Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lone Tree Condo Saga

This is the Wednesday that we have been waiting for!  Well, really it's the MEETING we have been waiting and waiting for.  Finally we had a meeting with the builder of our still to be built new condo, plus both of our real estate gurus, Beccy and Lynne. Dick wrote up a comprehensive report of  the meeting for the blog :


It's been more than 8 months since we decided that the Lone Tree condominium
development was the best place, with the best units, for us. On Wednesday we
finally had our condo meeting with Beccy,our agent, Lynne Moon, the seller's
agent and Brian Mohr, the builder. We were happy with Beccy's efforts to keep
the meeting on track and to see that our interests were met and our questions
were answered.

What we did not realize before is that Lynne and Brian are not the developers of
Lone Tree, they purchase the lots from the developer and then build the units.
There are three parts of the development. Lone Tree I faces Long Lake Rd and is
a commercial area. Lone Tree II is the area just north on both sides of Lone Pine
Drive, it is an area for 29 duplex condominium units. North of that is Lone Tree III
which is a large single family home subdivision.

Although all 26 of the units which Brian had previously constructed and sold had
been built east of Lone Tree Dr. with the duplex units parallel to the road or
Court, i.e. Hazelnut and Chestnut, apparently when the developer first submitted
plans to Garfield Township for Lone Pine II condominiums, the units west of Lone
Pine Drive were to be perpendicular to the road and facing each other across a
driveway. In fact, one such unit had been built by a different contractor before
Lynne and Brian became involved with Lone Tree.

Despite the fact that Calybr Homes, had already built 2 neighboring duplexes
parallel to and facing Lone Pine Drive, with their upper decks and walkout
basements overlooking the woods and a walking path, the township now insisted
that our unit, lots 45 and 46, as well as units on lots 43 and 44, be built facing
each other and perpendicular to the street with their decks and walkouts facing
each other about 50 feet away.

Lynne had an quite a tale of the meetings she had to attend, the paperwork she
had to fill out, and the folks she had arguments with to try to get permission to
build our unit the way we felt it had to be situated in order for us to proceed. She
indicated that many of the documents she filed required a payment of as much
as $500. Based upon our experiences with our East Bay Township offices, we
have learned that, for some people, the government folks at that level can be
extremely difficult to deal with.

Lynne told us that all permits should be issued next week. This includes not only
permission to build, but to excavate a lower level,to hook up to water and sewer,
as well as electricity. Once they have the permits and after they have time with
children and grandchildren at their somewhat primitive, no WiFi, no TV, lakeside
cottage over the 4th of July, ground will be broken and the building of our new
home will get underway. Brian has set a conservative move in date as the middle
of November. Of course this is extremely tentative depending upon the weather
and potential labor problems. 

One problem that we were unaware of is that when
the Great Recession hit the area and the market for new homes crashed here in
northern Michigan, a large number of the local construction workers left the area
for greener pastures and have not returned. Brian says that he has to set up
appointments for the various crews, plumbers, electricians etc. What do we do if
the place is not finished as November rolls around? That is a bridge that we hope
we will never have to cross. We’ll just have to stay tuned.

Once the permits are ready, we will sit down with Lynne and purchase our lot.
This way, the builder will be dealing with us and not the township. Brian has
agreed that the unit will be built to be handicap accessible and the stairs to the
lower level will be designed to accept a stair lift. I was disappointed to learn that
we could not have a door/slider to a deck off the dining room/kitchen for grilling.
The neighbor's dining room is just through the fire wall. We can modify the lower
level to have an enlarged patio area and have a second slider off the larger of the
lower bedrooms.
And of course, no day is complete without:

Found it 06/26/2014    You found Traditional Cache TC P&G         Visit Log
There were no muggles parked here today. As usual I made the search much more difficult than it needed to be but made the find, signed the log and replaced the container where we found it. TFTC

Found it 06/26/2014    You found Traditional Cache T.C. PARK AND GRAB SOUTH         Visit Log
We are not sure whether we should get one smiley or two for this find. After scoring a DNF, we talked to the owner at his M&G who said that after reading our DNF log, he had replaced the container, we dashed right back to make the find. (two weeks later) We opened the cache, grabbed the baggie, signed the log and as we placed the log back into the replacement container, (we knew it was because we were the first to sign the fresh log) we found the original cache. What to do? What the heck! We signed that one too. Thanks Peggy for putting the bison tube back. Thanks F&F for the chuckle.