East Greenwich Authorizes Lawsuit Against Beazer Homes

east greenwich webby Robert Holt

MICKLETON – At their meeting on Aug. 25, the East Greenwich Township Committee authorized legal action against developer Beazer Homes for unfinished work at The Gatherings of East Greenwich.

A large number of Gatherings residents attended the meeting to voice their opinions, and their complaints included serious drainage problems, soggy conditions, and cracked asphalt.

The Gatherings, located in Clarksboro, is a 55 plus community. Homeowners Association President Meg Cossaboon noted that a letter from Beazer indicated that the Gatherings work would be finished in August. But a recent message pushed that completion date back to about November.

“There was always an excuse,” commented Gatherings Board of Trustees member Frank Cossaboon. “We are not asking Beazer to do any more than they promised to do.”

“We are not making up things.”

East Greenwich Deputy Mayor Jim Philbin pointed out that the Cossaboons had been attending Committee meetings religiously regarding the Gatherings repairs for many months. “We want to see action,” Philbin stated. “I was raised on the idea of accountability, and that’s all you’re asking of Beazer.”

“The drainage issues here have been well documented,” said Gatherings resident Jim Meehan. “I’ve observed cracks in the surface of the tennis court.”

“Beazer’s letter says they have made great strides and progress,” Meehan added. “We say where?”

Suzanne Gibson noted that her home’s driveway gets all the water that doesn’t drain anywhere else, and it freezes over in the winter. Tom Gaskill added, “To this date, nothing has been done.” Another resident said people were slipping and falling from a three inch ice buildup in the winter, and questioned his liability as an owner.

“Beazer promised repairs at our bocce court,” Tony Malone observed. “But I didn’t pinpoint what century that was.”

Frank Cossaboon emphasized that the Gatherings residents in attendance had come out on two hours notice, saying, “Their complaints must be addressed in the right sequence in a timely way.”

A representative from Beazer was scheduled to attend the meeting, but did not attend. Earlier in the year the Committee authorized Solicitor Mark Shoemaker to send a 30 day notice to Beazer’s bonding company for the uncompleted work.

Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri suggested that the Committee take action. “The last time Beazer was in front of us they promised action.” Back in March, developer representative Bill Ryan said Beazer was committed to finishing the work at The Gatherings.

“Timetables have been laid out, and have not been met,” added Philbin. So the Deputy Mayor moved that the Committee authorize Shoemaker to file a lawsuit against Beazer and its bond council for work not completed.

Elsewhere, the Committee introduced a bond ordinance in the amount of $532,500 for the paving of Swedesboro Avenue. “The money will come back to the township in a grant,” pointed out Bottiglieri.

The Committee also executed an amended shared services agreement with Woolwich Township for the electrical subcode official. Philbin said that East Greenwich’s official retired July 1.

And the Committee accepted the resignation of Kenneth Ciaramelli as municipal court data entry clerk. “He was a part time employee of the court and made a personal decision,” explained Bottiglieri. “Ken did a great job.”

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