 34 acres, stayed in unincorporated Cobb County.  

The smaller parcel being the remnants of the Castle Lake MHP which dates from its opening in 1961 with 377 lots. The bridge ends abruptly at the limit of the developers property.  It spans Noonday Creek and the remaining MHP acres will be developed at another time and the bridge will be finished then.


1,500 low income, retirees and Hispanic residents and some of which were trailer owners were displaced by the original Canadian owners in order to develop this property.





The 'Bridge to Nowhere' spans Noonday Creek.






====================================================

71

8/16

KENNESAW MARKETPLACE WORK CONTINUES

Fall opening for many stores is expected.




----------------------------------------------



7/2/16
KENNESAW MARKETPLACE -

Estimated Completion: Fall 2016
Located in the City of Kennesaw at the crossroads of US Highway 41 and Barrett Parkway.
The mixed-use development will anchored by a Whole Foods Market, Academy Sports, restaurants, banks and other specialty retailers.

Kennesaw Marketplace Tenants:
Whole Foods
Academy Sports
AT&T
Aspen Dental
Burger 21
Cactus Carwash
Freddy's Steakburgers
Hobby Lobby
Luxury Nails
Mattress Firm
Medalyn Salon and Med Spa
Menchies
Newks Cafe
Panda Express
Petco
PIE 5
PNC Bank
Quick Trip
Relax the Back
Smoothie King
Sports Clips
Starbucks
SunTrust Bank
U-Break I-Fix
Volcano Steak and Sushi
Which Wich
Zoe's Kitchen
--------------------------------------------------

6/8/16


5/31/16



5/4/16


4/6/16

Things continue to progress:





4/6/16

KENNESAW MARKETPLACE WORK CONTINUES

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Construction advances at Kennesaw Marketplace


=================================================

3/28/16
Carla Jackson

Question for Carla Jackson:  
Are the remaining trailers and the property current in their taxes to Cobb County.

My Answer:   NO, 8 are delinquent from last year, it remains to be seen how many will be unpaid for the year 2016.


2015 Taxes on 8 park owned trailers remains unpaid:
CASTLE LAKE HOMES CORP 2015 M18800081 370 JOHNSTON PKWY KENNESAW 30152  Unpaid 

CASTLE LAKE HOMES CORP 2015 M19304789 139 BAKER ST KENNESAW 30152   Unpaid 
CASTLE LAKE HOMES CORP 2015 M19990096 39 LANKFORD WAY KENNESAW 30152  Unpaid 
CASTLE LAKE HOMES CORP 2015 M18805738 52 JONES ST  KENNESAW 30152  Unpaid

CASTLE LAKE HOMES CORP 2015 M18806050 23 C JOHNSTON PKWY KENNESAW 30152  Unpaid
CASTLE LAKE HOMES CORP 2015 M18803077 14 B JOHNSTON PKWY KENNESAW 30152  unpaid  
CASTLE LAKE HOMES CORP 2015  M19606050  101 JOHNSTON PKWY KENNESAW 30152   Unpaid

CASTLELAKE MHP 2015 M18802749 192 A HOOD PKWY KENNESAW 30152  Unpaid


------------------------------------------------
2/29/16


Original Condition of the Castle Lake MHP property:


What it looks like today: 




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2/12/16



Still winding its way through the Cobb County Superior Court is a suit by 12 former residents of the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park, who are asking for their civil action to be considered as a 'Class Action'.

Probably Whole Foods will be open and doing business before this matter is finally put to rest and we find out if the Canadian slumlords have to pay for their actions and dealings with the 1,500 residents of that park.

Another filing was entered Feb 4th by the Carroll Law Firm representing the 12 initial claimants.

What is the Castle Lake suit all about?

It is NOT about how the tenants were treated when the Ergas family sold those 52 acres to Fuqua Development, it is an entirely different cause of action.

The lawsuit is premised on the egregious conduct of Defendants, who preyed on low-income tenants in Defendants' mobile home park by illegally taking on the role of law enforcement and ticketing and fining them - sometimes in amounts exceeding their rent - and by secretly charging those tenants for water and sewer usage well in excess of the amounts actually paid by Defendants to Cobb County. 

Plaintiffs' Class Action complaint sets forth two classes of plaintiffs: 

(1) All current and former tenants of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park who paid any Defendant for purported water and/or sewer charges; and 

(2) All current and former tenants of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park who paid any Defendant for any fine or penalty. 

Collectively, Defendants are the owners, operators and managers of a 300 plus lot mobile home park in Kennesaw, known as Castle Lake mobile Home Park (CLMHP). All of the 300 plus lots in CLMHP are rented to tenants on a month-to-month basis pursuant to written lease agreements. 

Georgia law prohibits fines and penalties in contracts and such penalties are legally void and unenforceable. Nevertheless, Defendants repeatedly ticketed, fined and penalized tenants for alleged trivial violations and for alleged violations not listed in the tenants' lease agreements, such as parking in a neighbor's driveway with that neighbor's permission, hosting a birthday party or playing music. 

Defendants threatened eviction, either expressly or implicitly, to all tenants who did not promptly pay the illegal fines, thereby extorting payment from each tenant. Illegal fines sometimes exceeding the amount of the tenant's monthly rent payment.

Note:  The next Court date has been set for July 22, 2016


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


2/9/16

You wouldn't recognize the site of the 53 acre Castle Lake Mobile Home Park these days.  Fuqua Development, LLC is still moving dirt but soon the first buildings will be going up.  

There are another 23 acres being used as the MHP and eventually these will also end up as retail or townhome usage.
To bad there are no shots from a drone!
Keep scrolling down for more photos.


12/25/15

NEXT COURT DATE

For the few people who are keeping up with this potential 'class action' civil suit against the Castle Lake MHP, the next Court date has been set for July 22, 2016.

2 1/2 hours are reserved and the Order of Special Setting is below FYI.

Should this actually go to trial it may well be another 2 years, or about six months AFTER the new 450,000 sq ft retail center is opened for business.



______________________

12/12/15

CASTLE LAKE - ROUND 2 IN SUPERIOR COURT




Regular readers of my various blog sites(*) are well aware of the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park and how 2/3rds of that downmarket trailer park was abruptly rezoned and brought into the City of Kennesaw, all in a remarkable time of 28 days from proposal to approval and also how badly the low income tenants were treated by Jeff Fuqua ("Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer") and the Vancouver, BC slum lords of the Ergas family.

The trailers on those 52 acres are now gone, the retiries, low income residents and the large Hispanic population are all scattered to other parks, counties and even other states.

The land clearing for the new 450,000 sq ft retail and residential buildings is well advanced.  You can have lunch at the IHOP and watch the blasting and earth moving while you have lunch, which was quite likely prepared and served by former CLMHP residents as several cooks and waitresses once resided at the park and probably still work at IHOP.

What you may not be aware of, is that  10 months ago a dozen former residents and trailer owners of this park banded together and filed what is hoped to be a 'class action'  suit against 3 of the corprate entities of the Canadian slumlord* for various misdeeds over the years in the administration of the MHP(**).

The matter is alive and well, slowly winding its way through the convoluted Georgia legal system. 

It is likely to be in the courts for several more years as these cases are seldom short and sweet.

The latest activity is just last month but going back one month more you find an interesting letter from the Plaintiff's law firm (see attached) and to show you just how litigious this is I will briefly quote from the Carroll Law Firm's 10/15/15 letter to Judge Kell.  Keep in mind that delay is usual for Defendants in such proceedings, they benefit from drawing out such suits and 'papering' Plaintiffs as you will see is being done here:

"Dear Judge Kell: 

   I represent the Plaintiffs in the above-referenced class action lawsuit, which was filed on February 13, 2015.  Plaintiffs would like to request that the discovery conference pertaining to class certification issues, as contemplated by OCGA 9-11-23(f)(1), be scheduled so that a scheduling order regarding class certification discovery and motions can be established.

   Plaintiffs would also like to address at the conference voluminous discovery requests that Defendants have recently served on the class Plaintiffs.  Collectively, Defendants have served Plaintiffs with 2,448 Requests for Admission, 756 Interrogatories, and 216 Requests for Production.  Because such discovery relates to the merits of the case rather than class certification, and because the class certification discovery conference has not yet occurred, 

   Plaintiffs have objected to such discovery as premature".   

While the millions of dollars of profit for the sale of those 52 acres is probably long out of reach of the Plaintiffs, there remains another 23 acres of the CLMHP and while it remains in the County the land is extremely valuable with the major retail and townhome development just across Noonday Creek from the shabby park.

Even with the delays by the CL lawyers, any future class judgment against the park owners is likely to result in substantial payouts to all those who have lived under egregious conditions mandated by the park owners(***).

Eventually the case will be tried for those 12 original plaintiffs and perhaps, if the class is certified, there will be hundreds or thousands who might benefit from this civil action.

-----------------------------------------------


----------------------------------------------

** 1)  Castle Lake Homes Corp, 2)  Masal Partners Ltd LP and  3) Amak Partners LP.  These are the offshoots of the Vancouver, B.C., Canada firm called 'The Ergas Group', owned by a wealthy Jewish family of property investors in Vancouver.
----------------------------------------------

***  What is the Castle Lake suit all about?

This class action lawsuit is premised on the egregious conduct of Defendants, who preyed on low-income tenants in Defendants' mobile home park by illegally taking on the role of law enforcement and ticketing and fining them - sometimes in amounts exceeding their rent - and by secretly charging those tenants for water and sewer usage well in excess of the amounts actually paid by Defendants to Cobb County. 

Plaintiffs' Class Action complaint sets forth two classes of plaintiffs: 

(1) All current and former tenants of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park who paid any Defendant for purported water and/or sewer charges; and 

(2) All current and former tenants of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park who paid any Defendant for any fine or penalty. 

Collectively, Defendants are the owners, operators and managers of a 300 plus lot mobile home park in Kennesaw, known as Castle Lake mobile Home Park (CLMHP). All of the 300 plus lots in CLMHP are rented to tenants on a month-to-month basis pursuant to written lease agreements. 

Georgia law prohibits fines and penalties in contracts and such penalties are legally void and unenforceable. Nevertheless, Defendants repeatedly ticketed, fined and penalized tenants for alleged trivial violations and for alleged violations not listed in the tenants' lease agreements, such as parking in a neighbor's driveway with that neighbor's permission, hosting a birthday party or playing music. 

Defendants threatened eviction, either expressly or implicitly, to all tenants who did not promptly pay the illegal fines, thereby extorting payment from each tenant. Illegal fines sometimes exceeding the amount of the tenant's monthly rent payment.


_______________________________

10/29/15
ATTENTION KENNESAW CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
(and those wanting to be City Council Members)


Since this Castle Lake Mobile Home Park was rezoned and annexed to the City of Kennesaw (all in 28 days start to finish) some consumer oriented people have been telling City officials that the 1,500 new City residents at CLMHP were getting totally screwed by Fuqua and the slumlords at the Canadian Ergas Group. 

All these residents got from the City was hot air and BS.

Now that these people are scattered to other parks, other cities/counties they are still being taken advantage of by this group of liars and thieves.

Below is an incoming from a former resident of the CLMHP which shows just what a rip off operation the Yes Communities are and how those former CL residents continue to be taken advantage of.

The Kennesaw City administration early on burried their collective heads in the sand and ignored those 1,500 'new' Kennesaw citizens while Fuqua and the Ergas clan totally screwed them.

Shame on all of you for allowing this to happen!

"Hello Mr. Harris

This is Cindy Bickford my family was part of the castle lake displacement. Now that Fuqua has the land and everyone moved out, the company they partnered up with Yes Communities, are kicking us one more time. 

We moved to hidden falls in Acworth with the deal that being it was a Yes Community, we would get $2500.00 and lot rent of $99.00 for 2 months. Now we are here Yes is saying the $2500.00 was used for fixing the home from the move. For instance the siding had to be married back together from the move. 

Feels like a bait and switch to me. No one will talk to me about this. Please forward this to anyone that can help. Thank you 

Sent from my iPhone"

--------------------------------------------


----------------------------------------------

10/26/15

The 52 acre Castle Lake site at Barrett Pky and Cobb Pky is being prepared for the retail development and continues to be cleared.  

The trailers are long gone and the ground is being leveled so the construction can begin.  Some sections require explosives to break up the rocky areas



CLICK ON THE LINK

TO SEE THE MANY

'OLDER POSTS'

===============================================

Monday, February 29, 2016


Original Condition of the Castle Lake MHP property:


What it looks like today: 




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12/23/15

NEXT COURT DATE FOR THE CASTLE LAKE MHP CIVIL SUIT

For the few people who are keeping up with this potential 'class action' civil suit against the Castle Lake MHP, on 12/15/15 the next Court date was set by Superior Court Judge Kell for July 22, 2016.

2 1/2 hours are reserved and the Order of Special Setting is below FYI.


Should this actually go to trial it may well be another 2 years, or about six months after the new 450,000 sq ft retail center is opened for business.



CASTLE LAKE MHP SITE KENNESAW

Days of rain and the Holiday have temporarily closed down the 52 acre construction project on the old home of the Castle Lake trailer park. 

Castle Lake Info is available at these sites:





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10/26/15

The 52 acre Castle Lake site at Barrett Pky and Cobb Pky is being prepared for the retail development and continues to be cleared.  

The trailers are long gone and the ground is being leveled so the construction can begin.  Some sections require explosives to break up the rocky areas.  The area shown is just across Cobb Pky from the IHOP restaurant.   
video


=================================
10/6/15
A KENNESAW COUNCIL MEMBER WROTE TO ME VIA FB ON THE CASTLE LAKE ISSUE:

"Given we were not obligated (legally) to do anything, we forced the developer to go way beyond what most would consider reasonable. While I do not expect it, I suggest you amend your position publicly."

--------------------------------------------------

MY REPLY WAS:

The Kennesaw mayor and entire City Council were entirely useless in the Castle Lake MHP fiasco.

You allowed Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer to team up with the Ergas family of Vancouver, Canada, who are, were and will undoubtedly continue to be major slum lords, and between them they screwed 1,500 retired, low income and Hispanic tenants and a few owners at the downmarket trailer park.

It took only 28 days from the mayors State of the City speech on the topic of the trailer park to not only annex 52 acres of the larger park to the City of Kennesaw and at the same time change the zoning to allow this large retail development.

The mayor and all of you on the Council allowed the new citizens of Kennesaw to be cheated, harassed and browbeaten by Fuqua and the CLMHP owners.

The only thing coming out of the City was bland assurances that no permits would be issued for development until an adequate relocation package was given. We have seen how well that worked out.

No worthwhile package ever materialized, there is now an ongoing Superior Court suit by 12 of the park tenants/owners who are asking for Class Action status. 
You can follow this action by going tohttp://www.cobbsuperiorcourtclerk.org/courts/ and looking up the Feb 13, 2015 filing, by case number 15-1-1129, or any of the 3 firms being sued: Castle Lake Homes Corp, Masal Partners Ltd. LP and Amak Partners LP.

The City leadership in this matter (and several others) has been disappointing and I have said and continue to say that the Council is worthless and without question leaderless. You should all be totally ashamed of the miserable jobs you have done on this and other City issues.

You all owe an abject apology to 1,500 people now scattered over several counties, people who you made Kennesaw citizens for a few months and sat on your hands while Fuqua and the Ergas clan threatened, browbeat and bamboozled them.

Shame on all of you!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The councilman can be reached at:  jsebastian@kennesaw-ga.gov if you have comments for him.

All the information on this botched issue can be found at any one of these sites:

----------------------------------------------------------

9/23/15
Work continues for the Fuqua retail site.


--------------------------------------------

  New $150 million development advances

By Ricky Leroux  6/18/15   
 

KENNESAW
 A $150 million mixeduse development at the intersection of Cobb and Barrett parkways is moving forward as the developer has obtained funding for the project and purchased the 52 acres the project will be built on.

Atlanta-based Fuqua Development plans to build a shopping center to be called Kennesaw Marketplace with about 300,000 square feet of retail space. It would be anchored by Whole Foods and Academy Sports, with 180 age-restricted senior living units at the intersection, currently home to the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park.

Garvis Sams, attorney with Sams, Larkin, Huff and Balli who
 represents Fuqua on the project, said the developer closed on the 52-acre property about two weeks ago and began the process of relocating the residents of Castle Lake.

“They’re already moving some tenants out. It’ll be mid-August when they start taking down trees and start grading,” Sams said, adding, “They just started that process, so they probably haven’t moved out more than about 20 or so. So they’ve got a lot to go.”

Sams told the Kennesaw City Council in April that 62 of 118 owners
 have accepted Fuqua Development’s offer to move residents, and their trailers, to other nearby mobile home parks.

Kennesaw Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh praised the work Fuqua has done to help relocate the residents of Castle Lake.

“One of the things we asked them from the very beginning was to make sure that all of the residents who were relocated were relocated with courtesy and dignity and respect, and I believe they accomplished that,” Eaton-Welsh said. “They treated each one of these families individually. They didn’t do
 some blanket ‘Hey here’s a number, get out.’ And that’s a very hard thing to do and a very expensive thing to do.”

Darryl Simmons, Kennesaw’s director of planning and zoning, said while the City Council approved a new site plan for the development in April, construction cannot start until the residents of the mobile home have all been relocated.

“They are nowhere near ready for construction of anything because they still
 have to take care of the families, make sure everyone is relocated first,” Simmons said, adding it may take 60 to 90 days for the relocation to be complete. 



Special to the MDJ


After all the residents have been relocated, work on the site can begin, Simmons said, but the developer will need to apply for a land disturbance permit before it can start preparing the site. Simmons said Wednesday the city has not received an application for the permit. 

Sams said preparing the site will be a challenge due to the make-up of the soil and the topography of the site, which includes a rock quarry and a small stream. 


Eaton-Welsh said Fuqua is building a $3.1 million bridge over the quarry, which will be filled in, to connect the development with the 30-plus acres that will remain a mobile home park. 


“That’s a $3.1 million bridge that they’re adding that they did not have to,” she said. 


Jeff Fuqua, principal of Fuqua Development, told the Kennesaw City Council in May that crews will need to lay 30 feet of rock on top of the soil to compact the ground, which will cost an extra $11 million. 


“This is a 52-acre site and it’s mostly rock. The part that’s not rock is soil you can’t build on,” Fuqua said at the council’s May 27 meeting. 


He also told the council he plans to ask for a $3 million tax abatement from the county’s development authority. Nelson Geter, executive director of the Development Authority of Cobb County, said Wednesday that Fuqua has not yet filed for an abatement. 


Sams said the site work will take several months, but Fuqua Development is committed to a tight schedule. 


“In February 2016, they’ll begin to go vertical, that is, constructing the stores and the shops and the buildings. It should be all completed by November of 2016. … So it’s a pretty aggressive schedule, but it’s one which they have articulated they intend to adhere to.” 


Meanwhile, Fuqua is lining up the funding to get the project under construction. Wednesday, Los Angeles-based CBRE Group Inc. announced it has secured $78 million in “acquisition and construction financing” for the project on behalf of a joint venture between Fuqua Development and Atlanta-based Batson-Cook Development. The funds come in the form of a three year, non-recourse loan from Heitman Real Estate. While the press release states “construction is expected to commence immediately,” Bridgette Bonner, a senior communication specialist with CBRE, clarified that the mobile home residents need to be relocated and the site work needs to be complete before construction starts. 


“So technically, construction of the improvements will not start until that work is done,” Bonner said. “The process to get to actual construction is planned to begin now.” 


In February 2016, they’ll begin to go vertical, that is, constructing the stores and the shops and the buildings. It should be all completed by November of 2016. … So it’s a pretty aggressive schedule, but it’s one which they have articulated they intend to adhere to." 


— Garvis Sams, Attorney representing Fuqua Development on the project 


Comments:  
We Can Do Better | 12 Hours Ago
Mark Matthews and the City of Kennesaw love apartments. Why must every development in Kennesaw include some apartments? Have they not learned from Ellison Lakes and Ridenhour and so many other developments that apartments do not contribute to a stable and safe community. Ridenhour was presented to the public as a novel "live, work, play" community that would be futuristic. In reality, it has become a Section 8 apartment complex with little opportunities for work other than a few retail establishments and nothing about it is actually a model for the future. 

I would hope that the "age-restricted, senior living" apartments would not also become just another complex of Section 8 housing. What would have been difficult about the City insisting that single family, owner occupied homes be built instead?


Matthews needs to go | 3 Hours Ago
Absolutely right. Mark Mathews is becoming the Section 8 Mayor. And next, the Marietta Housing Authority will be building more HUD and section 8 dwellings up the hill behind CarMax on White Circle.


Way to go Mark Matthews. Trade your middle class bedroom community for more Section 8, more extended stay motels and watch people flee. At least now when your nasty police (bullies) want to arrest someone, it'll be more likely he's a criminal than a distinguished veteran just driving down Highway 41.
The tax bill for the 52.32 acres that are now in Kennesaw is $138,811.15 on the property with a Fair Market Value of $8,340.420.


CASTLE LAKE MHP - FUQUA DEVELOPMENT
KENNESAW  COUNCIL - City talks tax abatement
By Hilary Butschek - hbutschek@mdjonline.com

The developer of a senior living and commercial site in Kennesaw says he is running into extra costs involved in constructing the $150 million project.

Jeff Fuqua, the principal of Fuqua Development, who is working to build a senior living facility on the site occupied by the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park, told the City Council on Wednesday he intends to ask the county’s development authority for a $3 million tax abatement on the project. The plan for the $150 million development on the corner of Barrett and Cobb Parkway includes commercial and residential areas for seniors ages 55 and older.

The council voted unanimously April 1 to approve a plan for 305,000 square feet of retail shopping and 180 senior living apartments where a portion of the mobile home park now stands.

Fuqua said the company will pay for the residents of the mobile home park to move their trailers to a different mobile home park or pay to buy their trailer from them.  Fuqua said the development of the senior living facility is costing more than planned because of a rock quarry on the site.

‟This is a 52-acre site and it’s mostly rock. The part that’s not rock is soil you can’t build on,” Fuqua said. The developer will have to lay 30 feet of rock on top of the soil and leave it there for the rest of the year to compact the ground, which would cost an extra $11 million, Fuqua said.

The council did not take any action, but Fuqua said he wanted to let members know he plans to apply for the abatement with the Development Authority of Cobb County.

Dan McRae, attorney for the development authority, said at the meeting the city should submit a letter stating whether the council and mayor support the tax abatements.  McRae said county Chairman Tim Lee will also be asked to submit a letter of approval for the abatement to go forward.

Councilman Jim Sebastian said the council did not commit to approving the tax breaks Wednesday night.  “That will come back to us in the form of a final approval and a final approval letter,” Sebastian said. “Right now we’re just saying we think it’s a good enough project to go forward with the process.”

Fuqua said the development will bring more taxes to the city and county in the end. “This pays $40,000 in property taxes now and will pay $1.1 million after,” Fuqua said. Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh said the board doesn’t strongly oppose or approve of the potential tax breaks for the developer.  “I don’t think anyone is jumping up and down either way saying yes or no,” she said.



The information here is regarding a Kennesaw, Ga., Mobile Home Park called Castle Lake which is in the process of being sold by its Canadian owners (Ergas) to an Atlanta area developer (Fuqua). The tenants and those who actually own trailers...
CASTLELAKEMHP.BLOGSPOT.COM



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clark Hungerford – Chairman
Development Authority of Cobb County
    and
J. Nelson Geter - Executive Director
P. O. Box 671868
Marietta , GA 30006-0032 


Via Email to:  ngeter@cobbchamber.org

Request for Tax Abatement by Fuqua Development

Dear Sirs:


Recently the MDJ carried an article regarding Fuqua Development's asking the Authority for a $3,000,000 Tax Abatement.

I understand that you have asked both the City of Kennesaw and Cobb County for input on this request.  I would like to add my own opinion of this matter.

I am entirely opposed to shifting a tax burden from a for profit developer to other Cobb County taxpayers.

Mr. Fuqua is commonly known as and referred to in print as "Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer", a title he has earned over the years due to his various sharp dealings in the greater Atlanta area.

Although his Marietta lawyer, Mr. Garvis Sams, had early on told our City Council that they would not be seeking any tax breaks for this property, that was before they received their re-zoning request and their request to be incorporated into the City of Kennesaw.

Now that their objectives have been met they want a major Tax Abatement for their property.

If the reason cited for this was request was not such a burden for the other tax payers in Cobb it would have been laughable.

Quoting from the article:  
". . . the development of the senior living facility is costing more than planned because of a rock quarry on the site. . . This is a 52-acre site and it’s mostly rock. The part that’s not rock is soil you can’t build on,” Fuqua said. The developer will have to lay 30 feet of rock on top of the soil and leave it there for the rest of the year to compact the ground, which would cost an extra $11 million, Fuqua said."

Mr. Fuqua seems to be astonished that a rock quarry was on the property and even more astounded that the site is 'mostly rock'.

In the several years leading up to this still uncompleted purchase from the Canadian owners there has been extensive research by Fuqua on this property, various city and state forms completed, photos taken and presentations made to the Kennesaw City Council, all having mention that the mobile home site was developed around a flooded rock quarry. 

To come now with complaints about rocky soil and a rock quarry and seek three million dollars in a tax abatement simply shows how Fuqua operates, how he lies and how he earned the title of 'Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer'.

Mr. Fuqua should not be given ANY tax abatement.  He can walk away from the project if he can not afford to proceed. 

I am sure that other developers will be waiting in the wings to step in and develop those 52 acres.  There is no emergency which would require the granting of this abatement.  If Fuqua pulls out the property will be developed by others in the next few years and in the interim the City of Kennesaw will be getting $130,811.15 in taxes each year for the property.

Tell Mr. Fuqua that he will get no abatement of taxes on this property.

William Harris
Kennesaw Resident

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5/25/15

For those few people who are attempting to keep up with the recently filed 'Class Action' suit against the 3 named Defendants:

  1. Castle Lake Homes Corp
  2. Masal Partners Ltd. LP
  3. Amak Partners LP

the Hilbert Law Firm, the defentant's lawyer, has again bitched and moaned to the Court with the 3 filings below, which run (in order top to bottom) 4 pages, 7 pages and 18 pages (total 29 pages), claiming that the charges put forth are to broad and not specific enough for them to reply to.  

This is typical of such suits and serves to drag out the case for additional months, it also benefits the Hilbert Law Firm as they are probably billing $300 an hour, so the more paperwork they generate the larger their bill to their Canadian clients.

Below are just 2 sample pages FYI.  The various pleadings are far to long to reproduce on this blog site.  If you want to see them or print them out you can go to the Cobb Superior Court web site and view/print 98% of the filings.

Go to:  http://www.cobbsuperiorcourtclerk.org/courts/  click on 'Civil Search' and input one of the 3 names above and you will go to the site.  I find it works fine with Internet Explorer but you can't pull up the case docs with just AOL (at least I can't).



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5/11/15

Who/What is Castle Lake?

Castle Lake operates in Georgia under 3 corporate names:  1)  Castle Lake Homes Corp, 2)  Masal Partners Ltd LP and  3) Amak Partners LP.  These are the offshoots of the Vancouver, B.C., Canada firm called 'The Ergas Group', owned by a wealthy Jewish family of property investors in Vancouver.



What is the Castle Lake suit all about?

This class action lawsuit is premised on the egregious conduct of Defendants, who preyed on low-income tenants in Defendants' mobile home park by illegally taking on the role of law enforcement and ticketing and fining them - sometimes in amounts exceeding their rent - and by secretly charging those tenants for water and sewer usage well in excess of the amounts actually paid by Defendants to Cobb County. 

Plaintiffs' Class Action complaint sets forth two classes of plaintiffs: 
(1) All current and former tenants of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park who paid any Defendant for purported water and/or sewer charges; and 
(2) All current and former tenants of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park who paid any Defendant for any fine or penalty. 

Collectively, Defendants are the owners, operators and managers of a 300 plus lot mobile home park in Kennesaw, known as Castle Lake mobile Home Park (CLMHP). All of the 300 plus lots in CLMHP are rented to tenants on a month-to-month basis pursuant to written lease agreements. 

Georgia law prohibits fines and penalties in contracts and such penalties are legally void and unenforceable. Nevertheless, Defendants repeatedly ticketed, fined and penalized tenants for alleged trivial violations and for alleged violations not listed in the tenants' lease agreements, such as parking in a neighbor's driveway with that neighbor's permission, hosting a birthday party or playing music. 

Defendants threatened eviction, either expressly or implicitly, to all tenants who did not promptly pay the illegal fines, thereby extorting payment from each tenant. Illegal fines sometimes exceeding the amount of the tenant's monthly rent payment.

Here is an update on CLMHP:




For those not following the long running saga of the downmarket Castle Lake Mobile Home Park, we now have 2 parallel courses of action running.

The first is the matter of 1,500, low income owners/tenants at this Kennesaw park.  These people are in the process of being totally screwed by a slumlord family (Ergas) from Vancouver, B.C. (Canada) and a bottom feeding Atlanta area developer commonly referred to as "Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer", Mr. Jeff Fuqua.

Also added into the mix is the mayor of Kennesaw and the 5 City Council members, none of these six should be put in charge of a cook out let alone a City, even a small, wide spot in the road City like Kennesaw.

Coming recently onto the scene is the more interesting matter of a civil action filed 2 months ago in the Cobb County Superior Court in Marietta.  The 12 plaintiffs, are current and former owners and tenants at the park, they are asking that their multi pronged action be certified as a 'class action'.

Whether or not it will proceed as a class action, or just as a suit brought by 12 plaintiffs, remains to be determined.

What is clear, and is currently missing from local news reports, is the scope of the theft, fraud, racketeering and allegations of unjust evictions by the park, all of which have continued for many years at Castle Lake.   

The filing is available on the Superior Court's internet site but here FYI are the 9 specifications set forth in the complaint:

COUNT I:  UNJUST ENRICHMENT
COUNT II:  BREACH OF CONTRACT
COUNT III:  THEFT BY DECEPTION (AS TO THE WATER OVERCHARGES CLASS ONLY)
COUNT IV:  THEFT BY TAKING (AS TO THE ILLEGAL FINES CLASS ONLY)
COUNT V:  VIOLATION OF THE GEORGIA RICO ACT, § 16-14-4, ET SEQ.
COUNT VI:  FRAUD (AS TO THE WATER OVERCHARGES CLASS ONLY
COUNT VII:  CIVIL CONSPIRACY
COUNT VIII:  PUNITIVE DAMAGES
COUNT IX:  LITIGATION COSTS

The property sale has been delayed many times as the current slumlords make every attempt to remove the current residents at minimal cost to them and Fuqua.  

It is clear that eventually there will be a shopping center on these 52 acres but even after the last of the residents of the park are gone the suit will remain in the courts for years to come and hopefully the Canadian Ergas family will end up paying out millions of their ill gotten gains to former trailer owners and renters at Castle Lake. --

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4/30/15

FYI:  Here are the email addresses of 2 people who have Mobile Home Parks with vacancies.  If you need info on their parks you can contact them directly:   benesque@gmail.com (Acworth) and judygriner@att.net (Paulding County)

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3/28/15
INQUIRY TO PLANNING AND ZONING ADMINISTRATOR SIMMONS:


Here is the City reply to my inquiry on the removal process for Castle Lake trailers and below that the original inquiry:

Good morning Mr. Harris;

The City of Kennesaw will require the developer to follow all State and city ordinances regarding demolition and safe removal of trailers.

From: Harris2016@aol.com [mailto:Harris2016@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 12:54 AM
To: Darryl Simmons
Subject: Castle Lake Demolition of Mobile Homes

The Kennesaw City Internet site deals in generalities of the Permitting issue for disposal of trailers and says in part:

"What kinds of construction require a permit?

Any owner, agent or contractor who desires to construct, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a structure or to alter, repair, remove or replace electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing systems that are regulated by technical codes."

With reference to the many trailers/manufactured housing units at Castle Lake MHP I am aware that 40 have been contracted to be moved and I did see one being moved.  This still leaves many decrepit and abandoned trailers that could not be moved on the highways under existing County regulations.  http://www.cobbtax.org/property/mobileHomes

Presumably these trailers will be demolished on site by one of the normal methods shown below, probably the 2nd one.

Since Fuqua Development and the Canadian park owners have yet to do anything in an open and above board manner, I would like to know what the City of Kennesaw will be doing to make sure that the large number of junk trailers are disposed of by having the necessary permits issued and if City inspectors will monitor the demolition and removal of these units?

I am sure that the City will want to keep up with how the gas, electrical, sewer and asbestos issues are dealt with and not leave it to Fuqua or the Ergas family to simply bulldoze those 50+ trailers on some long holiday weekend when they think no one will notice.

Can you advise me what the City is going to require of Fuqua and if inspectors will be on site to make sure the removals are done correctly?

Bill Harris, Kennesaw

Existing County and State regulations regarding mobile homes:


Options for removing a mobile home

There are three ways to remove and demolish a mobile home from your property. Let's take a quick look at these options.
·         Employ a company to transport the mobile home to the landfill to be broken down and disposed of. This option is not always available and all landfills may not accept the full trailer for disposal.

·         Hire a professional demolition contractor to demolish the mobile home on site with heavy equipment such as a hydraulic excavator. This is usually the most cost-effective and efficient option for mobile home demolition.

·         Select a contractor that offers mobile home demolition by hand where it will be deconstructed for salvage and or for disposal. This option is the most time consuming and it may be harder to find a company that does mobile home demolition by hand.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4/27/15

Yes Communities will have a meeting at their Hidden Falls Trailer Park, 6359 Bells Ferry Rd, Acworth, GA 30102, on Thursday 4/30/15 at 6pm to go over relocation offers with various Castle Lake Tenants/Owners.

http://www.yescommunities.com/community/hidden-falls

Kennesaw City Counclman Sebastian has been asked by one owner to attend the meeting.



THE LATEST INADEQUATE OFFER TO CLMHP RESIDENTS FROM FUQUA DEVELOPMENT



FuquaDevelopment

April 14, 2015

Castle Lake Mobile Home Park
Kennesaw, Georgia

Dear Residents of Castle Lake:

On April 1, 2015, the city of Kennesaw approved the proposed master site plan submitted by Fuqua Development. Fuqua now plans to move forward with the purchase of the front portion of the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park property. The closing is set to take place in mid to late May and, as soon as the specific date is set --probably within the next 4-5 weeks-- we will announce it. The 60-day period during which all relocations and moves must be accomplished will start on the date of closing.

In order to prepare for a smooth transition from Castle Lake once the closing takes place, we suggest that anyone who falls under the following categories contact us immediately by calling 678 438-6275. We will have multiple representatives from our relocation team monitoring this line and available to meet you at your home.

Outstanding contingency offers - lf you have not yet secured a contingency offer, please contact us immediately to do so.

Title issues - lf you still have an existing title issue, please contact us immediately so that we can assist you in resolving this.

Next steps:

     1. Pre-close wrap up - The last round of individual meetings will take place from 4/27- 5/1. This is a time for us to review offers, sign final paperwrork, and discuss the next steps once the closing takes place.  Please contact us at 678-438-6275 to schedule your appointment for this week.

     2. Moving schedule and allowance - We are projecting a move-out time frame to begin on the actual closing date in May and concluding 60 days later in July. lf your home is being moved, please contact us if you would like to be scheduled early. To help with upfront costs for all residents, 1/2, of the moving allowance will be paid prior to your move and the remaining balance will be paid within 10 days once the home is removed.

     3. Post-closing timeline - a comprehensive overview of what will take place once the closing is finalized will be presented and discussed at your meeting the week of 4/27-5/1.

We will keep you informed as we move forward and thank you for your cooperation in the relocation process.

Sincerely, 

Fuqua Development



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4/13/15

WSBTV Atlanta Channel 2 and Castle Lake MHP

Interviews were done today with Castle Lake residents (including Cindy Bickford) for Atlanta's channel 2.

This is a Cox Media station and those who regularly follow the CLMHP issue will recall that the Atlanta Journal Constitution has had 2 recent articles on the park.  The AJC is also the major print arm of Cox Media empire.

It is about time that they got involved in the issue.  I have mass emailed them and other publications (including the Vancouver Sun Newspaper) for over a year trying to get some publicity for the park issue.

WSBTV normally gets enough material for 4 airings on an issue, so we have the already aired segment this evening, and probably there will be another at 11 p.m. and at least 2 more airings of slightly different footage tomorrow.  They have an extensive file of stories they carried, usually with transcripts and this can be found at:  http://www.wsbtv.com/ so if you miss the actual showing you can probably find it on the referenced site.

It would be nice if they can pin down some of the elusive City of Kennesaw elected officials and ask some pointed questions of them as to why they are letting Jeff Fuqua and the Vancouver, Canada slumlords at 'The Ergas Group' run roughshod over 1,500 low income people in this Kennesaw trailer park.

Additional information on this can be found at: http://castlelakemhp.blogspot.com/  and http://mayormathews.blogspot.com


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4/12/15

AT ISSUE: CASTLE LAKE MOBILE HOME PARK
Kennesaw residents displaced?

Partial redevelopment of 52 acres good for some, but not for everyone.

By Carolyn Cunningham For the AJC
   
The partial redevelopment of the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park in Kennesaw has a tangled tale of residents, property owners and developers. The Kennesaw City Council recently approved a plan by Fuqua Acquisitions, LLC for redeveloping 52 acres of the park at 1650 Cobb Parkway at Barrett Parkway.
   
In February 2014, this acreage was annexed by Kennesaw for a $150 million development. A retail site of 305,000 square feet, with Whole Foods as the anchor, and 180 apartments for ages 55 and older are planned but not for Section 8 and not for multi-family.
   
During the relocation period beginning later this month, Fuqua will offer relocation assistance to 118 homeowners as they move their mobile homes with individual negotiations.
   
However, some residents of the mobile home park have voiced their concerns to city officials.
   
Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews said these residents “cannot be displaced from their homes automatically.” Castle Lake residents said they don’t have the financial means to move in the manner proposed.
   
Owners of several trailers spoke to the AJC and said they were offered $8,000 to walk away from their trailers. They have also been offered moving expenses.
   
But one said it’s complicated: “We have to move out, store our stuff and get a hotel, at our expense, and then turn in our receipts.
   
“If I had that kind of money, we wouldn’t be living here in the first place.”
   
The mayor said the residents were caught “in limbo” between the owners of the mobile home park and the developers, which haven’t finalized the sale or its plans with the city.
   
Once the deal is closed — it could be a few weeks — residents will have two months to pack up and leave. What do you think? Is all fair in the name of progress? Share your opinion by email at communitynews@ajc.com .


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4/10/15

I have received a email reply to my earlier inquiry to the Planning and Zoning Administrator Mr Simmons.
His reply, my initial inquiry and the new and revised outgoing to CLMHP residents are below.

Bill Harris
Citizen Journalist

From: dsimmons@kennesaw-ga.gov
To: USA30152@aol.com
CC: JDrobney@kennesaw-ga.gov
Sent: 4/10/2015 9:58:46 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: RE: City Gives Permission for Castle Lake Sale

Good morning Mr. Harris,

Thank you for submitting the information to the City of Kennesaw.

The City of Kennesaw  Community Development staff quickly addressed this issue this morning with Fuqua Development.

Fuqua Development  apologized for the error and amended the content of the notices immediately and informed city staff that a follow up notice will be sent out. (Please see attached ).

Respectfully,

Darryl Simmons
City of Kennesaw
Planning and Zoning Administrator
  
HERE IS THE NEW AND REVISED LETTER:
April 10, 2015

Homeowner
Castle Lake Mobile Home Park
Kennesaw, Georgia

Good afternoon,

We would like to apologize for the language used in recent notices  distributed to a select group of homes on Wednesday, April 8th. On April 1,  2015, the city of Kennesaw approved the proposed master site plan for the future development at Barrett Parkway. The city is not involved with or responsible in any way for the sale of the Castle Lake property to Fuqua Development.

At this point, Fuqua Developments intends to close on the property in mid to late May. An update announcing the final sale date and following 60 day period will be sent within the next 4-6 weeks.

According to our records you have not yet secured a contingency offer for your home. Please contact us at 678-438-6275 as soon as possible to do so. We will have multiple representatives from our relocation team monitoring this line and available to meet you at your home.

We apologize for any confusion that this may have caused. Thank you and  please contact us with any questions regarding your relocation plan.

Sincerely,

Fuqua Development


Text of below letter left on the doors of many CLMHP residents:

April 8, 2015

As of April 1, 2015, the city of Kennesaw has officially approved the sale of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park to Fuqua Development.  The closing will take place in mid to late May. An update announcing the final sale date and following 60 day perior will be sent within the next 4-6 weeks.

According to our records, you have not yet secured a contingency offer for your home.  Please contact us at 678-438-6275 as soon as possible to do so.  We will have multiple representatives from our relocation team monitoring this line and available to meet you at your home.

Thank you and please contact us with any questions regarding your relocation plan.

Sincerely,

Fuqua Development





BILL TORPY AT LARGE

torpy


WORKING TO MOVE UP, TOLD TO MOVE OUT

The developer’s lawyer, in spinning the planned $150 million complex in Kennesaw, said the city is “addressing an often overlooked demographic” – aging Baby Boomers. But there’s another demographic being overlooked: Trailer park residents. About 110 families in the Castle Lake mobile home park at the busy intersection of Barrett and Cobb parkways will have to become mobile for real.
 Working to move up, told to move out


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4/4/15
RE:  Castle Lake MHP Civil Suit Reply

The case was filed 2/13/15 and on 3/18/15 five sets of documents were filed in reply by the Castle Lake lawyer.  The brief for the Motion to Dismiss was 19 pages with 5 pages of Exhibits of park rules and regulations.

The general arguments were that the allegations were not specific enough to give a response to and also that some of the allegations were 'immaterial, impertinent and scandalous' and the Court should strike them.  

In other words they didn't like being called out for their misdeeds in such a public filing.

Here are the various document titles:
*  Notice of Entry of Appearance of Counsel
*  Joint Answer of Defendants
*  Defendants' Motion for More Definite Statement
*  Defendants' Motion to Strike Immaterial, Impertinent, and Scandalous Material from Plaintiffs' Complaint
*  Defendants Castle Lake Homes Corp, Masal Partners LTD, LP and Amak Partners LP's Joint Motion to Dismiss

The documents are to extensive to attach but can be seen or copies at the Cobb County Superior Court site at 'Civil Search':  http://www.cobbsuperiorcourtclerk.org/courts/

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4/2/15

What are the plans for the Castle Lake MHP property?

According to the 4/1/15 presentation to the mayor and council by Garvis Sams, representing Fuqua this is the current plan:

"Fuqua Development . . . is scheduled to close on the land at the end of April and begin construction June 2016. The development is expected to open the summer of 2017."


The proposed closing date of 'the end of April' is the 7th date floated by Fuqua. Sooner or later one is bound to be correct, whether this one is 'it' or another will be proposed later remains to be seen.
Several things are apparent:

1)  The mayor and Council members Welsh and Killingsworth are firmly in the bag for the Fuqua/Ergas cabal.  All 3 are expected to be out of office after the coming November election later this year.  Hopefully their replacements will have more common sense than this current crop of officials.

2)  As long as last June Jeff Fuqua was disputing my frequent contention that he and the Ergas Group of Vancouver B.C., the real owner of the property, were in league to clear out as many tenants and trailer owners as possible before any sale took place.  This might save Fuqua Development from being responsible for any relocation packages for those who have already entered into agreements and moved away.

3)  The City (mayor/Council) have said several times that before any permits to start construction on the site are issued that a relocation package must be in effect for the low income tenants of the park. 


With a combination of glowing comments from the 3 above referenced officials and the continued underhanded treatment of park residents by the park, it seems obvious that the City will not move effectively to safeguard the interests of those park residents who are now Kennesaw residents.

The City leadership, such as it is, has acted as an adjunct to Fuqua Development and have repeatedly ignored and in effect sanctioned the underhanded antics of 'Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer' (Fuqua) and a Canadian slumlord (Ergas).

The Development Commission and City Council have been provided with copies of the 23 page civil suit filed in February by 12 current and former park residents about the treatment they have received while tenants at this down market trailer park.  The various allegations should have been a wake up call to these City bodies but it seems they have turned a blind eye to what is and has been going on at this park.

It is clear that there is little hope that the City of Kennesaw, under the current administration, will be of any use in safeguarding the interests of the low income residents, retirees and Hispanic residents of Castle Lake.

This is not Kennesaw's finest moment and the City should be ashamed of their treatment of those 1,500 Kennesaw citizens.


===========================================

Misc:  A good subtitle for this would be "City again sells out low income residents of trailer park"

City Approves Nplan for 52 Acre Development


Kennesaw City Council approves new plan for 52-acre development
by Hilary Butschek
April 02, 2015 04:00 AM | 516 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mayor Mark Mathews
Mayor Mark Mathews
The City Council voted 5-0 Wednesday to approve a new site plan for a development set for a 52-acre section of what is now a trailer park in Kennesaw.

The revised site plan for the $150 million development on the corner of Barrett and Cobb Parkway includes a commercial area and a residential area for seniors ages 55 and up, said Garvis Sams, who represents the developer.

The council voted to approve a plan for 305,000 square feet of retail shopping and 180 senior living apartments where a portion of the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park now stands, Sams sai
d. 


Mayor Mark Mathews said the approval is a step forward in getting construction started on a development that was originally approved in February 2014. The new site plan differs from the originally approved plan, which provided for 20 townhomes and 450,000 square feet.

“Let’s start the ball rolling,” Mathews said in a celebratory manner after the new site plan was approved.


Mathews said another senior living development in Kennesaw, Alta Ridenour, which is across the street from Castle Lake, has a wait list, so the new development is needed.


“There’s a big demand for senior living,” Mathews said. “It’s a great addition to that project.”


Darryl Simmons, Kennesaw’s director of planning and zoning, echoed the mayor’s comments on the need for senior living.


“We don’t have enough senior apartments in the city of Kennesaw. It meets a demographic need in the city,” Simmons said. 


Fuqua Development, which will build on the site, is scheduled to close on the land at the end of April and begin construction June 2016, Sams said. The development is expected to open the summer of 2017, Sams said. 


The retail area will be anchored with a Whole Foods store, Sams said. 


“This is addressing a need, not solving it by any means. There will certainly be more room for others,” Sams said. 


Sams said the residents who live in the community will move, with their mobile homes, to other nearby mobile home parks. Fuqua is paying for the cost of moving the mobile homes and covering other costs of moving on a one-by-one basis, Sams said. 


Sams said 62 out of 118 owners have accepted a relocation package. Each package can range from $9,000 to $18,000 for each owner to pay to move the trailers, Sams said. 


There will be 34 acres of property left that will remain a trailer park in Castle Lake.


One homeowner, Ian McGuigan, said his relocation package has not been anywhere near that amount. 


“I was offered $1,500 over the two months it’s going to take to move. That’s $25 a day to cover a hotel to stay in and storage for all of my stuff. That’s impossible,” McGuigan said. 


Sams said some residents may be confused about what they will be offered in their relocation package because they will receive the money during the relocation period, which will start by the end of April. 


Mathews said none of the residents of Castle Lake have recently contacted him, but in the past he said he has heard from residents frustrated that the project, which was first approved in 2014, has not been built yet. 


“The biggest frustration that I have seen is due to the fact that the property owner and the purchaser have not finalized their agreement, thus leaving residents in limbo,” Mathews said. 


The approval of the plan Wednesday night will “get the process running a lot smoother with a near future closing date,” Mathews said. 


McGuigan said he feels he’s been mistreated by Fuqua.  “It was stated that we’d be in a better place, but I don’t see that happening,” McGuigan said.


Jacqueline Lopez, a three-year resident of Castle Lake who works as a singer, said she spoke at the meeting because she didn’t want the council to approve the new site plan.


“I don’t think Fuqua is ready to receive any permits because I’m concerned that if they’re approved, that’s it for us. No one will care anymore,” Lopez said.


Mathews reassured Lopez that the new site plan will secure a new owner for the land, which will give residents a new plan for moving their trailers. 


“(Approving the site plan) actually puts the steps in place to get sure, solid answers and information. Because the owner has not been changed, it’s been a very touchy subject of who will provide what,” Mathews said.


Mathews said the city is working to help facilitate spreading the relocation packages to the residents.


“The relocation deal is a private matter between the buyer, seller and the residents of the park. We have encouraged the developer to make sure that they do everything possible to make for a smooth transition for the residents. As you might imagine, it is a very difficult and emotional process and there will be some people that will not be happy under any circumstances. We are doing everything we can to help make it a smooth process. We have provided meeting space, translators and have assisted with community outreach in an effort to make sure that the residents are kept informed and aware of the facts and not falling into a rumor mill of inaccurate information,” Mathews said.


Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh said she thinks the negotiations between Fuqua and the residents of Castle Lake have been successful.  “I appreciate the conversation, and I appreciate the dignity and respect,” Welsh said.


Councilman Tim Killingsworth said the developer, Jeff Fuqua, has been helpful in including the city and residents in conversations about the future of the development.


“I want to commend Mr. Fuqua and his team because (he) didn’t have to incorporate the city and the people as much as you have,” Killingsworth said.


Class action lawsuit

The residents of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park are continuing to fight what they say has been mistreatment by the managers of the trailer park.

Lopez said she is one of a group of residents who filed a class action lawsuit against Castle Lake management in Cobb Superior Court in February. 


“This has been occurring for many years,” Lopez said. “We’ve been telling management for years, ‘Why do I have a high water bill?’”


The lawsuit alleges residents of Castle Lake were fined for fraudulent infractions, which the lawsuit calls “unlawful ‘fines’ and ‘penalties’ against residents.”


Fines were between $100 to $500, which were sometimes more than the monthly rent owed for infractions such as playing music, hosting a party or parking in a neighbor’s driveway even with their permission, the lawsuit states. 


Castle Lake management is also accused of “artificially inflating the tenants’ Cobb County water bills and pocketing the difference,” the lawsuit states.


Marilin Hagy, a manager of Castle Lake, said she had no comment Wednesday.


McGuigan also said he was overcharged on his water bill. 


Garvis said the only groups the lawsuit will affect is the management of Castle Lake and the residents, not the development.


3/31/15

City Council Special Call Meeting Agenda

You can get a good idea of how this is going Wed. as both the useless Zoning Administrator Simmons and the useless Planning Comm have already sold out on the issue.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
City Council
Special Call Meeting Agenda
April 1, 2015 6:00 PM
Council Chambers

Swearing-in of any witnesses or individuals offering comments on any of the following items.

A. TITLE OF ITEM: Authorization for approval of variance requests submitted by Fuqua Acquisitions, LLC for property along 1650 Cobb Parkway at the intersection of Barrett Parkway. Variance requested include:
1) reduction of parking ration from ten parking spaces per unit down to 1.5 parking spaces per unit in residential component only;
2) encroachment into stream buffer areas for grading only; and
3) use of alternative paving standards for parking areas and drives.

AGENDA COMMENTS: Properties identified as Land Lots 207, 208, 211 & 212, Tax Parcel 487. Owner is requesting variances for:
1) to waive the requirement that a proposed building not encroach into the stream bank buffer;
2) reduction of parking ratio for the senior luxury apartment component from two spaces per unit to 1.50 spaces per unit; and
3) variance to use alternative paving specifications for parking areas.

This item was tabled on February 16, 2015 and continued the public hearing to the March 16, 2015 Mayor and City Council meeting.

This item did not meet the public notification requirements and there was a special called Planning Commission meeting held March 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM and a special call Mayor and City Council meeting on April 1, 2015 at 6:00 PM.

The Planning Commission held their special called meeting March 23, 2015.

Motion was made by Fred Moore, seconded by Jeff Powers to approve the requested variances; stream buffer encroachment for grading with the condition the City of Kennesaw staff and Plan Review Committee will be responsible for approval of best practice methods and minimize impact to stream area as part of the plan review process; parking ratio reduction from two spaces per unit to 1.5 spaces per unit in the residential component only; alternative paving specifications to be allowed based on the fact the areas will be private and maintained by the property owner and that staff is granted administrative authority regarding building placement and orientation that meets the intent of the master plan and incorporate letter of stipulations submitted by applicant's attorney, Garvis Sams, dated March 2, 2015.

Motion carried unanimously.
Vote: 6-0 Yeas: Fred Moore, Jeff Powers, Chris Cash, Cindi Michael, Craig MacNaughton and Stephen McFerrin.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: 
Darryl Simmons, Zoning Administrator recommends approval of the variances for stream buffer encroachment for grading with the condition that city of Kennesaw staff and plan review committee will be responsible for approval of best practice methods and minimize impact to stream area as part of the plan review process; parking ratio reduction from two spaces per unit to 1.5 spaces per unit in the residential component only; alternative paving specifications to be allowed based on the fact the areas will be private and maintained by the property owner and that staff is granted administrative authority regarding building placement and orientation that meets the intent of the master plan and incorporate letter of stipulations submitted by applicant's attorney, Garvis Sams, dated March 2, 2015.

B. TITLE OF ITEM: Application requesting revision to previously approved master plan for 52+/- acres located at 1650 Cobb Parkway. Applicant Fuqua Development requests change in residential and commercial components of master plan.

AGENDA COMMENTS: The revision of master plan approved under Z2014-01 February 2014. The revised master plan submitted for consideration consists of the reduction of retail square footage from 450,000 square feet to 305,000 square feet and the removal of previously approved townhome component consisting of twenty units and replaced with 180 senior, age restricted 55+ years of age and older apartment units.

This item was tabled on February 16, 2015 and continued the public hearing to the March 16, 2015 Mayor and City Council meeting.

This item did not meet the public notification requirements and special call Planning Commission meeting was held March 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM and a special call meeting for Mayor and City Council was advertised for April 1, 2015 at 6:00 pm.

The Planning Commission heard this item on March 23, 2015 at a special called meeting. Motion was made by Stephen McFerrin, seconded by Cindi Michael to approve the revised master plan for the subject property based on staff analysis, subject to letter of stipulations submitted by applicant's attorney, Garvis Sams, dated March 2, 2015.

Motion carried unanimously. Vote: 6-0 Yeas: Stephen McFerrin, Cindi Michael, Jeff Powers, Chris Cash, Fred Moore and Craig MacNaughton.

Staff Recommendation: Darryl Simmons, Zoning Administrator recommended approval of the revised master site plan that incorporates 305,000 square feet of retail and 180 senior age restricted 55 and older years of age senior apartments with the condition to incorporate letter of stipulations prepared by Garvis Sams from law firm Sams, Larkin, Huff & Balli.
----------------------------------------------------------- 3/24/15


March 24, 2015

To:
___ Kennesaw Planning Commission
___ Kennesaw City Council

Dear Sirs:

     The long running matter of the property called Castle Lake MHP remains in front of you.

     Attached for your information is a 23 page copy of a Civil Suit now active in Cobb County Superior Court which I wish to bring to your attention.  It bears on the character and actions of both Jeff Fuqua of Fuqua Development and the Ergas Group operating in Georgia under various LLC's as listed in this recent court filing.

     The City of Kennesaw made a major error in rushing to approve applications of the initial 52 acres, both by annexing it into Kennesaw and rezoning the property.

     The purchase of the CLMHP by Fuqua has been repeatedly put off and I believe that it will continue to be delayed until the Canadian slumlords can clear most of the current tenants and trailer owners from that portion of the park now in Kennesaw.

     I believe that there is a common scheme between Ergas and Fuqua to remove as many occupants as possible from the 52 acres before any sale actually takes place, I further believe and have seen documents to this effect, that there is no worth while 'Relocation' package available to any of those Kennesaw citizens of that park.

     The City of Kennesaw has not acted in a reasonable and responsible way to protect those 1,500 low income occupants of this park from being preyed upon by "Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer" (Fuqua) and the Canadian slumlords (Ergas).

     No further consideration to any zoning changes or additional annexation should be given by the City until and unless both Fuqua and Ergas have been required to implement a sound and reasonable relocation package as overseen by independent realty professionals (and I do NOT mean 'Yes Communities' who are in the hip pockets of both Ergas and Fuqua).

Bill Harris
Kennesaw Resident

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3/22/15

Canadian Slum Lords, The Ergas Group, et al, run by the wealthy Jewish Vancouver B.C. Ergas family, are now subject to what will be a long and expensive lesson in the operation of the American Judicial system.  The various plaintiffs are asking the Superior Court to certify the action as a 'Class Action' for those current and past residents and owners who have been preyed on by the ruthless bottom feeding owners of a down market Kennesaw, Georgia trailer park.

Below is a brief Summary of the case filed last month in Cobb Superior Court.

The entire 9 Count filing text runs 21 pages and 4,700 words and is to long to reproduce in full on this site.  

Regular readers of the blog site: http://castlelakemhp.blogspot.com/  will recall that this 53 acer property was intended to be sold to Fuqua Development, headed by Jeff Fuqua, known in the local press as 'Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer'.

Fuqua and Ergas had initial success in hoodwinking the City of Kennesaw Mayor and City Council into granting both favorable zoning changes and taking into the City of Kennesaw, 2/3 rds of the downmarket Castle Lake trailer park. 

Now the years of the Ergas family preying on low income famlies, retirees and Hispanic tenants is coming to an end and their shabby trailer park is soon to be gathering citations for the many violations that have piled up over years of neglect.

As to the long delayed sale of those 53 acres to Fuqua - don't hold your breath, rumors are that the sale was 'off' even before the suit was filed.  Now the chance that Fuqua or ANY developer will want to buy the property are virtually nil and the Ergas family is left with a much larger tax bill now that the property is rated as commercial rather than what they had when it was just a trailer park.

On Oct 9th 2014 the Castle Lake Home Corp paid the county $185,540 in taxes, an increase of $146,479 from the $39,061 paid last year in property taxes.


IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF COBB COUNTY
STATE OF GEORGIA


JACQUELINE LOPEZ, MARY HUIEL, JOHNNY MILLENDER, DEBRA SPEARS, MARIA TREVINO, NORBERTO MANZANO, LUDVINA MANZANO,  GUADALUPE AYALA LANDA, KARLA RODRIGUEZS,  IAN MCGUIGAN, MARIA RIVERA, and ELBERTO BOYZO,

     Plaintiffs,

     v.

CASTLE LAKE HOMES CORP., MASAL PARTNERS LTD. LP, and AMAK PARTNERS LP, 

     Defendants.


CIVIL ACTION FILE NO.  15-1-1129  


CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT

COUNT I:  MONEY HAD AND RECEIVED (UNJUST ENRICHMENT)
COUNT II:  BREACH OF CONTRACT
COUNT III:  THEFT BY DECEPTION (AS TO THE WATER OVERCHARGES CLASS ONLY)
COUNT IV:  THEFT BY TAKING (AS TO THE ILLEGAL FINES CLASS ONLY)
COUNT V:  VIOLATION OF THE GEORGIA RICO ACT, § 16-14-4, ET SEQ.
COUNT VI:  FRAUD (AS TO THE WATER OVERCHARGES CLASS ONLY
COUNT VII:  CIVIL CONSPIRACY
COUNT VIII:  PUNITIVE DAMAGES
COUNT IX:  LITIGATION COSTS

I. PARTIES AND JURISDICTION

1. Plaintiffs are residents of the State of Georgia and are current or former tenants of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park.

2. Defendant Castle Lake Homes Corp. is a Georgia corporation with its principal office located at 1520-1185 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 4E6.  Said Defendant may be served with process through its Registered Agent, Gloria Beauchene, at 1252 Gray Squirrel Crossing, Marietta, Georgia 30062.

3. Defendant Masal Partners Ltd. L.P. is a Georgia limited partnership with its principal office located at P.O. Box 91583, West Vancouver, British Columbia V7V 3P3.  Said Defendant may be served with process through its Registered Agent, Gloria Beauchene, at 1252 Gray Squirrel Crossing, Marietta, Georgia 30062.

4. Defendant Amak Partners, L.P. is a Georgia limited partnership with its principal office located at P.O. Box 86158, North Vancouver, British Columbia V7L 4J8.  Said Defendant may be served with process through its Registered Agent, Gloria Beauchene, at 1252 Gray Squirrel Crossing, Marietta, Georgia 30062.

5. Collectively, Defendants are the owners, operators and managers of a 300-plus lot mobile home park in Kennesaw, Georgia, known as Castle Lake Mobile Home Park (“CLMHP”).

A few of the many allegations in this suit involve illegal fines and fradulent water charges and the suit says in part:
"Defendants collectively agreed and conspired to commit the tortious acts, acted in concert to commit the tortious acts and the Defendants are jointly and severally liable for the acts described herein. . . Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 16-14-6(c), Plaintiffs are entitled to recover treble damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees and litigation costs from Defendants for the damages caused by Defendants’ pattern of racketeering activity."

The entire case is available on the Cobb County Superior Court Internet site:  http://www.cobbsuperiorcourtclerk.org/courts/  

Below are a few pages FYI:











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LAND USE NOTICE
Application:  Revised PVC Master Plan Variances
Application has been made to the City of Kennesaw 
Purpose PVC Zoning to include Multi-Family Senior 
Date of Public Meeting:   3/23/15 7 PM, 
Date of Public Meeting:   4/1/15 6 PM


----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hearings on CLMHP Put Off:

From: dsimmons@kennesaw-ga.gov
To: Harris2016@aol.com
Sent: 3/3/2015 3:54:01 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

Subj: RE: Castle Lake/Fuqua

Mr. Harris,

Regarding the posting of signs for upcoming hearings. The current signs were removed by city staff due to the applicant not meeting State guidelines for sending out public notices to adjacent property owners within 200 feet of subject property. The applicants and their attorneys were notified by my office to the current status of their application.

The next step is that the applicant will be starting over with new public hearing dates coordinated by the planning and zoning department and all public notification processes will begin. Sign postings will be implemented later this week with the new hearing dates for this application.

City of Kennesaw staff will also to continue to monitor signs posted at sites.

Darryl Simmons
City of Kennesaw Planning and Zoning Administrator
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2/21/15



CLMHP LAND USE APPLICATION

Fuqua Development and Castle Lake MHP want to change the usage of their 'new' Kennesaw property and the City will have the issue of these 2 changes in a work session and a Council meeting as shown below for the Revised PVC Master Plan Variance and PVC Zoning changed to include Multi Family usage.

Dates are:  
Work Session 7 PM 3/4/15 Wed.
Council Meeting 6:30 PM 3/16/15 Mon.




2/17/15

Kennesaw City Council Actions Summary, February 16 Meeting

February 17th, 2015 Summary by Pam Davis

The following actions were taken by the City Council at the February 16 meeting:

Authorization for approval of variance requests submitted by Fuqua Acquisitions, LLC for property along 1650 Cobb Parkway at the intersection of Barrett Parkway.



Authorization for approval of an ORDINANCE to modify zoning stipulations and master plan under the existing zoning district Planned Village Commercial (PVC) submitted by Fuqua Acquisitions, LLC for property located at 1650 Cobb Parkway (NW corner of Cobb Parkway).



Motion by Councilmember Killingsworth to table both items indefinitely, continue the public hearing, re-advertise and re-post, seconded by Councilmember Williams. 



Approved unanimously. Motion carried.

--------------------------------------------------------------

1/16/15

Review of Mixed-Use Kennesaw Project Set for Jan. 29


Fuqua Acquisitions is working to change the site plan in order to eliminate some variances, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says.

Review of Mixed-Use Kennesaw Project Set for Jan. 29
A $150 million mixed-use residential and retail project proposed for Cobb and Barrett parkways will have to wait a few more weeks for approval, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.
According to the AJC, the Kennesaw City Council tabled a vote on a zoning change and the approval of variances at the request of Fuqua Acquisitions during their Dec. 10 meeting. Fuqua asked for the delay in order to tweak the site plan to remove the need for variances on stream bank and flood plain setbacks, the AJC says.
In addition, the AJC says that Fuqua wants to replace the 30 townhomes it originally proposed with 260 multifamily units, and plans to reduce the overall retail space to 340,000 sq. ft.
The City of Kennesaw will revisit the Fuqua plans during a planning and zoning department meeting on Jan. 29 and a full city council meeting on Feb. 16, the AJC writes.
Original AJC article at:  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/kennesaw-delays-vote-on-development/njTyr/?ecmp=ajc_social_twitter_2014_cobb_sfp


12/17/14 
As a short update to the below: 

This might be called 'The Case of the Missing Sign'. Dec 7th I noted that the sign advertising the availability of rental trailers had been put up again. That post was Sunday afternoon, I emailed a few people about this. 

Monday, Dec 8th the sign is again removed. Probably someone knows what is going on, it just isn't me.




Dec 7, 2014
Photo below:  Old Sign




For several months the 'old' rental sign was down, now it is back.

Photo Below:  Replaced Sign
.


The Kennesaw Planning Comm abruptly put off its scheduled December 3rd 2014 meeting until their January 7th 2015 meeting.  This would logically delay the next vote by the City Council to the meeting following the 1/7/15 Planning Comm meeting.

Makes you think that perhaps the Fuqua Development deal has come apart. 

If this is not the case then you can expect to see new Yellow announcements posted by the City with the new dates for the Planning Comm and City Council vote.




Above:  The sign on the top of the hill was never taken down and remains as of today.

=================================================================
12/4/14

The below referenced hearing of Dec 3rd was put off until the Planning Commission meeting set for January 7, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.  I would expect that the City Council meeting of Dec 15th would probably also be put off as they would want a recommendation from Planning before going to a vote on the matter.  So the matter is yet again put off with no decision being made by the City.

----------------------------------------------------------
11/30/14

The Castle Lake MHP situation is set to have additional hearings in December and a large turnout of MHP residents is antiipated.  Here are the dates FYI:


LAND USE NOTICE
Application:  Revised PVC Master Plan
Application has been made to the 
City of Kennesaw
PURPOSE:  PVC Zoning to Include Multi-Family
Date of Public Meeting:  12/3/14, Time:  7:00 PM
Date of Public Meeting:  12/15/14 Time:  6:30 PM
Place:  Kennesaw City Hall
For Further Information Please Call 
Planning and Zoning Dept 770 590 8268
Please Visit City Web Site for Meeting Agendas


LAND USE NOTICE
Application:  Variance
Application has been made to the 
City of Kennesaw
PURPOSE:  Stream Buffer, Flood Plain and Parking Length
Date of Public Meeting:  12/3/14, Time:  7:00 PM
Date of Public Meeting:  12/15/14 Time:  6:30 PM
Place:  Kennesaw City Hall
For Further Information Please Call 
Planning and Zoning Dept 770 590 8268
Please Visit City Web Site for Meeting Agendas

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


FUQUA DEVELOPMENT 'Relocation Offer' for CASTLE LAKE MHP


The 2 page Fuqua 'Relocation Offer' has finally surfaced and is found below FYI. 


Anyone with connected brain cells can see that this supposed offer, presented to owners and renters as a 'take it or leave it' offer, is entirely unacceptable and so favorable to Fuqua Development that no sane person would sign off on any of the 3 offers. 


It is now past time for the City of Kennesaw to stop pussy footing around with this Developer and the Canadian slum lords who currently own this property. 


The Fuqua and Ergas firms are ripping off both the Mobile Home Park's Hispanic population as well as all retirees and the low income owners and tenants. 


One final word on 'Yes Communities', it is a bottom feeding and poorly rated firm with 178 parks in 17 states. The last place you want to be is in one of the Yes Communities. The consumer site The Rip Off Report has 33 complaints about this firm, including one from their Kennesaw site on Cobb Parkway called "Woodland". 




Wake Up City of Kennesaw! 

You annexed 52 acres of this MHP into the City of Kennesaw and these people are now your citizens and are your responsibility, so far you have done nothing to help them.






--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Update FYI:

The long running Castle Lake debacle is still ongoing as shown by the below 2 items. 

The first arrived today (11/19/14) the other was up on Facebook about 9-10 days ago.

I understand that the CLMHP closing date is now in January, this is the 6th date to be run up the flagpole by Fuqua Development and they continue to bully and badger the residents and owners at the Castle Lake MHP.

The Kennesaw community is upset at the lack of interest and action by the City of Kennesaw.  The people living there are Kennesaw residents. 

Neither of the below people are Hispanic, both own trailers at the Park.  Unfortunately there has been some people who have written off residents there as'illegal aliens' who should not have been here to start with. 

The residents are a mix of Hispanic, low income and retirees.  All deserve better treatment that they are getting by Jeff Fuqua who is known as 'Atlanta's Most  Controversial Developer' and of course if you read the below you will see why he has this title.

The coming several months will be giving Kennesaw a lot of very bad publicity. 

The CLMHP issue limps along and when the Fuqua actions via their surrogate firm 'Yes Communities' gets additional press attention Kennesaw will get an even worse drubbing.

The City really needs to find its legs on these issues, so far if there has been any 'leadership' it has not come to the communities attention.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Presented with permission of Mrs Bickford:


Hello, my name in Cindy Bickford, me and my husband Kevin bought out doublewide trailor in May 2014 unaware that the mobile home park was for sale.Now we are being told that the developer, Fuqua Development, will close on the sale in Jan. 2015.




We are being offered a $10,000 buyout,when we paid $15,000, or relocate to another mobile home park out of Cobb County.They are only going to pay for 2 months of storage and hotel costs and thats after we pay them first. 

We will receive no money until our home is vacant and being prepped to move. In several city counsil meetings over the summer Fuqua promised a relocation package this is not acceptable. Why should we have to pay first and wait to get the money from Fugua?



Yes communites and Fugua Development are taking a take it or leave it stand. Fugua Development is the ones forcing people out of their homes, we are just asking for fair treatment, fair market valve of our homes, we are tired of being treated like second class citizens. The Mayor of Kennesaw said we would be in a better place when it is all done, with the low ball offers that many in Castle Lake are being offered, how is that going to happen? Does our tax dollars not matter at all to the city of Kennesaw, does Kennesaw care about its citizens? We are running out of time WE NEED HELP



WE MATTER   Thank you for your time  



Cindy Bickford  7706931892 or 7707147921


=====================================================


NOTE:  The Below is a Facebook post from an owner of a trailer at CLMHP.  'Yes Communities' is a trailer park business, now being used by Fuqua Development as described further below.

Ian McGuigan 
I am writing this letter to the media & any other entity whether it is govement or private I can think of concerning the residents of Castle lake mobile home community in Kennesaw ga & how mistreated they are by all parties involved & hope someone takes notice & starts asking some overdo questions.


A short history:


2-17-2014 52.31 acres Castle lake was Annexed & rezoned from Cobb county R-20 & MHP to Kennesaw PVC to eventual become (Barrett Parkway Shopping Center.
The Management & Owner (Ergas Group, 1185 Georgia St W Unit 1520 Vancouver, BC V6E 4E6, Canada) of Castle lake still sold homes to families up through June of this year (maybe even later than that) knowing that the Land was under contract & the homes would have to be removed but didn’t inform the prospective buyers that information. To say the least a lot of people are not very happy after putting their life saving & taking out loans to buy these homes.


I have attached a copy of the Minutes of the town hall meeting & hope you take the time at your discretion to read it.

The residents of Castle lake had a meeting with Fuqua Development (the future owners) on September 11th 2014 & was first told this is one of many meeting that will be held during the transition period (the residents have not had another meeting since)


Fuqua development introduced the residents to “Yes Communities” at the meeting & was told they would be assisting us in the move.


Yes Communities got a hold of the residents for a meeting & the residents went at their scheduled appointments. Yes Communities told the residents that there was 3 options


1. They could move their home into a Yes Communities development & Yes Communities will pay for the move of the home plus give them $2500. Which sound great. But please read everything.
2. Yes Communities will buy your home for fair market value.
3. Yes Communities will let you trade in you home  for one of theirs

Well, Yes communities had two people visit the residents to inspect the homes & they gave the residents offers over the phone. The buy out was half or less than what the home was worth.

If you wanted to move it, Yes Communities told the residents “Great, I will take up to 2 months to get your home moved & Fuqua Development is willing to give you $750 for your hotel storage, So that’s $375 a month.

Now let me answer some questions from the minutes or even ask some questions.


Page 2, lines 32-34 states.


“with the Zoning Administrator's recommendation to add condition requiring applicant to submit a relocation plan to address existing residents that includes a timeline. Relocation plan to be submitted prior to construction activity”


The residents are been forced to sign paperwork starting the 17th of November & if they don’t they are told Fuqua will give them $2500 then Bulldoze their home. The Residents have asked numerous times to have their options sent to them by email or regular mail so they can look at their options & see If stipulations by the council are been met.


Yes Communities will only say you get to see it when you sign it.

Page 6, lines 6-7 states.
“GARVIS SAMS (Attorney for Applicant): The applicant was present this evening. Some people file an application without thought. This application has been in the works for years and a lot of work has been done including due diligence”


Whe wasn’t the residents told?




Page 6, lines 22-24 states.
“A relocation plan will be established for current residents which will be similar to what was done at the West 22 student housing project. His client will consult with the experts that arranged that transition and are highly sensitive to their needs.”

The residents are still trying to find out what compensation West 22 had
 Page 6 line 43 states Relocations, timings and compensation are sensitive; schools will also be contacted. Fuqua, Is pretty much throwing families to the street in the middle of winter, How can families sustain on $750 for two months. This happens the end of January.


Page 7 lines 10-13 states
“Mayor Mathews replied the developer is under contract to purchase the property which will take many steps and months to complete. If everything goes well and they close onthe property, they would start development in the Fall of 2014. Before that can happen,a residential package would be in place”


This is malarkey, residents are been forced to sign their homes away starting then 17th of November . yes Communities says they no nothing of a Package.

Page 7 lines 18-20 states
As things progress, there will be much more communication with residents. He cannot say personally why they have not spoken with residents already”.

The first meeting the Mayor said “ you can trust me” then he had all of the residents write down their email address. The residents never got a response.

Page 8 lines 3-5 states
“Who will move our mobile homes? Mayor Mathews said the buyer. Ms. Perez asked where will they be moved to. Mayor Mathews stated a plan is being worked on now before anything starts.”

So why are the residents been told to sign papers or their home will be Bulldozed by Fuqua?

Page 10 lines 1-5 states
“You have been lied to by the owner and have no reason to trust anyone. He gives his word they will be treated fairly and honestly in the future. He just discovered these families are in a bad, unfair situation. We want to make sure you folks are taken care of for the future. Things will get better. The buyer will be very reasonable and accommodating to each of you.”


$750 Dollars is not accommodating.



Page 10 lines 10-14 states
“Councilmember Killingsworth said relocation assistance will be done on an individual basis so they can look at them as families, not just a group. He asked Attorney Sams when this will occur. Attorney Sams said there are still a number of issues and they anticipate forming a relocation committee first by early Spring and then come back to the City Council.”

Now one person that lives by their self is offered $750 for relocation for 2 months but the family next door that has a grandfather, Mother & father plus two children & the family across the street has a Husband and Wife but they are only offered $750 too. Mr Killingsworth. Do you see that or any of it on a individual basis?

I have also attached a picture of a meeting that was held. But the city posted the sign on the late afternoon of the meeting so not many people saw  it.

My simple QUESTION IS, WHY WONT YES COMUNITIES LET THE RESIDENTS Evaluate their options before they have to sign & why is the City so lackadaisical in this?



---------------------------------------------------------------------


I (Bill Harris) replied to him with some research on 'Yes Communities' and my Facebook comment is:



RE:  YES COMMUNITIES:


Founded in 2008 and has a very poor reputation at Internet sites.

The BBB now shows actual complaints by people reporting problems.  Here are the 3 negative comments posted on the BBB site:

I think all YES COMMUNITIES emplyoes are liers they give you one answer then turn around and give you a different one. I will never recommend this company to anyone matter of fact I will let everyone I know how awful they are. Nothing ever gets done when they say it will. It is terabile that that think they have to do business by lying.



This customer had a NEGATIVE experience with this business.
This customer WOULD NOT recommend the business to a friend, family member, neighbor or colleague.
by VERONICA F. on Aug. 12, 2014



Jun. 24, 2014

Yes communities in central Florida Is the worst place to live. They lie, they are crooked, and there scam artists. DO NOT EVER live in a yes community, you will regret it. They won't fix anything and will blame you for stuff from the tenants previously. I have never had an experience like I have with them. It was completely awful.



This customer had a NEGATIVE experience with this business.
This customer WOULD NOT recommend the business to a friend, family member, neighbor or colleague.
by shauna f. on Jun. 24, 2014





Nov. 15, 2013
Yes Communities is a very unprofessional business to deal with. I would not recommend one of their mobile home communities to anyone. They do not honor their word, they over bill illegally for water usage. Their maintenance personnel enter your home without permission if they have your key. There are actually too many complaints for me to list. This company seriously needs to be looked into. I have no idea how they are accredited with the BBB. -


The consumer site The Rip Off Report has 33 complaints about this firm, including one from their Kennesaw site on Cobb Parkway called "Woodland".  Take a look at http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/specific_search/yes%20communities


 Here is what YES has to say about their firm.


"YES! Communities continues to grow in key markets.  We currently consist of 178 distinct communities in 17 states with major concentrations in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas."



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10/10/14

Castle Lake MHP property taxes are now paid with a considerable increase now that the property is rezoned to accomodate a shopping center and is valued at a Fair Market Value of $15,612,670 which is a considerable bump from the 2013 FMV of $3,259,480

On Oct 9th the Castle Lake Home Corp paid the county $185,540 an increase of $146,479 from the $39,061 paid last year in property taxes.



Castle Lake MHP - Update for October 2014

At the October 7th Cobb Chamber of Comerce seminar "REBUILDING COBB'S FUTURE: AN ENERGETIC FOCUS ON REDEVELOPMENT", held at the KSU Center, Mr Jeff Fuqua (Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer), the potential buyer of 53 acres of the Castle Lake MHP, said that he would be closing on the property in November and work on the site would start in January for a completion date in 2016.

You might recall that sale dates have been floated four other times on this $15,000,000 property and nothing has come of those announcements.

In prior MDJ reports the Kennesaw City Council has made clear that no permits for work on this site would be issued until and unless firm relocation plans were put forward for the 1,500 low income and retired residents affected by the closing the trailer park.

No such relocation plans have been put into place as of this date and it is extremely unlikely that a property sale in November would be enough lead time for the orderly removal of the low income residents on those 52 acres, mostly tenants, many Hispanic and a few with trailers they own or are buying.

The City Council had previously acted in haste in allowing the Ergas family to get these acres rezoned and brought into the City of Kennesaw. A later attempt to have the remaining 32 acres rezoned and brought into Kennesaw was rebuffed by a 5-0 vote. Clearly the Council had by then figured out that they and the City had been hoodwinked the first time around by Ergas and Fuqua.

It is clear that any work on the proposed 450,000 sq ft retail center will not be starting until the relocation plans are put into place and seen to be fair and equitable. As to bringing the remaining acres into Kennesaw with a rezoning of that 2nd section of the park, it isn't going forward any time soon, if ever.

see also: http://castlelakemhp.blogspot.com/, http://castlelakekennesaw.blogspot.com/

The Castle Lake MHP's 3 properties are owned by the Canadian Ergas family under the names 'Masal Partners Ltd LP' and 'Amak Partners LP'. So far there has not been a sale to Fuqua Development although 4 supposed dates have come and gone. 

Tax records for the 3 properties (1.16 acres at 1810 Old Hwy 41, and 2.64 Acers at Ernest Barrett Pky remain the same as last year) show that the 83.23 acre parcel now has a 2014 Fair Market Value of $15,612,670 which is a considerable bump from the 2013 FMV of $3,259,480.

The taxes rose from the old $39,061 on the 83 acres to the new amount of $185,540 unpaid presently but due on Oct 15th.

2014 Tax Bill: $185,540.98

Fair Market Value of: $15,612,670




The latest info, as of Oct 7th, is that Fuqua would close in November, begin construction in January, and open in 2016.  This is now the 5th time frame floated for this pending sale.



2014 Tax Bill:  $185,540.98
Fair Market Value of:  $15,612,670


2013 Tax Bill:  $39,061.61
Fair Market Value of:  $3,259,480


Year    Property Appraised Assessment

2014 Commercial $15,612,670 $6,245,068

2013 Commercial $3,259,480 $1,303,792

2012 Commercial $3,259,480 $1,303,792

2011 Commercial $3,500,000 $1,400,000

2010 Commercial $3,500,000 $1,400,000

2009 Commercial $4,028,580 $1,611,432

2008 Commercial $4,028,580 $1,611,432

2007 Commercial $3,590,590 $1,436,236

2006 Commercial $3,590,590 $1,436,236

2005 Commercial $3,590,590 $1,436,236

2004 Commercial $3,463,400 $1,385,360

2003 Commercial $3,463,400 $1,385,360

2002 Commercial $3,463,400 $1,385,360

2001 Commercial $3,355,741 $1,342,296

2000 Commercial $3,355,741 $1,342,296

1999 Commercial $3,355,741 $1,342,296

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8/18/14
MARIETTA HAS THE BIG CHICKEN.  DOES KENNESAW HAVE THE BIG TURKEY? 

Remember the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park? That $4 million dollar, 83 acre tract formerly located in the County. 

This is the trailer park that, in March, had 52 of its 83 acres abruptly annexed into Kennesaw and immediately rezoned, all over a period of 28 days from the mayor's announcement of the intention to the City Council's 5-0 approval. 

Canadian slum lords were selling a large part of their operation to 'Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer', Jeff Fuqua. 

Except it has NOT been sold. 3 potential dates for the turnover seem to have come and gone. Now a 4th sale date floated is 'the end of September', this replacing 'mid-august' which replaced, well, you get it, it isn't happening anytime soon. Maybe not even this year. 

Why no sale? There are various scenarios, all possible but the bottom line is all that rush and fuss and bother has for now been for nothing. All this nonsense leaving the 1,500 low income park residents twisting in the wind. 

What Kennesaw has for the moment is a 'big turkey'. 

Bill Harris 
Citizen Journalist 
Kennesaw 
http://castlelakekennesaw.blogspot.com/

-----------------------------------------------------------------------


Thursday, January 16th, 2014
Man rescued from sinking raft was former state EPD director 

By Jim Galloway

Below is a Channel 2 Action News video clip detailing the rescue of a 70-year-old man from the frigid waters of a quarry in Cobb County.

Cobb authorities refused to identify the rescued man, but our AJC colleague Chris Joyner has learned he is Harold Reheis, the former state Environmental Protection Division director and a longtime presence at the state Capitol. Reheis is recovering at WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center in Marietta.

Reheis, now an executive vice president with environmental consulting firm Joe Tanner and Associates, was collecting water samples from the quarry in the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park at U.S. 41 and Barrett Parkway when he fell from his one-man rubber raft.

“The water was cold and he got severe hypothermia,” said Joe Tanner, firm chairman and a former Department of Natural Resources commissioner. “It was a very scary incident.”

Tanner said Reheis was wearing a life vest and tried to swim to the edge of the quarry while fighting a persistent wind.  Tanner’s grown son had accompanied Reheis to the quarry and dialed 911 from the shore when he determined Reheis was too far away for him to rescue on his own, Tanner said.

Tanner said Reheis is in his late 60s, while Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services listed him as 70. Tanner praised the work of first responders and the hospital and said Reheis is expected to make a full recovery.

“You ask why didn’t we hire somebody to do that? The truth of the matter is that he loves doing that stuff,” he said. “We are going to make him rest for a few days and then we expect him to come back to work.”

Reheis began work with the state in 1969 as an environmental engineer and was EPD director from 1991 to 2003.

http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2014/01/16/man-rescued-from-sinking-raft-was-former-state-edp-director/ 

-----------------------------------------------------------

7/10/14
This is one of several similar blog sites:

Several blog sites have been established on the topic of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park (Kennesaw, Ga), the Canadian Developers (Ergas) and the Atlanta Developer (Fuqua).  

This is a site which also has info on this issue as well as other things going on in Kennesaw:  http://mayormathews.blogspot.com.

==========================

Castle Lake MHP Information


FROM THE CITY of KENNESAW WEBSITE:

Council Actions Summary Jul 7 Meeting

The following actions were taken at the City Council meeting on July 7: 


Update on rezoning and annexation cases AX2014-02, RZ2014-03 and -04 for 1810 Old Hwy 41 and 1650 Cobb Parkway.

No action taken.

Public Hearings continued to July 21 at which time action will be taken on the request to withdraw.
marcergas@ergasgroup.com 
aeergas@ergasgroup.com 


The Ergas Group
1185 Georgia St W Unit 1520
Vancouver, BC V6E 4E6, Canada
Fax: (604) 687-2380
Phone: (604) 687-2310

If you want to contact the people behind the fiasco at the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park you can reach the Atlanta developer at the below addresses:
jeff.fuqua@fuquadev.com  
heather.correa@fuquadev.com 
angelowf@bellsouth.net
jennifer.ledbetter@fuquadev.com

FUQUA DEVELOPMENT HOLDINGS L.L.C.
Eleven Piedmont Center
3495 Piedmont Rd NE Ste 905
Atlanta, Ga. 30305


And don't forget to cc their proposed major tenant via:
Darrah.Horgan@wholefoods.com

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WHAT IS CASTLE LAKE WORTH?

In 2013 Cobb County Tax Commissioner listed the 'fair market value' of this 83.23 acres as:  $3,259,480, this is down a bit from 2009 when it was $4,028,580.







Q)  What do the Owners of Castle Lake actually own?
  
A)  1 large tract and 2 small ones

The owners are:  MASAL PARTNERS LTD LP & & AMAK PARTNERS LP


1810 OLD 41 HWY  Total Acres 1.16

ERNEST BARRETT PKY  Total Acres  2.64

1650 N COBB PKY Total Acres  83.2267

(Total acres:  87)


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What else is The Ergas Group selling


Seems that Ergas Group is divesting itself of other property in the US. Just FYI and your collection of information: The 200 unit Woodstone Apartments in Ft Worth was sold by The Ergas Group
 in March of this year.

The Woodstone Apartments are located at 6051 Bridge Street in Fort Worth, Texas and was owned by the Ergas Group for nearly 20 years and had at sale 95% occupancy.

The 6.24 acre property had a 2012 assessed value for taxes $4,250,000.

Details at: 
 http://dallas.citybizlist.com/article/marcus-millichap-arranges-sale-200-unit-apartment-building
 http://dallas.citybizlist.com/article/marcus-millichap-arranges-sale-200-unit-apartment-building

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WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE REMAINING ACRES AT CASTLE LAKE MHP?

A submission put in by Canadian Developer Mr. Marcus Ergas (Email: marcergas@ergasgroup.com) on an application for 'Developments of Regional Impact' shows that 2 Ergas firms wish to develop the remaining 32 acres of the Castle Lake MHP, calling the proposed development: 'Old 41 Development'.

The Project is described as a "Mixed Use Development on 31.86 acres with the following components: 16,000 square feet of retail 49 townhome units @ 900 square feet per unit 648 multifamily units @ 600 square feet per unit ( min 1 bedroom)"

and "Mixed Use Development on 31.86 acres with the following components: 16,000 square feet of retail 49 townhome units @ 900 square feet per unit 648 multifamily units @ 600 square feet per unit ( min 1 bedroom)"

Estimated Project Completion Dates:
This project/phase: January 2017
Overall project: January 2019

Ergas wants this project to be annexed and rezoned as his first CLMHP property was, however, the Kennesaw City Council denied the requests based on how poorly the Park was treating the current tenants. The development could proceed without being taken into Kennesaw, just developed under Cobb County where the Park is already licensed.

The property would be developed by the Ergas firms of: Masal Partners LTD., L.P. & Amak Partners L.P.

See original paperwork at: http://masalpartners.blogspot.com/

Also direct links at:  
http://www.dca.ga.gov/DRI/InitialForm.aspx?driid=2410 and
http://www.dca.ga.gov/DRI/AdditionalForm.aspx?driid=2410

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CASTLE LAKE, EXCHANGE OF EMAILS WITH JEFF FUQUA

   The developer of this property is set to be Jeff Fuqua, referred to by the press as "Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer".

   The current owners are the Ergas family of Vancouver, Canada.

   The sale of this property was to have been in June, it was put off until August and now word is that it is moved to September.

   Some of the residents there have hired an attorney due to having had many bad experiences with the Park, allegations include insisting on cash only for rental payments and refusing to give tenants receipts.
   In reply to my various blogs about how this potential change of ownership is working against the interests of the 2,000 or so tenants, both on the Kennasaw annexed side and the County Unincorporated area, Mr. Jeff Fuqua emailed me 6/25/14 his opinions on my comments. Not surprisingly they were not favorable.
   I replied to him at length, with copies to the others he had CC'ed and the Kennesaw City Council.
   You can see this exchange at: http://castlelakeinfo.blogspot.com/ and keep up with the matter generally at: http://mayormathews.blogspot.com/
   If you wish to contact the principles in this trailer park boondoggle you can reach them via their email addresses: jeff.fuqua@fuquadev.commarcergas@ergasgroup.comangelowf@bellsouth.netDarrah.Horgan@wholefoods.com

UnlikeUnlike ·  · 
======================================================================

6/26/14 Update:  
Information today suggests that residents at CLMHP have retained a lawyer. Those contacted are reluctant to speak, probably on advise of the lawyer. I also understand that 3 day notices have been sent. The date for closing on the property seems to have been put off until September.

 ===========================================================

Wealthy Jewish Canadian property developer Morris Ergas (Principal at Ergas Group of Companies) attended the Vancouver Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Golden Heart gala dinner which was held at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver last week.  

I am sure that all the 1,500 soon to be evicted low income tenants and mobile home owners of his Castle Lake Mobile Home Park hope that he and Gillian Dixon-Boxer had a nice time.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------

34 CLMHP PHOTOS can be found at:  
http://mayormathews.blogspot.com/2014/06/mathews-accused-correctly-of-being.html  no copyright attaches, use them if you want.  See various posts at- http://mayormathews.blogspot.com/2014/06/mathews-accused-correctly-of-being.html
===========================================================

  6/23/14

Several blog sites have been established on the topic of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park (Kennesaw, Ga), the Canadian Developers (Ergas) and the Atlanta Developer (Fuqua).  


This is one of those sites. 

http://castlelakemhp.blogspot.com/
http://castlelakekennesaw.blogspot.com/, 
http://fuquadevelopment.blogspot.com
http://castlelakeinfo.blogspot.com/,
http://marcosergas.blogspot.com/
http://amakpartners.blogspot.com/
http://theergasgroup.blogspot.com/,
http://morrisergas.blogspot.com/,
http://josephergas.blogspot.com/


 IS IT TIME FOR A BOYCOTT OF WHOLE FOODS? 

(New Store to displace low income renters)



































































IS IT TIME FOR A BOYCOTT OF WHOLE FOODS?

In March I wrote to them to bring to their attention the problems with their proposed site on a Jeff Fuqua property and to point out that the 1,500 tenants there were going to be evicted to make room for the development, which included their new Whole Foods store. Here is what I got back from them:

From:  
Darrah.Horgan@wholefoods.com 

"Hello Mr. Harris,

Thanks for reaching out to Whole Foods Market about this development and its affect on the neighbors of Castle Lake. We are confident in our partners at Fuqua, and they will be working with the residents to provide assistance and a fair relocation package. At this time, please contact Jeff Fuqua        
jeff.fuqua@fuquadev.com directly."

I have written again today and included all the new information on this project and a link to my blog site with even more information (see: http://mayormathews.blogspot.com/).

If Whole Foods is not part of the solution, then it is part of the problem and people should boycott this chain until they see that Fuqua (developer) and Ergas (owner of property) absolutely guarantee that a fair and equitable 'relocation package' is made available to tenants and mobile home owners on that Castle Lake Property.

Get ready, if they ignore this then there will be a boycott of Whole Foods!

Bill, Kennesaw

from craigslist post  http://atlanta.craigslist.org/wat/vnn/4525758729.html

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DELAYED: Kennesaw annexation, rezoning pushed back after resident outcry



June 17, 2014 
http://matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/public/sites/624/assets/BF4Q_boc_transfer_station_12___rgb.jpg
Garvis Sams, Developer's Lawyer
http://matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/public/sites/624/assets/ISBL_Kennesaw_Mayor___Mark_Mathews_RGB.jpg
Mark Mathews, Current Kennesaw Mayor
KENNESAW — A potential new development in Kennesaw has been delayed after its city council voted 5-0 Monday night to delay an annexation and rezoning vote on propery at the northwest corner of Cobb and Barrett Parkways.

The proposed $40 million development would include 328 new apartments and 49 townhomes on 32 acres, according to Garvis Sams, an attorney with Marietta-based Sams, Larkin, Huff and Balli, LP. Sams represents Amak Partners, L.P. and Masal Partners Ltd. L.P. of Vancouver, Canada, who are selling the property. Sams said there is a large amount of interest in the development, although no company has come forward to actually buy the land.


During public comment, nearly a dozen residents of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park — who would be dispersed to make way for the new construction — told the council the property owners had deceived them and the proposed $2,500 relocation money wouldn’t be enough to haul their trailers to another area.

Residents shared horror stories about the landowners. Several said they’d received notices saying they had 30 days to leave their homes. Cindy Blackford, who works at Northern Tool and Equipment in Marietta, said she bought a $15,000 trailer in Castle Lake on May 5, and management did not mention anything about moving or a new development.


“Castle Lake outright lied to everyone here,” she said. “Our neighbors flooded us with information. Castle Lake hid it.”

Several speakers said it would cost between $6,000 and $8,000 to move their trailers to another park. Some asked if they’d be evicted after the required 60 days’ notice if they couldn’t afford to move.

Juanita Billingsley, a housewife who has lived in Castle Lake 37 years, said she’d had a mild stroke that morning but checked out of WellStar Kennestone hospital to make sure she could be heard at the meeting.

Dozens of families live in the property’s 320 mobile homes, many of whom are Spanish-speaking Latino residents. An interpreter was present at the meeting, which drew more than 100 people from the community. Attendees were asked to stand up if they agreed with the person speaking, and almost everyone in the room stood up at several points.

After being asked several questions about the treatment of tenants by Castle Lake, Sams responded that he’s only representing the company regarding the new development and has no knowledge of the management situation.

One site, two developments

Sams said there is no construction timeline for the potential development because no one has purchased the property, but added that more than 13 builders are interested and said plans call for the owners to sell the property “as soon as they can.” Kennesaw’s Planning Commission voted 5-0 to rezone the property on June 9.

The annexation of the additional 32 acres would have meant the entire Castle Lake Mobile Home Park would fall inside Kennesaw’s city limits.

The proposed development sits adjacent to a 53-acre property annexed into the city by a unanimous vote in February, which will be developed by Atlanta-based Fuqua Development. That property will become a 450,000-square-foot shopping center — valued at $150 million and anchored by Whole Foods Market — Sams said will open no later than fall 2016. Sams said Fuqua will close on the property this fall, with major construction commencing in summer 2015.

However, Sams said Fuqua will work with Castle Lake tenants on an individual basis on that side of the property, rather than paying a flat rate.

During his presentation to the council, Sams said the new townhomes will sell for at least $300,000, while the apartments could be owner-occupied condominiums in the future, with nine-foot-high ceilings and granite countertops. Sams said previously they are mostly one or two-bedroom apartments meant to attract young professionals without school-aged children.

Sams said the two projects combined will generate more than $1 million in annual tax revenue for Kennesaw, compared to the current mobile home park which contributes “negligible” tax dollars.

Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews said the property owner requested the annexation.


Council hits the brakes

Following the lengthy public comment, city council members were less than pleased, including Post 2’s Tim Killingsworth.

“Mr. Sams, I hope and I pray that if something illegal is happening, somebody is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

Post 4 representative Debra Williams specifically asked that the property owner and property manager be present when the issue comes before the council again. The annexation was tabled indefinitely, but the council asked for an update on the situation from the company at their next meeting July 7.  When the council hears the proposal again, more public comment will be taken.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Comment:  Bill H, Kennesaw

I have been blogging about this issue since Feb. at http://mayormathews.blogspot.com/ and I early on told the Council that this was going to be a disaster and the Council should NOT approve any annexation or rezoning until and unless a FIRM relocation plan was put on the table.

What happened?  The council voted 5-0 to roll over for Fuqua and the wealthy Ergas family in Vancouver.  Both got what they wanted with empty assurances that things would be alright at some future time.

Now I see the council has finally gotten their rear ends in gear and applied some common sense to this matter.  I am sorry to have to comment that this new council seems no better than those we dumped last November, but at least they have finally seen what a Canadian slum lord and a shady Atlanta developer are up to.

But just in case this isn't clear to them or the reader, here it is in simple words that all can understand:  The reason this deal was put off until August is so that the MHP owner can clear the decks of as many residents as they can intimidate into leaving before Fuqua has to actually provide any relocation funds.

Here is the contact info for the Castle Lake MHP slum lords, drop them a line and let them know what you think of them.

 
The Ergas Group, (Morris Ergas, Joseph Ergas, Marcos Ergas) Tel:  604-687-2310, 1185 Georgia St W, #1520, Vancouver, BC V6E 4E6, Canada, Joseph Ergas, Home (604) 926-6536, 2250 Bellevue Ave West Vancouver, BC V7V 1C6, Marcos Ergas, (604) 925-4350, 1340 Jefferson Ave, West Vancouver BC V7T2B2


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What Happened to the Often Promised 'Relocation Package?'

This seems to be the latest news of the Castle Lake MHP with residents getting a 30 day notice to quit.  But where is the often promised 'relocation package'.

Fuqua claims via his lawyer, Garvis Sams of Marietta, that by the time of the August closing that there will be one, but by then it seems the residents (or most of them) will have been removed leaving only a few for Fuqua to have to relocate at the 'claimed' cost of $3,000 per lot. 

So what we seem to have is a purposely delayed closing moved to August so the MHP can clean house and get rid of most of the affected residents before Jeff Fuqua takes over and is responsible for any relocation.

I never believed there was going to be a relocation package and I made this clear to the City Council.  They should not have allowed any annexation or rezoning to go forward without a firm package, of course they paid NO attention and rushed info approving everything Fuqua and the Canadian owners* of the MHP wanted.  

Now residents are being told to pack up and leave in 30 days.   

* Joseph and Marcos Ergas of Vancouver, BC, Canada.  CLMHP opened in 1961 and has approx 377 lots and 1,500 residents (numbers vary on lots and residents)

Below item is from the much longer article of May 22, 2014  


Sprawled Out in Atlanta – Rebecca Burns – POLITICO Magazine


Just four miles up Cobb Parkway from MUST, the entrance to Castle Lake Mobile Home Park is almost hidden by a cluster of trees. You drive through the park on pothole-filled roads lined on each side by dozens of trailers. You can hear the sound of a creek at the back of the property, and a family of geese waddles across the road before settling down in the grassy spot in front of a beige-sided trailer.
Ever Rodriguez has lived in Castle Lake for about four years. He works as a cook at Caper’s, a restaurant in a shopping center anchored by a Publix, an upscale supermarket just off Barrett Parkway. Menu items at the restaurant include herb-crusted grouper ($18) and baby back ribs ($14 for a half-rack; $22 for a full). Rodriguez cooks at home, too—with four kids, he has to, he says. “I’m pretty good,” he shrugs. His wife, Maria Garcia, also works as a cook, at Bahama Breeze, in Town Center Commons, less than two miles up Barrett Parkway. I met Rodriguez and Garcia on a sunny April afternoon, as they were walking their son, Miguel, home from the bus stop, along with a cluster of parents and children who live in Castle Lake. Miguel, who’s in second grade at Hayes Elementary School, says math and reading are his favorite subjects; he’s also a fan of Spider-Man.

We stood in front of the family’s trailer, which is butter yellow and surrounded by shrubs and plants. Garcia loves to garden. But she had already begun to dig up and pot her favorites. The family will have to leave Castle Lake; the 52-acre property is under contract to Fuqua Development, which plans to raze the trailer park to build a massive retail complex with a Whole Foods. Fuqua’s mixed-use development will include 30 townhomes—for sale, not rent. There are currently about 1,500 people living in Castle Lake, but what will happen to them is anybody’s guess. (“The developer will be working with them,” says Mark Matthews, the mayor of Kennesaw, the Cobb County municipality that will be annexing the Castle Lake property. Fuqua did not respond to requests for comment.)
“We got a letter telling us we have 30 days to leave,” Rodriguez says. His trailer hook-up at Castle Lake costs $576 a month—and includes water. Even with payments on a trailer, there are few cheaper options nearby, he says. There are several hundred units in a nearby apartment complex that takes Section 8 vouchers, but even those rents are higher—and most of the units are already leased. Rodriguez says that he has found a spot in a trailer park in Acworth, a city about 10 miles away. But moving the trailer will cost $5,000, he figures. “Who can get that kind of money in 30 days?”
























































It’s unlikely the residents of Castle Lake will have an easy time finding places to live in Cobb. The county tops nationwide rankings for lack of affordable housing for very low-income families. For every 100 households in Cobb classified as “extremely low income,” a recent Urban Institute study found, there are just 2.9 available affordable housing units. Two other suburban Atlanta counties, DeKalb and Gwinnett, also make the top 10 list.

=============================================================

4/4/14
The initial 'mid-June' closing on the property has now been moved back by several months and may change again before finalized.

---------------------------------------------------------------


An April 3rd article in Capstone Quarterly by Alicia Newton titled: "Kennesaw Mayor blasts owner of annexed Mobile Home Park", she reports on a lecture given by Kennesaw Mayor Mathews to KSU journalism students.  He said in part:

  • “The mobile home residents are just being lied to everyday by the seller who is more interested in keeping his monthly cash flow . . . 
  • What the owner is doing is borderline unethical in my opinion . . . 
  • He is having his managers tell the tenants the land is not sold, which technically it is not, so he is continuing to rent to unsuspecting tenants never bothering to tell them they may have to be gone by June of this year . . . 
  • It’s pitiful, taking something super positive and it gets undermined by the residents not even knowing they are about to be put out.”

The entire article is found at:  http://capstonequarterly.wordpress.com/tag/whole-foods-kennesaw-development/


Kennesaw’s transformation begins with 
commercial development

MAY 7, 2014  CAPSTONE QUARTERLY
By Alicia Newton, Ellen Eldridge, Destyni Thomas and Roderic Graham

This is an extract from a longer article

   KENNESAW—   The Castle Lake Mobile Home Park has been annexed into the City of Kennesaw and residents will have to move before the year is over, yet manager Yolanda was renting lots as late as April our field reporter Alicia Newton found out.

   The city of Kennesaw annexed 53 acres of county property at the Cobb Parkway and Barrett Parkway intersection, which is currently the home of Castle Lake Mobile Home Park.

   Darryl Simmons, the planning and zoning administrator for Kennesaw, said that Fuqua Development has the property under contract and the Kennesaw city council voted to rezone the property from a residential mobile home park to a city planned village community. Whole Foods will anchor the Fuqua development.
   
   While potentially adding economic impact through jobs and taxes, this new commercial development is not without controversy. Mathews said he believes what the Castle Lake landowner is doing is borderline unethical. Even though the Mathews said residents may have to be gone this year, management was still renting lots in April on a month-to-month basis, without informing tenants of the development plans, reporter Alicia Newton said.

   A lot to place a single-wide trailer cost $455 per month and $465 for a double-wide, manager Yolanda said in a taped interview secretly conducted by Newton. Yolanda makes no mention to potential renters about the impending sale, Newton said.

   “The lots are being rented month to month; it’s up to you if you wanted to move next month. If you have some money it’s your choice,” Yolanda said.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Read the below article at:  http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/24965294/development-moves-in-forces-out-families  If you want to drop Mr. Fuqua a line you can reach him at:  jeff.fuqua@fuquadev.com

Development moves in, forces out families

Updated: Apr 02, 2014 11:10 PM EDT
Jennifer Mayerle - ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Atlanta and the surrounding area is growing by leaps and bounds. Time and time again undeveloped or under-developed property becomes mixed use space or retail. That's what's happening in Kennesaw at the intersection of Cobb and Barrett Parkways. But it doesn't come without controversy.

Castle Lake is the only neighborhood Jennifer Arreguin knows.  "I like that we know this whole community," Arreguin said.  It's full of mobile homes, some owned, others rented, mainly by families.

"We're all immigrants in my household and this is the place we felt most at home because of the heavy immigrant population here," Arturo Zertuche said.

Moneita Lewis bought her retirement home a year ago.  "It belongs to me and I was planning on being here for the rest of my life," Lewis said.

Now, they realize their dreams will soon be dashed.  "They're gonna tear down all this place," Arreguin said.

That's because most of Castle Lake has recently been annexed into the city of Kennesaw and rezoned. The land owner and developer are working on a deal to build a mixed use space comprised of retail, restaurants, and grocery stores.  According to Kennesaw Mayor Mark Matthews the development will have a positive impact.

"It's jobs, its tax base, it's sales tax being generated in not just the city, the county, the schools, the state, it's an impact for everybody," Matthews said.

Just how much impact? The entire 84 acres at stake is currently valued at $1.3 million. Only 53 acres will be developed, but the assessed value is expected to skyrocket to $60 million.

Right now, only about $39,000 is paid in taxes per year to the county and school district. That should jump to $1.8 million. And because the property is now in Kennesaw, once complete, the city gets another $575,000. And that doesn't even consider job growth.

"To make it worthwhile it has to be sold and utilized to the highest and best use to justify the sale price. The value is a lot more than just what it's going to end up generating in property tax value," Matthews said.

And while the numbers stack up in favor of the development, these families feel it comes at their expense.

"It's obvious this is prime property. I know it would bring huge revenue into the city of Kennesaw and I know it's all about the dollar, all about the money, and it's not about people," Lewis said.

Many at Castle Lake live within walking distance of work. But most choose this neighborhood because it's affordable.  "It's a lot cheaper to live here especially with the amount of space you get to live in compared to what you have to pay at apartment complexes," Zertuche said.

And now they are forced to find a new place to live.  "I might have to move to Mexico, because they're going to tear down this place, and in Mexico I have this house where I can live," Arreguin said. 



Jeff Fuqua of Fuqua Development said he would like to do an interview, but can't because of a confidentiality agreement. The company will help the families with relocation. Here is the statement by Fuqua:

"Here at Fuqua Development we take pride in our constant efforts to be aware of community issues and concerns in all projects in which we are involved.

Our Castle Lake project is no exception. From the beginning, we have been sensitive to the possible impact of this project on some of the current residents (143 trailers) in this mobile home park.

At this point, however, months away from closing on the 52 acres we are acquiring, it is impossible to establish a clear timeline and a detailed program to address resident relocation issues. 

Nevertheless, we are already beginning to develop such a program, which we may be able to share with the affected residents probably in late spring. Those residents will be able to ask questions and comment on all elements of the program before its implementation.

While we are unable to provide relocation details for Castle Lake at this time, the tenant relocation plan that I managed during the development of Town Brookhaven is testament to Fuqua Development's commitment to put in place sensitive and beneficial relocation assistance programs when those are called for.

Town Brookhaven was developed on a 530-unit apartment complex, which required tenant relocation assistance for a large percentage of residents. Many community meetings were held to keep tenants abreast of the project and to discuss various assistance possibilities. Because a large percentage of the residents were Hispanic, all the meetings were conducted in Spanish and English, and all informational materials were in both languages as well.

Eventually, the Town Brookhaven relocation program included benefits such as assistance finding suitable apartments for relocation, security deposit assistance, moving and utility transfer assistance and cash bonuses related to individual moving dates.

Regarding the Castle Lake development, we want to reassure everyone concerned that Fuqua Development remains as committed today as it has been in the past to a substantive relocation assistance program for those affected and, further, that we will implement that plan on a timely basis, so that there will be no last-minute pressure to move."

Mayor Matthews said he, as well as, teachers and school administrators are concerned about the kids and families, and plan to help with the transition.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

A long article about Fuqua is available at:  http://clatl.com/atlanta/jeff-fuqua-atlantas-most-controversial-developer/Content?oid=9217716 he is called Atlanta's most controversial developer.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  RE:  Whole Foods

Subject: RE: Kennesaw Store 
Date: 3/7/2014 6:02:36 P.M. Eastern Standard Time 
From: Darrah.Horgan@wholefoods.com

Hello Mr. Harris,

Thanks for reaching out to Whole Foods Market about this development and its affect on the neighbors of Castle Lake. We are confident in our partners at Fuqua, and they will be working with the residents to provide assistance and a fair relocation package. At this time, please contact Jeff Fuqua jeff.fuqua@fuquadev.com directly. 



3/7/14
Speak Out

  - From:  Kennesaw Patch

Castle Lake M.H.P.

MR JEFF FUQUA
MR JEFF FUQUA
On or about the 15th of March the residents of those 53 acres will end up as Kennesaw residents, although that will be a short term distinction for them as they will have to relocate before construction starts on the new retail development.

It seems that the park has been less than forthcoming in keeping residents in the loop as to their future and this has and does give considerable concern to the MHP residents on those 53 Acers.

Residents or other concerned people might contact Mr Fuqua and ask what is going on and suggest that it is past time for details of the promised ‘relocation package’ to be made public.

At a minimum they should expect:
1)  assistance of a professional real estate firm to find new housing for them,
2)  return of any posted security deposits and
3)  ‘Key Money’ to assist in any relocation from Castle Lake.

The parties with relevant information can be reached via:

Mr. Jeff Fuqua
FUQUA DEVELOPMENT HOLDINGS L.L.C. 
3495 Piedmont Rd., NE, Bldg 11, #905
Atlanta, Ga. 30305
Tel:  404 214-3332

and the Castle Lake MHP owners are at:
Joseph and Marcos Ergas
The Ergas Group 
1045-1185 Georgia St West
Vancouver, BC V6E 4E6
Tel: 604-687-2310  Fax: 604-687-2380


















  (Typical store front for such developments)

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  2/24/2014



‘We don’t live in a perfect world’

Advocates calling on community to assist Castle Lake tenants

By Rachel Gray   
rgray@mdjonline.com 

KENNESAW —
 Two community groups will continue their outreach to a group of often marginalized residents, hoping the rest of Cobb will aid the same people when they are evicted. A 52-acre tract on the northwest corner of Barrett and Cobb parkways is slated for a commercial project by Atlanta-based Fuqua Development, which will close at least part of the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park that houses an estimated 1,500 people.

The mobile home park includes 250 lots, with both rented and purchased prefabricated homes lining the narrow, cracked roads that make a grid in the wooded area.

Last week, residents of the complex addressed the Kennesaw City Council in both English and Spanish, trying to stop the $150 million commercial development.

Those cries of dissent
 were joined by statements from two community advocates.

One speaker was Pastor Tom Tanner of Riverstone Church, which has been located off Stilesboro Road, less than a mile from Castle Lake, since 2006.

On Sunday, Tanner preached out of the book of Mark, where Jesus challenges his followers to give away their processions to the poor in order to serve the Lord and enter the kingdom of heaven.

On the walls of the Riverstone Church sanctuary are blocks with a few words, including outreach, development and community transformation.

Many members of the church have literally taken those words to the streets, hoping to shape one neighborhood at a time, not by just providing for the physical needs but in building relationships.

“We care deeply about the people of Castle Lake,” Tanner said.

Almost three years ago,
 Brad and Brooke Kireta started an outreach group for Castle Lake, offering English classes for adults while their children are tutored, providing materials and labor to build a new playground, donating free haircuts, playing host to cookouts and repairing the homes of single mothers and widows.


The promise of relocation help


On Feb. 17, The Kennesaw City Council voted 5-0 to annex much of the mobile home property into the city limits, with a condition requiring Fuqua to submit a relocation plan to move existing residents prior to the beginning of construction.

Attorney Garvis Sams, of the Marietta-based firm Sams, Larkin, Huff & Balli, LLP that represents Fuqua, said the project would break ground in six months and open in the spring of 2016.

After hearing the residents’ cries for help, Mayor Mark Mathews said the developer would work closely with the residents to help them
 relocate. Jeff Fuqua, who formed Fuqua Development LP in March 2012, attended the public hearing and through Sams told the crowd the company would form a committee this spring to start relocation assistance on a family by family basis.

With four extension churches throughout Cobb and another starting in Smyrna, Tanner said he is not concerned about the Castle Lake residents moving away from Riverstone Church, because there is a great chance a similar congregation will
 be nearby. But he wants to make sure their other needs are “intentionally cared for,” Tanner said. The Kiretas said Castle Lake is a strong community where neighbors rely on each other for rides to work and child care, and dispersing the close-knit groups could have a devastating impact.

“These people do life together,” said Brad Kireta, including the four busloads of kids who attend
 nearby public schools from kindergarten through high school.

Brooke Kireta said many of the residents may not know English, but are intelligent, hardworking people who want to contribute to the greater community.

“It is a cultural view that they come to the country to take, take, take, but often they are the ones being taken advantage of,” Brooke Kireta said.


Losing homes, way of life


Another outspoken advocate said the fear of outsiders now seems founded as Castle Lake residents are losing their only sense of security:
 their community.Shannan Smith Sikorski, who also gave an emotional speech to the City Council last week, is the owner of Big Shanty Barbershop off Main Street in downtown Kennesaw.

Born and raised in Kennesaw, Sikorski said she first began raising money for the Castle Lake residents more than two years ago after reading
 about a backpack program that provides lunches to hungry kids.

With the support of friends, families and businesses, Sikorski said her charity helps pay utility bills and provided 153 toys this Christmas season, mostly to people Sikorski said are too scared to ask for help or too shy to accept donations.

“We had to force turkeys on them,” Sikorski said about a program she organized around Thanksgiving. “They don’t want to take too much.”

During the holiday season, Sikorski said her charity gave $3,000 worth of donations, but that money could have been used for an even greater purpose if the neighborhood had been told about the impending development.

“Long-term housing might have been a better gift,” Sikorski said.

The young children, who Sikorski emphasizes are American citizens, and work diligently in school






Shannon Smith Sikorski, a small business owner in Kennesaw, has been working with the Castle Lake community to provide food and holiday gifts, and is hoping the Kennesaw community will rally behind Castle Lake to help their relocation be successful and keep families together. Below: A proposed 52-acre development is targeted for the northwest corner of Barrett and Cobb parkways and all 1,500 residents of the mobile home park could be affected or forced to move. 


to break the cycle of poverty, but she has been told by parents their grades are already slipping do to the stress of moving. “It is up to us to keep the dream alive,” Sikorski said. 

Although Sikorski said she has no plans to picket the new businesses or lie down in front of bulldozers, she will be “barking in everyone’s ear” until the last person is safely relocated. 

The city’s economic development 

In December, Fuqua filed papers with Kennesaw seeking to rezone the property from a county residential mobile home park to a city planned village community. 

The massive mixeduse project would include 450,000 square feet of retail space and 30 townhomes on the western side of the property. The townhomes would be purchased, not rented. 

Whole Foods Market has agreed to anchor the large shopping complex. There is also space designated for a sporting goods store, and room to add a drug store, casual dining restaurants, specialty retail shops, office space and even a gas station, Sams said. 

Darryl Simmons, Kennesaw’s planning and zoning administrator, said the Atlanta Regional Commission received a copy of the site plans and “determined that this mixed use development is not a Development of Regional Impact.” 

Developments of Regional Impact are large-scale developments that are likely to have regional effects beyond the local government jurisdiction in which they are located. 

As for the rezoning and annexation decision by the City Council, any party desiring to appeal would have to file with the Superior Court of Cobb County by the middle of March, Simmons said. Riverstone Church is not against the commercial development, “just the way it all went down,” Tanner said. 

Tanner, who lives in Kennesaw, said the new stores and restaurants would be good for the city, with more jobs and an economic boost. 

Organizers of the outreach from Riverstone Church said the Castle Lake management staff has opened land and buildings to allow the group to help residents. 

But Sikorski said the management company has hidden details and purposely miscommunicated, further breaking down the trust the residents have for other officials. 

“The most important thing right now is that they understand everything that has been done,” Sikorski said. 

At the Feb. 17 meeting, Mathews said the council was not aware the management of Castle Lake had not communicated the plan to sell the land until recently. 

Mathews gave his word that the Castle Lake families would be treated fairly and be placed in a better living situation than the one in which they are currently living. 

Even with the high possibility of leaving schools that have created programs for the Castle Lake children or quitting jobs that will no longer be within walking distance, Sikorski said in a “perfect world,” being forced to find new homes could be the best thing for the residents. 

“But we don’t live in a perfect world,” Sikorski said. 


====================================================================

2/18/2014


Kennesaw OKs rezoning for development despite protests

by Rachel Gray, Marietta Daily Journal  February 18, 2014 04:00 AM

Link to article:   http://mdjonline.com/view/full_story/24598373/article-Kennesaw-OKs-rezoning-for-development-despite-protests?instance=home_top_bullets 



KENNESAW — More than 50 adults, many with their young children, tried to stop a proposed $150 million commercial development during Monday’s Kennesaw City Council meeting. 

The proposed 52-acre development is targeted for the northwest corner of Barrett and Cobb parkways. 

Atlanta-based Fuqua Development plans to close at least part of the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park, which sits on the site and serves as home to dozens of families.


In December, Fuqua filed papers with Kennesaw seeking to rezone the property from a county residential mobile home park to a city planned village community.

On Monday night, the Kennesaw City Council voted 5-0 to both rezone the land and annex the property into the city limits.

An additional 34 acres of the mobile home park, west of the proposed development, would stay county property and remain owned by Castle Lake Mobile Home Park.

Attorney Garvis Sams, of the Marietta-based firm Sams, Larkin, Huff & Balli, LLP that represents Fuqua, said he believes that 34 acres will most likely be redeveloped and brought into the city limits in the future.

This first project would break ground in six months and open in the spring of 2016, Sams told the council.

Developer to plan the space

Mayor Mark Mathews said Fuqua has the site under contract and knows the market through demographic studies, so the developer will decide what mix of stores would work best.

The massive mixed-use project would include 450,000 square feet of retail space and 30 townhomes on the western side of the property, said Bob Fox, the city’s economic development director.

The townhomes would be purchased, not rented.

Whole Foods Market has agreed to anchor the large shopping complex. There is also space designated for a sporting goods store, with room to add a drug store, casual dining restaurants, specialty retail shops, office space and even a gas station, Sams said.

Fuqua has agreed to stipulations that pawn shops, thrift stores and tattoo parlors would not be allowed.

As a life-long Cobb resident, Sams said he is an advocate for this particular plan for the site.  “My wife wants to see a Whole Foods more than you can possibly imagine,” Sams said.

Mathews said neither the City Council nor the Kennesaw Development Authority have any plans to offer tax abatements or other monetary incentives to the developer or the businesses planning to lease space.

If any requests are made, including to the KDA, Mathews said he and the City Council would have to approve the deals.

Residents hold on to American Dream

Some of Monday night’s speakers made their statements in Spanish, with a city-provided interpreter translating the pleas of people who have invested their life savings to purchase and repair homes in Castle Lake.

A mother of two daughters, Jacqueline Lopez, 29, began to cry when she told the council their “American dream was being taken away.”

One man, Joaquin Banuelos, 22, who has lived at Castle Lake for over 10 years, said Fuqua’s plan sounds like a great benefit to the “millionaire” developer, but where does it leave the tight-knit Latino community?

“I don’t even know where I am going to go next,” Banuelos said.

Because he is “poor,” Banuelos said he is worried his words would not mean anything to the councilmembers.


“We work for you, the millionaire people,” said Banuelos, who works in the construction industry. 

Councilman Jim Sebastian, who moved to Cobb in 1976 and is an owner of a consulting and brokering firm which specializes in retail service contracts, said development of the land is part of the city’s expansion strategy.

Sebastian said the city has asked the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park property owners to consider annexation for at least three years, with limited feedback until a year ago.

The Kennesaw Planning Commission, at a Feb. 5 meeting, voted 5-0 to recommend approval of the annexation, with a condition requiring Fuqua to submit a relocation plan to move existing residents prior to construction beginning.


Where’s the relocation plan?

Although most of the speakers from Castle Lake came to object to the project, many said they realized the commercial development would not be stopped.

The consistent question became, if the development has been planned for years, why were the mobile park residents only informed of the sale now and why is the relocation plan not finalized? 

Sebastian said the exchange of the property was between two private companies, and if the development had been residential and remained part of the county, the deal would never have been reviewed by the Kennesaw City Council.

Monday’s public hearing about the rezoning and annexation was a benefit to homeowners in Castle Lake, Sebastian said. “It gives them time to voice their concerns,” he said. 

Mathews said the council was not aware the management of Castle Lake had not communicated the plan to sell the land until recently.

The mayor said the city made every effort to inform the residents about Monday’s meeting.

Mathews gave his word Monday night that from this point forward the Castle Lake families would be treated fairly and be placed in a better living situation than the one in which they are currently living.

“I can assure you the buyer will be working with residents very, very closely,” Mathews said.

Jeff Fuqua, who formed Fuqua Development, LP in March 2012, attended Monday’s public hearing.

After talking with his client, Sams said Fuqua would form a committee this spring to start relocation assistance on a family by family basis.




CASTLE LAKE HOMES CORP.
(Created March 24, 2009)
Officers:  
CEO Joseph Ergas, 
CFO Joseph Ergas, 
Secretary Marcos Ergas



Other names used are:
EGI International Corp
Masal Partners Ltd. L.P.
Amak Partners, L.P.
(all with the same Vancouver address)



===================================================================


Castle Lake MHP, Kennesaw
Posted by Kennesaw February 25, 2014 at 06:21 PM

1650 Cobb Pky, Kennesaw

If you don’t like what is happening at Castle Lake MHP you can contact the Canadian firm which owns the property and those millionares who are principals in this property investment firm:

The Ergas Group, (Morris Ergas, Joseph Ergas, Marcos Ergas) Tel:  604-687-2310, 1185 Georgia St W, #1520, Vancouver, BC V6E 4E6, Canada

Joseph Ergas, Home (604) 926-6536, 2250 Bellevue Ave West Vancouver, BC V7V 1C6
Marcos Ergas, (604) 925-4350, 1340 Jefferson Ave, West Vancouver BC V7T2B2

Wealthy Vancouver Canada property investors Joseph and Marcos Ergas, owners of Castle Lake Homes Corp (aka 'The Ergas Group'),  are probably watching the clock run out on the 30 day window for a possible Kennesaw annexation appeal on the pending sale of 53 of their 87 acre Castle Lake MHP to controversial Atlanta developer Jeff Fuqua and his Fuqua Development Holdings, LLC.

The entire property is valued at $3,250,000 but generates only $39,000 yearly for Cobb County in property taxes.

If the sale is finalized to Fuqua and developed as a mid-sized retail development considerably more taxes will be generated and additional jobs will come to the area.

With an initially estimated 600-700 impacted residents of the Castle Lake MHP you might wonder if there is any recourse for them in the recent 5-0 Council vote for annexation of the unincorporated Cobb County acreage.

There are avenues via both the Superior Court and a direct appeal to the City, if done in the 30 day window of opportunity.  The end date for such a challenge would be Wed. March 19th.  There is no change in the status of the 53 acres until then and as yet no indication of an appeal.

The major issue at present is the displacement of those on the affected acreage and those remaining 34 MHP acres which will shortly follow to other developers with an eventual removal of over 1,000+ retirees, low income and Hispanic residents, all probable Kennesaw residents/citizens, although such residency/citizenship would be of short duration for most.

An occasionally mentioned 'relocation package' has yet to have any details firmed up and this has caused considerable unrest and anxiety in the Castle Lake community.  Speaking at the City Council meeting where the annexation and rezoning was approved Hispanic residents put on record their concern about having invested their life savings into the purchase and repair of their mobile homes in Castle Lake.

A 10 year resident complained that Fuqua's development plan seemed a great benefit to the 'millionaire' developer at the expense of the Latino community at Castle Lake.  The MDJ quoted a Mr Banuelos having said that "his words would not mean anything to the Councilmembers" and "I don't even know where I am going to go next".

While the City and the attorney for Fuqua have both indicated that some plan would be put into effect for those to be displaced it remains to be seen what will be done.  At minimum it should include hiring a professional real estate firm to assist the displaced finding places in other MHP's or area rental housing, refunding in full all security deposits and providing reasonable 'key money' for those who leave to defray their relocation costs.

With circulation of 16,000 not everyone reads the Marietta Daily Journal on a regular basis.  Recently they have been keeping up with the issue of a lack of a firm 'relocation' package for those residents of the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park.

====================================================


MHP Reviews From:  
http://www.kudzu.com/m/Castle-Lake-Mobile-Home-Cmnty-706183/reviews/ 


Castle Lake Mobile Home Cmnty

2 reviews
1650 Highway 41 Kennesaw, GA 30152 Phone: (770) 422-7275

Truthbetoldatl
Reviews: 1 Posted on 8/2/2012

Stay Away From Castle Lake and MARILYN HAGY !!!!!
Out of curiosity I looked up Castle LakeI lived there back in the late 1990's / early 2000's. 
Marilyn was there way back then and what a dirty underhanded woman she was and apparently still is! Someone should investigate her and the way she runs the office. I'll bet the authorities would love to have some proof of the fact that she rents to illegals without papers! She was doing the same thing back then. AND they also had unregistered sex offenders living there back when I was there and I would not be surprised if they still did and she helped to hide them out. I had issue with her because she tried to put a fraudulent report on my equifax stating I owed money I DIDN'T owe and I had to have them remove it. I noticed some of her illegal business practices then, but had no way to prove it. STAY AWAY! THERE ARE MANY BETTER PLACES IN THE AREA. 
And if anyone has proof of her illegal renting activities turn her in She deserves to be in jail!...


gordagorda
Reviews: 1  Posted on 10/10/2010

worse maneger in the world
maneger is abusive toward tenants, abuses her athority as maneger, worst assistant manger yolanda!!!!!!!! very vebaly abusave to tenents, marilyn hagee threatents to evict to scare tenants, she always turns the water off but isist on not giving credits on water bill. exepts money under the table to allow illegals with no papers to move in. pays illegals under the table and americans to work for her. tis tis.


==============================================


CLMHP Discrimination Suit of 2003


7/11/14

CLMHP HANDICAPPED DISCRIMINATION SUIT and 2003 INVOLVMENT OF KENNESAW MAYOR WITH CLMHP OWNER

Looking up some court filings regarding the Castle Lake MHP, I found an interesting Federal Civil Suit filed 12/1/2003.

The allegations of Dean Vereen and Deborah Shria, from 11 years ago involved the violations of the Fair Housing Act and Handicapped Discrimination, against the various LLC's and LLLP's, Joseph and Marcus Ergas and the Park manager Marilyn Hagy.


As expected the Plaintiff's allegations are along the lines that we have come to expect from this Park:


* Poor trailer conditions


* Fraud


* Eviction Threats


* Retaliations for complaints


* a 9/26/03 phone call from Joseph Ergas in which he threatened the Plaintiffs, demanding they drop their HUD complaints or have Mgr Hagy 'start the eviction process on 10/1/03'.

The above is an example of how this group always dealt with tenants, even back in 2003 and up to today, as reported in various Georgia media. 


Note:  The Park settled and the suit was dropped.


One other item from this 2003 filing was of interest and I will quote from page 3:


"(11) That according to information received these Defendants Mr. Joseph Ergas Group Corporation et. al. is alleged to be making efforts to sale this Castle lake (MHC) Corporation et al and has meeting with parties on this issues including Mayor of Kennesaw, Georgia, this good cause for granting the T.R.O. to prohibit any sales or transfers of properties, or bankrupting this company."


Why is this quoted section of interest?


It shows that as far back as 2003 the Canadian MHP owners were looking to sell their Park (2012 fair market value of $4,250,000) and were even then in contact with the then Mayor of Kennesaw.  So the fingerprints of both Mayors Church and Mathews are all over this Park issue.







==========================================================================
6/25/14

FYI:  Emails about CLMHP

For some months I have been commenting via online blog sites, regarding how the tenants at the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park in Kennesaw were being mistreated in the pending sale of portions of the property to Fuqua Development.

Mr. Jeff Fuqua has provided the below information and it is herein reproduced to provide input from his point of view.  I note that he is referred to in print as "Atlanta's Most Controversial Developer*".


I believe he is entitled to his opinion and at least a link to this site will probably be added to my main site, however, the entire message is a bit long to simply drop into that blog site, thus this secondary site for presenting his comments has been set up.


My main site is:  http://mayormathews.blogspot.com/



* See:  http://clatl.com/atlanta/jeff-fuqua-atlantas-most-controversial-developer/Content?oid=9217716

=============================================


Subject: Castle Lake 

Date: 6/25/2014 11:40:53 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time 
From: jeff.fuqua@fuquadev.com 

Reply To:   
To: WmHarris2010@aol.com   
CC: angelowf@bellsouth.net, Darrah.Horgan@wholefoods.com, marcergas@ergasgroup.com  

Mr. Harris,


For some time now, we have read the misinformation you have been spreading about Fuqua Development’s plans for the 52-acre section of Castle Lake MHP that we have under contract (and about our plans for the relocation of residents affected by those plans), and have assumed you were writing what you thought was true and accurate. Further, we assumed you were writing out of a real, if misguided, concern for Castle Lake residents.


However, we now think that our assumptions may have been wrong and that you may be spreading half-truths and misinformation about Fuqua Development and our Castle Lake plans knowingly and maliciously, and for some personal and ulterior motive of your own


In your latest comments, for example, you accuse me personally of “using the management at Castle Lake MHP to force out with 30 day notice, low income tenants at the site” where the new Whole Foods will be built. 


Mr. Harris, you are absolutely, 100% wrong on that accusation. No ifs or buts. WRONG!

Please hear me clearly. No one at Fuqua Development or on our behalf has had any dealings with Castle Lake MHP ownership or staff to advance a relocation plan for the residents of the section of that property that we have under contract. 


The deadlines for moving and the dollar figures for relocation assistance that you cite as if they came from us are totally bogus. In that regard Mr. Harris, you are either writing in total ignorance of the facts or are purposefully seeking to mislead the public.


What Castle Lake management may or may not be doing regarding the residents outside the 52 acres that we are buying has nothing to do with us or with our plans to provide a fair relocation assistance program for residents on the section we are actually buying. To state otherwise, is a demonstrable lie and, because of its terribly negative implications, possibly libelous.


And here is the truth about two other issues that you have misreported and spread through your blog. One such untrue report is that staff at Castle Lake have been sending residents notices to vacate within 30 days on our behalf. That is absolutely false. But we did a little fact-checking (which you probably should do as well) and were informed that notices to vacate are usually sent for non-payment of rents and have nothing to do with Fuqua Development’s plans. 


Additionally, Castle Lake management has told us that they do not sell trailers but that residents occasionally do. Apparently, the recent sale of a trailer reported by you and others was between private parties and did not involve Castle Lake management. 


Be that as it may, let me repeat that what Castle Lake management may or may not be doing regarding the residents outside the 52 acres that we are buying has nothing to do with us.


We understand the questions and concerns all Castle Lake residents have at this time and respect the efforts of legitimate advocates on their behalf. But you, Mr. Harris, are neither. Your untrue and fiery opinions do not add anything positive to this complex process. Rather, they create misunderstandings and unjustifiable suspicion and ill will among those involved.


Because we are eternal optimists, however, we urge you to seek the truth before you write again about our Castle Lake project in general and our relocation assistance plans for the residents affected by our planned development.


Jeff Fuqua


=======================================================================
My Reply of June 25th



Subject:
Re: Castle Lake
Date: 6/25/2014 9:08:22 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
From:    WmHarris2010@aol.com


June 25, 2014



Dear Mr. Fuqua:


I appreciate your time and effort in making a reply to me regarding the unfortunate situation that residents at Castle Lake are now involved in with the current owners of that property.


You made several points in your communication, I believe a point by point response would not be necessary as such information is incorporated into my various writings which are posted on the blog sites and readily available to any reader, and of course the various 'opinions' expressed by yourself of my writings are just that, 'your opinions'.


The views that I hold seem to be similar to those already expressed in local media and at various City Council meetings and much of this information has been copied to my various blog sites.


From the earliest of my postings (Feb. 2014) I had said:


"Residents or other concerned people might contact Mr Fuqua and ask what is going on and suggest that it is past time for details of the promised ‘relocation package’ to be made public.

At a minimum they should expect:
1) assistance of a professional real estate firm to find new housing for them,
2) return of any posted security deposits and
3) ‘Key Money’ to assist in any relocation from Castle Lake.

The parties with relevant information can be reached via:jeff.fuqua@fuquadev.com and jennifer.ledbetter@fuquadev.com"



Only time will tell whether or not you succeed in distancing yourself from the shady and underhanded things that are reportedly being done to tenants at Castle Lake.



Area residents in Cobb County have major problems in separating the actions reported at CLMHP, to displace tenants there, before your August takeover of the property, from the obvious benefit and monetary savings that these actions will have for your firm.



Clearly any residents who are now evicted, or intimidated and harassed into moving, mean one less tenant for you to have to worry about with the long promised, but never fleshed out, 'relocation package'.



Yes, I have given my opinion and I still opine, that you may well be working hand in glove with the Canadian owners to clear the property of as many MHP tenants as possible, before the delayed sale of the property.



Do I know this for a 'fact', of course not, but I am not the only person to put forth that opinion based on available reports and a minimal use of common sense and I doubt that bland assurances that this is not correct will be enough to change opinions.



Your further delay of closing to September seems to give credence to my suspicion that the delay is to further clear out MHP residents and avoid paying for their relocation packages. 



And on that topic not very many people are impressed by your repeated claims that you can’t ‘offer’ any such relocation package until after closing.  Putting together a firm package and announcing what it will be is NOT making any offer to residents.  I and others regard it as a ploy to avoid any commitment and leave MHP residents twisting in the wind and more amiable to simply packing up and departing.  As the saying goes “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time” and we are not fooled by this.



The Canadian Ergas Group, the CLMHP owners, have come under fierce attack in how they are proceeding.  Even the Mayor of Kennesaw has harsh criticism of the Ergas' conduct and is quoted as saying in an April 3rd article in Capstone Quarterly by Alicia Newton titled: "Kennesaw Mayor blasts owner of annexed Mobile Home Park", she is reporting on a 3/20/14 lecture given by Mayor Mathews to KSU journalism students.



He said in part:



“* The mobile home residents are just being lied to everyday by the seller who is more interested in keeping his monthly cash flow . . .



* What the owner is doing is borderline unethical in my opinion . . .



* He is having his managers tell the tenants the land is not sold, which technically it is not, so he is continuing to rent to unsuspecting tenants never bothering to tell them they may have to be gone by June of this year . . .



* It’s pitiful, taking something super positive and it gets undermined by the residents not even knowing they are about to be put out.”



The entire article is found at: http://capstonequarterly.wordpress.com/tag/whole-foods-kennesaw-development/ and also on a 1 1/2 hour youtube video of his March 20th speech to the Kennesaw State University journalism class and this is found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geEulOuU7Gg



As you probably now know, the Kennesaw City Council has voted NOT to approve the additional CLMHP acreage being annexed to the City of Kennesaw.



The variously reported underhanded dealings of the Ergas' have totally soured the City and its residents on them and their Park.



I am aware that this situation is now being carefully looked at by several entities and that many MHP owners have retained a lawyer to further safeguard their interests.



While I appreciate your comments clearly I do NOT agree with them, I would suggest that you and your attorney, Mr. Sams have a lot more to worry about than any of my blogged opinions and 'if' you want any respect within this community then you need to be seen as forcefully condemning the actions of the Park owners, and your putting forward a comprehensive relocation package, however, you may well have left it to late to have any effect on the public perception of you and your development.



Again, thank you for your communication in this matter.



Bill Harris, Kennesaw
Citizen Journalist









======================================================= Note: The 2 firms listed belong to Ergas.



 
DRI #2410
Note: The 2 firms listed are Ergas companies.
DEVELOPMENT OF REGIONAL IMPACT
Initial DRI Information
This form is to be completed by the city or county government to provide basic project information that will allow the RDC to determine if the project appears to meet or exceed applicable DRI thresholds. Refer to both the Rules for the DRI Process and theDRI Tiers and Thresholds for more information.

Local Government Information
Submitting Local Government: Kennesaw
Individual completing form: Darryl Simmons
Telephone: 770-590-8268
E-mail:  dsimmons@kennesaw-ga.gov
*Note: The local government representative completing this form is responsible for the accuracy of the information contained herein. If a project is to be located in more than one jurisdiction and, in total, the project meets or exceeds a DRI threshold, the local government in which the largest portion of the project is to be located is responsible for initiating the DRI review process.

Proposed Project Information
Name of Proposed Project: Old 41 Development
Location (Street Address, GPS Coordinates, or Legal Land Lot Description): 1650 North Cobb Parkway . LL 207&212, 20th district
Brief Description of Project:
Mixed Use Development on 31.86 acres with the following components: 16,000 square feet of retail 49 townhome units @ 900 square feet per unit 648 multifamily units @ 600 square feet per unit ( min 1 bedroom)

Development Type:
 If other development type, describe:

Project Size (# of units, floor area, etc.): 16,000 square feet of retail, 44,100 square feet of townhome units, 388,800 square feet of mutifamil
Developer: Masal Partners LTD., L.P. & Amak Partners L.P.
Mailing Address: 1252 Gray Squirrel Crossing
Address 2:
City:Marietta  State: Ge  Zip:30062
Telephone: 770-509-8632
Email: marcergas@ergasgroup.com
Is property owner different from developer/applicant?
If yes, property owner:
Is the proposed project entirely located within your local government’s jurisdiction?   
If no, in what additional jurisdictions is the project located? Cobb County
Is the current proposal a continuation or expansion of a previous DRI?  
If yes, provide the following information:
Project Name:
Project ID:
The initial action being requested of the local government for this project:





  Annexation into the city of Kennesaw
Is this project a phase or part of a larger overall project?  
If yes, what percent of the overall project does this project/phase represent?
Estimated Project Completion Dates: This project/phase: January 2017
Overall project: January 2019





MINUTES OF MAYOR & CITY COUNCIL MEETING

CITY OF KENNESAW
Council Chambers
Monday, June 16, 2014
6:30 p.m.

(Extract of Minutes for pages 26 to 36)

Zoning Administrator Darryl Simmons presented agenda items IX-D, E and F
concurrently.

Mayor Mathews said he was recently made aware of a blog implying that it comes from
him. The last date was June 10th. This is not his blog, he knows who owns the blog
and will look into it further. The blog does not express his opinions or comments. The
City will do all to help the developer and any outstanding issues for residents. Laws
have to be followed and you cannot be displaced from your home automatically.

Tonight, if you agree with public comments being made on agenda items IX-D, E and F,
stand up from your chair to show support of those comments. We will make every effort
to keep this as open as we can. He thanked everyone for coming this evening.

D. Authorization for approval of an ORDINANCE granting a rezoning request
submitted by Amak Partners and Masal Partners for property located at 1810 Old
41 Highway. Property identified as 1.29+/- acre tract in Land Lot 207, Tax Parcel
05 of the 20th District, 2nd Section, Cobb County. Applicant is seeking to rezone
property from City GC (General Commercial) to City PVC (Planned Village
Community) for inclusion into a commercial development with a residential
component. Application was advertised in the May 16, 2014 edition of the
Marietta Daily Journal. Property posted May 20, 2014. Planning Commission at
a meeting held on June 04, 2014 made recommendation to approve the rezoning
of the 1.29+/- acres from City GC (General Commercial) to City PVC (Planned
Village Community) with stipulations in attached May 30, 2014 letter from Sams,
Larkin and Huff law firm. In addition two friendly amendments to the list of
stipulations to include the following: 1). Garages to be used for vehicle storage
and 2). Driveways to be 18' in length. Vote: 5-0. Yeas: Adam Ambrecht, Jeff
Powers, Cindi Michael, Fred Moore, Craig MacNaughton. Nays: None. Staff

Recommendation: Darryl Simmons, Zoning Administrator recommended
approval with incorporation of all conditions referenced in stipulation letter dated
May 30, 2014 as prepared by law firm Sams, Larkin and Huff in addition to the
two additional conditions requested by the Planning Commission: 1) Garages to
be used for vehicle storage; and 2) Driveways to be 18' in length.
Zoning Administrator Darryl Simmons presented the rezoning request submitted by
Amak Partners and Masal Partners for property located at 1810 Old 41 Highway, the
rezoning on item IX-E and the annexation on item IX-F. The entire project is 32± acres
and the intended project is composed of four main components – 16,000 feet of retail
space along Old 41, 328 multi-family units (class A apartments), 49 townhomes, and of
that 32± acres, 11.4 is identified for future development. This is a logical extension for
the City. No objections were received from Cobb County and there were recommended
conditions from Cobb Department of Transportation. The Planning Commission
recommended unanimously to rezone and annex, along with existing conditions plus
two additional conditions: 1) Garages to be used for vehicle storage; and 2) Driveways
to be 18' in length. Attached to the agenda packet is a June 9th letter from the
applicant’s attorney Garvis Sams, restating all 36 conditions.

GARVIS SAMS (Applicant’s Attorney): Mr. Sams redistributed materials attached to the
agenda packet showing images of the project area. Since Mr. Fuqua’s 53 acre
annexation, this annexation is a logical step. Mr. Fuqua’s timeframe will be to close on
the 53 acre property at the end of this summer and vertical construction will begin in the
summer of 2015 for his $150 million development. Tonight his client is the current
property owner. At the Work Session there was an indication some issues needed to
be addressed tonight. This Cobb County property is surrounded on three sides by City
boundaries. The Intergovernmental Agreement between the County and all Cobb cities
states the County can object to the annexation, and they did not, but has certain
stipulations and steps to be addressed – traffic and transportation. These Cobb
recommendation were incorporated into the 36 stipulations within his letter. The
rezoning will be for a Planned Village Community consisting of 49 townhomes, 328
multi-family units, and retail. This proposal has been reviewed at a local and regional
level and any issues were incorporated into the stipulations.

One Councilmember
expressed that perhaps 36 stipulations may be too many. Not all of these stipulations
come from the County or the City, but from his client as well.
In Fuqua’s presentation there was not a specific relocation plan, but was incorporated to
be a part of plan review. In this instance they addressed existing residents with more
specificity. They will have $2,500 assistance for relocation to the head of household
that lives in the mobile home. These funds will not go to a homeowner or absentee
landlord, but to the resident. There are approximately 160 mobile homes on this tract
which is approximately $400,000 for assistance. Also, the property owners will provide
food and lodging allowance particularly from departure from their mobile home to an
apartment or a different mobile home. They are working with sales folks regarding the
sales of existing mobile homes. They’ll make sure schools, lodging, etc. is addressed
for the existing resident to be relocated. Fuqua is presently working with two relocation
experts. If this works well he expects this client will follow the same path. Mr. Sams
emphasized the Old 41 Highway entry that will connect with the Fuqua development by
a bridge between the two properties for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. They will have a
development agreement to pay for this bridge between the two property owners. This
will give access via Barrett Parkway as well. Some existing businesses along Stanley
Road are in negotiations with his client; Croy Engineering is working on a plan and
they’re working with Ross Memorial. His client will exert continued good faith talks. It is
estimated it will cost $235,000 to provide signalization. They agreed to Public Works
requirements regarding water detention and McCullum Airport building height
restrictions of 1,065-ft. No buildings will be this tall, it will apply to cranes during
construction. Parking ratio requirements are exceeded and there will be shared parking
between businesses and residents. These are conceptual site plans only; architectural
designs will come back to the Mayor and City Council. This will be the same for the
11.4 acre site which will come back to Council in its entirety. Branch Capital completed
a demographic study, especially regarding residential needs. There is a need for more
multi-family inventory. The report also showed rents will be $1.30 per foot. There is an
average of 95% occupancy presently in the City in multi-family units; townhomes are
anticipated to replicate Fuqua townhomes. Mr. Sams said the townhomes will sell for
$300,000 and up, will have 2-car garages, 18-ft driveways, 9-ft high ceilings and granite
countertops. Whoever develops this property will not participate in Section 8 housing or
any type of subsidized residences. He described plans and qualities of these Class A
townhomes which can be changed to condos. They will be owner occupied townhomes
only and no developers will be able to buy multiples for rentals. He discussed planned
amenities and layout – 50% will be 1-bedroom units, 45% will be 2-bedroom units, 5%
will be 3-bedroom townhomes and apartments and there will be no impact to the school
system. Retail will be similar as the Fuqua project including lighting and illumination
requirements and restrictions. He reiterated verbatim disallowed uses which are the
same as the Fuqua project. There will be on-site management; they will ensure the
Home Owners Association is properly funded and insured at all times. This is a great
opportunity to complete a five year dream with a $40 million project, expand the City
horizon and expand the tax base by over $1 million per year. Due to a humanitarian
approach for relocation and the number of stipulations, he thinks this is a great benefit
to the City.

Councilmember Killingsworth asked if Fuqua agreed to provide the same relocation
assistance. Mr. Sams replied no, Mr. Fuqua’s relocation plan has to be submitted to the
City. Councilmember Killingsworth asked for clarity on Stipulation #18 about conversion
from apartments to townhomes. Mayor Mathews said apartments can convert to
condos. Councilmember Welsh feels 600-plus apartments would be entitled and feels
this is a set up for disappointment. Mr. Sams said the plans for the 11.4 acres will come
in the future – the 300-plus would be the maximum.

Ms. Welsh said she is excited to
welcome this area into the City. She doesn’t feel a fairytale developer is the best
course of action and prefers having a developer in hand. She doesn’t want 6, 9, 12
months to go by and the residents still not know who the developer will be. Mr. Sams
assured that whoever the developer is, they will be vetted by staff, Mayor and City
Council and they can be rejected or approved in the future. Ms. Welsh commented that
entitlements really don’t mean anything – why not wait until a developer is in hand? Mr.
Sams replied that entitlements are important to a developer and all the stipulations will
be in place. Councilmember Sebastian questioned stipulation #1 – are the 328
maximum Class A apartments all on the 30+ acres? Mr. Sams replied yes. Mr.
Sebastian pointed out stipulation #18 and if you do the math, it does come to more than
600 [apartments]. What about the 11.6 acres – no more apartments? Mayor Mathews
stated that stipulation #1 is in conflict with stipulation #18. What is the intent? Mr.
Sams said both – 328 apartments is pertinent for the 34 acres; the 11 acres will be
considered later. City Attorney Randall Bentley confirms this does not include the 11+
acres and the two stipulations need to be re-written. Councilmember Welsh asked if
300+ apartments can be added to the 11+ acres? Mr. Sams replied conceivably, yes.

Councilmember Williams said the property owner has received three letters of intent
[from developers], yet this is being presented by the property owner instead of a
developer. We’re being asked to vote on a conceptual site plan from the current owner.

Mr. Sams said yes and that detailed plans would be presented at a later date. Ms.
Williams asked if the three potential developers are aware of the 36 stipulations. Will
they agree to give residents the same relocation assistance? Mayor Mathews added
the stipulations are tied to the property, not the property owner. Any developer has to
come before the Mayor and City Council. Ms. Williams questioned if the stipulations
were in place before or after the letters of intent were received – do the developers all
know? Mr. Sams said two of them know. Ms. Williams stated that she is being asked to
vote on something and she needs more than a hope and a prayer. Mr. Sams said it
was cut off at three letters of intent, but many more were interested. Ms. Williams wants
to know what a developer wants to do – they may want more townhomes instead of
apartments. It seems 600+ total, of which 50% are one-bedrooms seems to say no one
get married or have children.

Mr. Sams said he doesn’t feel developers want any more
townhomes with less apartments on the 11.3 acres. Mayor Mathews pointed out that
whatever happens, it has to come back to the Mayor and City Council. Planned Village
Community (PVC) is site plan specific. This conceptual plan may or may not look
anything like this in the future, but will have to meet these requirements. Ms. Williams
went back to stipulations #1 and #18 – if in the future this came back to us and we then
deny, she does not want to be setup for a lawsuit. Mr. Sams said this is not exactly
negotiating from a position of strength. The 11.4 acre site is starting from scratch and it
could be the same developer for both tracts. Councilmember Killingsworth went back to
the 95% need for apartments in the study – how old is the study? Mr. Sams said the
report was provided two weeks ago. Attorney Bentley recommended changes for
stipulation #1 to include “Uthis condition shall not include 11.40 acres for future
development.” Councilmember Sebastian requested the same language be added to
stipulation #18. Councilmember Williams asked if the third party management will be
on-site. Mr. Sams said typically no and also confirmed the HOA is mandatory.

8:13 PM Floor Open for Public Comments

JACQUELINE LOPEZ (Castle Lake resident): We realize we are not the land owners
and our rights are minimal, but there are two roads for every action. Treat us fairly and
with respect.

Mayor Mathews said that is the intent of the City. We don’t own the land, it’s not in the
City, we can’t act on the owners or renters behalf and are trying to be fair and equitable
to everyone.

Ms. Lopez to Mr. Sams - are the 34 acres under contract? No. Ms. Lopez confirmed
the $2,500 moving assistance is for the head of household – define head of household.
Is one single person also head of household? Mr. Sams replied said there is only one
individual as head of household whether it is one person or multiple people. Ms. Lopez
asked if she moved before a “certain event” would she still be compensated the $2,500
moving assistance. What is the “certain event?” Mr. Sams said upon Mayor and
Council approval of annexation. Mayor Mathews reminded this only applies to the 34
acres only. Ms. Lopez reconfirmed with Mr. Sams that once annexed one can move
and get the moving assistance $2,500. Mr. Sams said correct, if the Council approves it
tonight. Ms. Lopez would like that in writing. Mr. Sams pointed out it is listed in the
stipulation letter and part of the public record tonight. Ms. Lopez said that at the last
meeting [Fuqua] they said homeowners have 60-days to move once they receive a
written notice – how many days for renters? Mr. Sams replied the owner is required to
give 60 days minimum notice. Mayor Mathews said if the renter has a signed
agreement that states less than 60 days, then they must abide. Ms. Lopez asked if
management can ask us to move out of our premises before? Mr. Sams said it’s on an
individual basis, depending on the lease agreement. Ms. Lopez said many residents
have received a 30-day notice to move and doesn’t even say why. Mayor Mathews said
he heard the same rumor. Unless someone can show this in writingUwe want to see
and to share this with Mr. Sams.

Ms. Lopez said she will fax this. Not all notices to
vacate are for ethical reasons; perhaps some tenants received warnings before, but it
could have been for as simple as a barking dog or an unpaid parking ticket. A neighbor
let a visitor park on his property while visiting someone else, but management didn’t
agree and wrote a ticket. Mayor Mathews said Mr. Sams represents the owner and
may have more knowledge as it has nothing to do with the City. Mr. Sams asked her to
please fax and provide him more information. Ms. Lopez said it is important for
residents to know they have rights. If we do receive one of these letters, should we find
out why and go see a lawyer? Mayor Mathews replied that is safe advice. Ms. Lopez
thanked the smart ladies [referencing Councilmembers Welsh and Williams]. To
approve the annexation without knowing the developer who may have to start over
doesn’t make sense.

CAROL McLAUGHTON (new Kennesaw resident): She bought her trailer in March
2014 and no one told her it was obvious the property was going to be sold. She got a
letter saying there is no developer. She is 69 years old. She did some research and
found out you cannot move a mobile home if it is older than 10 years – most of them
are. She was told she has to move the trailer or get penalized. They offered to move to
the other section. She has no place to go, no money and doesn’t know what to do.
They are being kept in the dark. What’s going to happen – just throw me out with a 60
day notice? There are college kids looking for low end housing. She lives in a 53 acre
development. She understands it will happened. She’s been advised to consult with an
attorney because they should not have sold her the trailer in March. She feels she is
not the only one this has happened to.
Mayor Mathews said it was good advice to get an attorney. Anyone else in a similar
situation should get together to see an attorney. Ms. McLaughton said that when she
initially looked at Castle Lake with her brother, he asked do you know what this property
is worth. She didn’t care, this is a perfect location for her. They’re being told the
residents will be talked to individually, but she does not like letting strangers into her
home, especially because she lives alone. Mayor Mathews advised that if she is
approached by someone offering to help, contact City Hall; we will do our best to verify.

The developer will get a relocation company to administer the process and that will not
start until after they own the property. They are not going to come to her home on the
day of closing and say you have 60 days to move. Ms. McLaughton asked if she would
be notified by mail to anticipate a visitor to discuss relocation. Mayor Mathews said yes,
that is possible. City staff or the developer can perhaps send a letter out first notifying
residents to anticipate visitors.

DALE HUGHES (Kennesaw resident): He’s been a resident of Kennesaw for 26 years.
He’s getting to know these residents and the first speaker, Ms. Lopez, was the
translator. Mr. Sams gave a good presentation and first brought out the relocation
package. A few stories of people recently being sold trailers are true. It will cost $8,000
or more to move a trailer and its money the residents do not have. Mr. Hughes
implored the Council to hold back on entitlements. The property owner has proved he
will sell trailers even though he knows these changes are in the works. Mr. Sams is
selling the owner a good package with these entitlements. If the report/study he
referenced is accurate


CINDY BICKFORD (Castle Lake Resident): She moved in a trailer to Castle Lake on
May 5th for $15,000. She didn’t know any of this. It’s the best place she’s lived. $2,500
will not keep them in Cobb County and apartments are as much as mortgage payments.
We are your service people working in stores, restaurants, hotels. She’s raising two
kids and will not move to the projects. This is a safe area. Where do you want us to
go? She pays $500 a month for lot rent, which leaves money for food. She was told
she makes too much money to qualify for food stamps or Section 8 housing – and she
only makes $10.30 per hour. What we say is from our heart. What would you do if you
came home and had 60 days to move? Castle Lake outright lied to everybody. $2,500
will not be enough money. Moving trailers to the end [of the property] will be in a flood
zone and they can’t get flood insurance. We can’t make more money. She has a
school loan of $12,000 that is due. She had to take a retail job, but that’s okay. She
doesn’t understand what you want us to do. Let your conscious be your guide.
Christians don’t put Christians on the road with $2,500 in the pockets and children to
feed and no place to live.

Mayor Mathews asked Attorney Sams when he had an agreement with the property
owner to represent on this issue. Mr. Sams was contracted April 2014. The Mayor
asked doesn’t the property owner or management has to sign off on everything. Mr.
Sams said he is not cognizant of that occurring.
MARIA EREZ (Castle Lake resident): She does not want $2,500 and this other lady just
purchased that home. It isn’t fair. They use all their money from their life for just
$2,500. Her mobile home is very old and $2,500 is not enough to even rent an
apartment. Make sure to check the bad administration at the mobile park. That money
is not enough for anything.

MARY HEWELL (Castle Lake resident): She has lived at Castle Lake for 44 years. Her
main concern is the $2,500 to move. She bought the trailer brand new, has done a lot
of work to the home over the years, and it will cost $6,000 and up to move the trailer.

This is not a good choice or option to relocate. Her husband passed in 2012. To sell
her trailer she would ask more than $2,500. She does not have $6,000 or more to
move and tries to make her money stretch as it is. She knows they have to move. She
called the manager asking to call a meeting to notify the residents about a possible sale.
Management said the owner is not selling – she told her that last month. If there is no
money to move her home and she has to be out in 60 days, what is she supposed to
do?

Attorney Sams said he represents the owner specifically on the applications [rezoning
and annexation]. It may be prudent to continue or table these items so he can consult
with his client regarding these issues. He does not have answers to these questions.

Mayor Mathews said his opinion is to continue these agenda items instead of tabling so
the public hearing can continue to another meeting. Tonight was advertised for a public
hearing. Future speakers will have the opportunity in a public hearing if the item is
continued. The applicant is requesting the delay. Mr. Sams is a reputable attorney and
works hard to do what is right. By asking for a continuance indicates he is not aware of
these residential issues.

MARIA GARCIA (Castle Lake resident): She was told to leave in 30 days and she has
no time to raise $5,000 to move. She does not have money for a hotel. They say she
can’t be there even now. $2,500 won’t be enough money for anything. Stop the office
people from their harassment – they don’t even give back deposits.

GRAMMIE BILLINGSLY (Castle Lake resident): She had a small stroke and left
Kennestone to be here tonight. She has lived at Castle Lake for 37 years and everyone
calls her Grammie. She cannot speak with management whose name is Marilyn. She
was taught to respect elders and she gets no respect from Marilyn – Marilyn only
respects money. These people are not telling you lies tonight. Marilyn keeps saying
they are not going to sell. Ms. Billingsly has her faith to help carry her home.

MARY YOUNG (Castle Lake resident): She too has been told by management that
nothing is going on and yet another neighbor was given 30 days to leave. Ms. Young’s
daughter has this mobile home for 12 years. Ms. Aggie said the letter was a mistake –
all the way up to a month ago. She does not want Section 8 housing. This is a 1986
trailer; her daughter is disabled and will need special attention and help. Please stop
telling us stories.

FABIAN (Castle Lake resident): She and her family live comfortable in their mobile
home and she has a special needs child. The Castle Lake personnel keep saying
nothing is going on, on numerous occasions, each and every time they are asked. This
$2,500 won’t be enough for anything, especially on low income. A mobile home is very
expensive to buy or move. Please consider each individual family. Come now to visit –
our homes are open to see how we live now.

Mayor Mathews said to Mr. Sams there is a lot of work to be done. The Mayor asked
the audience to understand the property has not been sold and no offer has been made
yet. Each person, each situation is different and $2,500 is not adequate. He thanked
the audience for speaking or coming tonight and sharing their stories. Unless the
property is annexed into the City, we can’t do anything. If annexed, then we have some
control over the development. We’ll close the meeting tonight, do some research, open
the public comment the next time and hope to see and hear progress. (An unnamed
woman in the audience complained about the issues with management.)

DALE HUGHES: He learned on Saturday there is a lack of effective communication.
Brad and the church folks are trying to set up an email communications chain. Wanda
Steele and Steve Kennedy have been very helpful. Please get in touch with Brad so
folks know when to show up.

MANUAL SEDONE (Castle Lake resident): Riverstone Church said $2,500 for people
in the 34 acre zone; no money for the 53 acre zone. Mayor Mathews reminded
everyone that residents in the 53 acres will have conversations after the developer, Mr.
Fuqua purchases the property and they will have a relocation company take care of
those residents.

ANTONIO ALVAREZ (Castle Lake resident): One year ago he tried to purchase a
mobile home for $21,000 and gave $10,000 down and was not told of any sale due to
development. A neighbor sent a letter saying the land was being sold. He’s so scared
he went to the office and spoke to the manager. She got mad and said the land is not
being sold. We don’t know the truth. In the 34 acre site, just three months ago they
were selling a trailer, but told those purchasers they could not move the trailer. Please
tell the manager to stop or put a sign at the entrance/exit of Castle Lake saying no
purchases [of mobile homes].

MARIA [no last name provided]: She showed a document about the 53 acre sale.
She’s afraid to go home, she’s lived 35 years at Castle Lake and no longer has a home.
Where’s she going to go? She is very scared. Please stop management. They even
sell a bad trailer for $18,000. There are a lot of families here. It says in the coming
month they will have to leave. The meeting interpreter read the document which was
calling for a community meeting to explain annexation; that meeting already occurred.

ANTONIO SABENSES (Castle Lake resident): Why pay rent to people who don’t own
the land any more? Mayor Mathews stated they still do own the land. Attorney Bentley
added that even if the landowner changes, you still have to pay rent. Mayor Mathews
restated the 53 acres is under contract to sell. The 34 acres being discussed tonight
are not under contract, but are asking to be annexed into the City for development.
Until the property is annexed, sold, and the developer gets approval – there will be no
construction.

Councilmember Killingsworth referenced a bracelet he wears with a verse from James
1:19 which is quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. He is very angry. He
requested an Executive Session but all discussions have to be public, so it was not
granted. Mayor Mathews noted Mr. Sams has asked for continuance because of the
issues brought up tonight. Mr. Killingsworth said to Mr. Sams he hopes and prays that if
something illegal is occurring, they are held to the fullest extent of the law.

9:36 PM Floor Closed to Public Comments

Motion by Councilmember Killingsworth to continue agenda items IX-D, E and F to a
future date yet to be determined, motion seconded by Councilmember Church.
Councilmember Welsh asked if the date can be firmed this evening, and Mr. Sams said
that is impossible. Mayor Mathews requested an update be provided at the next
regularly scheduled meeting on July 7, 2014 at which time he can present a firm date
for the continued public hearings and the property owner will send a letter to all
residents of the 34 acres with proof of service given to City staff. Councilmember
Williams respectfully requests the property owner attend the final meeting. Mr. Sams
said he would like him there as well. Vote taken, approved unanimously, 5-0 on items
IX-D, E, and F. Motion carried.

Zoning Administrator Darryl Simmons presented agenda items IX-D, E and F
concurrently.

E. Authorization for approval of an ORDINANCE granting a rezoning request
submitted by Amak Partners and Masal Partners for property located at 1650
Cobb Parkway. Property identified as 30.86+/- acre tract in Land Lots 207, 212
of the 20th District, 2nd Section, Cobb County. Applicant is seeking to annex
and rezoning property from County MHP to City PVC (Planned Village
Page 34 of 119

Community) for purpose of commercial development with a residential
component. Application was advertised in the May 16, 2014 edition of the
Marietta Daily Journal. Property posted May 20, 2014. Planning Commission at
a meeting held on June 04, 2014 made recommendation to approve the rezoning
of the 30.86+/- acres from County MHP to City PVC (Planned Village
Community) with stipulations in May 30, 2014 letter from Sams, Larkin and Huff
law firm. In addition two friendly amendments to the list of stipulations to include
the following: 1). Garages to be used for vehicle storage and 2). Driveways to be
18' in length. Vote: 5-0. Yeas: Cindi Michael, Adam Ambrecht, Jeff Powers, Fred
Moore, Craig MacNaughton. Nays: None. Staff Recommendation: Darryl
Simmons, Zoning Administrator recommended approval with incorporation of all
conditions reference in stipulation letter dated May 30, 2014, and prepared by
law firm Sams, Larkin and Huff in addition to conditions added by the Planning
Commission: 1). Garages to be used for vehicle storage and 2). Driveways to be
18' in length.

Zoning Administrator Darryl Simmons presented the rezoning request submitted by
Amak Partners and Masal Partners for property located at 1650 Cobb Parkway. See all
comments under Agenda Item IX-D.

9:37 PM Floor Open for Public Comments

No additional comments – see item IX-D.

9:38 PM Floor Closed to Public Comments
Motion by Councilmember Killingsworth to continue agenda items IX-D, E and F to a
future date yet to be determined, motion seconded by Councilmember Church.

Councilmember Welsh asked if the date can be firmed this evening, and Mr. Sams said
that is impossible. Mayor Mathews requested an update be provided at the next
regularly scheduled meeting on July 7, 2014 at which time he can present a firm date
for the continued public hearings and the property owner will send a letter to all
residents of the 34 acres with proof of service given to City staff.

Councilmember Williams respectfully requests the property owner attend the final meeting. Mr. Sams said he would like him there as well. Vote taken, approved unanimously, 5-0 on items
IX-D, E, and F. Motion carried.

Zoning Administrator Darryl Simmons presented agenda items IX-D, E and F
concurrently.

F. Authorization for approval of an ORDINANCE granting an annexation request
submitted by Amak Partners and Masal Partners for property located at 1650
Cobb Parkway. Property identified as 30.86+/- acre tract in Land Lots 207, 212
of the 20th District, 2nd Section, Cobb County. Applicant is seeking to annex
and rezone property from County MHP to City PVC (Planned Village Community)
for purposed of commercial development with a residential component.
Application was advertised in the May 16, 2014 edition of the Marietta Daily
Journal. Property posted May 20, 2014. Planning Commission at a meeting held
on June 04, 2014 made recommendation to approve the annexation of the
Page 35 of 119

30.86+/- acres into the City of Kennesaw with stipulations in May 30, 2014 letter
from Sams, Larkin and Huff law firm. In addition two friendly amendments to be
added to the list of stipulations include the following:
1). Garages to be used for
vehicle storage and
2). Driveways to be 18' in length.

Vote: 5-0. Yeas: Adam
Ambrecht, Jeff Powers, Cindi Michael, Fred Moore, Craig MacNaughton. Nays:
None. Staff Recommendation: Darryl Simmons, Zoning Administrator
recommended approval with incorporation of all conditions reference in
stipulation letter dated May 30, 2014, and prepared by law firm Sams, Larkin and
Huff in addition to two conditions requested by the Planning Commission: 1)
Garages to be used for vehicle storage; and 2) Driveways to be 18' in length.

Zoning Administrator Darryl Simmons presented the annexation request submitted by
Amak Partners and Masal Partners for property located at 1650 Cobb Parkway. See all
comments under Agenda Item IX-D.

9:38 PM Floor Open for Public Comments

No further comments – see item IX-D.
                                                                
9:39 PM Floor Closed to Public Comments

Motion by Councilmember Killingsworth to continue agenda items IX-D, E and F to a
future date yet to be determined, motion seconded by Councilmember Church.
Councilmember Welsh asked if the date can be firmed this evening, and Mr. Sams said
that is impossible. Mayor Mathews requested an update be provided at the next
regularly scheduled meeting on July 7, 2014 at which time he can present a firm date
for the continued public hearings and the property owner will send a letter to all
residents of the 34 acres with proof of service given to City staff. Councilmember

Williams respectfully requests the property owner attend the final meeting. Mr. Sams
said he would like him there as well.

Vote taken, approved unanimously, 5-0 on items
IX-D, E, and F. Motion carried.