According to Ian Rolland, receiver for the Oakwood Foundation, discussions are still at an impasse with the Oakwood Property Owners Association regarding Oakwood Park’s 2004 covenants.
The property owners want Rolland and prospective buyer Dr. Rex Parent, to provide them access to the beach and waterfront in front of the Oakwood Inn in perpetuity. Rolland and Parent offered them a 30-foot easement on foundation property to the water while the property owners are asking for an easement 125 feet long by 40 feet long.
In a phone interview, Rolland said he knew the property owners met Saturday, Aug. 11, and chose to support the board. However, a group of property owners offered to serve as an alternative to the board and asked to work with Rolland.
Rolland said he has negotiated in good faith, but as there is no positive result yet, he feels his time has been wasted. He and his attorneys will implement the plan they recently developed to push things forward.
That plan involves abolishing certain covenants. Rolland explained his attorneys feel the covenants in question may not have been adopted properly in the first place. “We don’t relish taking these step. We’re still at an impasse, but the ball is in the OPOA’s court,” he said.
“If the OPOA wants to submit a final proposal, I’ll consider,” Rolland said, adding it was his understanding “there is some action taking place within the property owners association.”
A few weeks ago, Rolland and Parent thought they had a deal the OPOA could agree on when OPOA President Mark Knecht suddenly resigned. Rick Williams, acting president, informed Rolland the board was rejecting what had been originally proposed and negogiations would have to start over.
Rolland stressed Parent’s desire is for the property owners be able to use the Oakwood facilities, where they could swim and sunbathe on the beach. Parent wants to be a good neighbor. The OPOA came back wanting to know what would happen if Parent wasn’t around. That’s when the offer of a 30-foot easement was proposed as a way to protect the property owners access to the water.
“The easement OPOA wants, 125 feet by 40 feet, is huge. It would cost around a million dollars,” Rolland said. “Rex is trying to be reasonable. I’m trying to be reasonable. OPOA has already driven away one buyer, it could run another away.
“It’s to their advantage to get a deal. At this point it’s up to them to come up with a deal that reflects some of the things we can live with. I’ve tried to be patient, but these people make it hard.”
Rolland will hold a meeting with the property owners at Calvary United Methodist Church in Syracuse. He explained he is required to hold such a meeting as part of the covenants.
Rolland, as the foundation representative, has the right to abolish portions of the covenant. The meeting is to answer the property owners questions and inform the property owners what is going to happen.
After the meeting Rolland will go to Kosciusko County Superior Court I Judge Duane Huffer.
Rolland said he thought some OPOA members are having second thoughts since meeting last week.
As for Parent, he is solid about purchasing the property and is willing to be a good neighbor. “They’re (Oakwood Park residents) not going to do much better.”
An email was sent to Williams asking if there had been any developments in the discussions with Rolland. Williams responded, “No comment.”