Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Daily Herald | Bankrupt Neumann Homes sues towns to return impact fees

Daily Herald | Bankrupt Neumann Homes sues towns to return impact fees: "Neumann Homes Inc., which had been one of the 10 largest homebuilders in the Chicago area before filing bankruptcy last year, has sued more than two dozen municipal governments on a theory that, if valid, could be another hit in already-depressed local budgets.

Neumann, based in Warrenville, sued towns including Antioch; Naperville; Kenosha, Wis.; and Aurora, Colo., to get back impact fees, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago."

This photo shows what they left behind in the subdivision close to my house. They wrecked a huge natural landscape and left it looking like the moon. Then they went bankrupt. Antioch had to fix bad drainage problems, plow snow, etc., and they are in huge budget trouble (see my post above). Now Neumann is suing for their impact fees. From where I sit, Antioch should be suing Neumann for the "impact" they made.

And here is the supreme irony: Antioch tried to stop this development from the outset, refusing to permit it. Neumann Homes sued Antioch and won, with some judge cramming the development down the village's throat. So, this corporate bad citizen sued to impose the development on everybody, then went bankrupt, leaving a devastated landscape, bereft owners, and a village in trouble. And now...they sue Antioch again to get their impact fees back.

This is why people don't like real estate developers. Or their lawyers.


Beth said...

Outrageous. My sympathies to the citizens of Antioch.

Evan McKenzie said...

It is outrageous. It would be hard to calculate the full impact of this failed development on the landscape, the owners, and the village of Antioch. There have been political, economic, social, and environmental consequences that dwarf the piddling impact fees Neumann Homes paid. Now the village has to pay some lawyer to defend them in this ridiculous lawsuit, which is nothing more than an attempt to shaft the public yet again. In urban studies we talk about the public costs of private development, and here is a new one.

Don Nordeen said...

This is a legislative issue for a requirement to post a bond for the completion of the project as approved, or for the restoration if the project can't be completed. The bond issue also applies to projects that are proposed as a collection of separate developments.

There are numerous examples of the consequences to early purchasers of property in CIDs.

By requiring a bond, the bond company would take on the responsibility of determining the viability of the project and the developer.