Brick Ridge Estates conflict still not resolved

January 7, 2014
Del Walker, vice chairman of the Canton Township Planning Commission, addressed the township supervisors on behalf of Brick Ridge Estate residents Monday. Walker told the supervisors that residents feel they were “tricked” into signing an agreement regarding their properties on Dec. 19. - Francesca Sacco / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Several weeks after residents of Brick Ridge Estates in Canton Township met outside the locked municipal building to sign documents regarding the housing development, some now feel tricked.

On Monday, several residents attended the township board of supervisors’ meeting to voice their concerns. Del Walker, vice chairman of the Canton Township planning commission, spoke on behalf of some of the residents. Walker called the Dec. 19 meeting “unfair and inappropriate.”

“(Attorney Dwight) Ferguson knew the building wouldn’t be open. He knew that the (homeowners’ association) document was not properly signed off on by the township supervisors. He called them and pressured them. He tricked them,” Walker said of the attorney representing the present developer of the property, Angelo Quarture,

The document was required to establish a homeowners association, which is needed in order for current residents to sell their homes. Additional issues exist, including title problems, which date back to the original developer, Michael Williamson Sr., who purchased 38 acres in 2006 to build Brick Ridge Estates. The property was later sold to Quarture. The additional problems will be addressed once a homeowners’ association is established.

The township supervisors agreed with Walker. They voted unanimously to have township solicitor Dennis Makel send a letter to Ferguson explaining the township’s position, Chairman Sam Bear said.

Bear said that during a Nov. 19 meeting, Ferguson and the supervisors agreed to a specific plan for handling the situation and the plan was not followed.

“Ferguson choose to handle it his way, and not in compliance with the township’s development ordinance,” Bear said. “The township didn’t approve the document he had them sign.”

Bear said the initial agreement detailed that the supervisors had to sign off on the final document before it was presented to the residents.

“That didn’t happen,” he said. “He took the documents right to the people … We are going to try to put things back on track.”

Ferguson said the process was handled correctly and that the had sent a copy to Makel.

“It’s probably sitting in an unopened email,” he said. “I sent it twice.”

Ferguson was surprised when he was informed of some residents’ feelings and the supervisors’ decision.

“No one has called with any concerns,” he said. “Nothing was done in secret.”

Ferguson said all but three homeowners signed the document. Ferguson said regardless, the process will “press forward.”

“There were plenty of emails,” he said. “I overly communicated … I guess we will have to see where the weak link is.”

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.

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