Via the Longboat Key News — Colony owners vote, face town
Editor & Publisher
It was a vote of affirmation for Colony Association of Unit Owners President Jay Yablon.
The beleaguered Yablon, who had been chastised the day prior at commission meeting for a lack of progress in redeveloping the 18-acre resort was re-appointed to his position as President and represents a clear majority of the owners.
In fact, the outcome of the vote reflects the very division between owners and ownership interests that Yablon must resolve before any redevelopment can occur.
The Colony is bound by condominium law in needing a 75 percent vote of its 230 unit owners in order to make any substantial material change to the property. Yablon said that of the five seats up for election to the 9-person Colony Board, all are in agreement to support JHM Financial Group. Yablon said on average the five candidates who won received anywhere between 95 and 111 votes. The five candidates who did not win received between 67 and 88 votes. Part of the redevelopment dilemma is that owner Andy Adams controls more than 50 votes and in the election did not side with the Association and Yablon, nor at this point is not aligned with JHM Financial Group. In fact, any successful redevelopment proposal will require successfully obtaining Adams’ support.
At the town commission meeting prior to the association vote last Monday, Colony founder Murf Klauber said he too, is supporting the efforts of JHM Financial Group, and believes an agreement is near.
“We had a group come in and they tried to destroy the Colony and they did destroy it, we built it and ran it and it is destroyed – it’s a fact,” Klauber continued, “I don’t have any money, and they’ve taken my home because it has mold. Let me see who I can blame, St. Denis, your attorney, your planning and zoning director. When I write the story, I’ll be a very lucky guy, I’ll probably get $10 for it. But at this particular moment, we may have the right group in JHM. I love Longboat Key, and I love The Colony. We’ve got to make it happen.”
Unit owner Elsie Kearns said that after a seven-and-a-half hour meeting with the developer, she has tremendous hope for the future.
Commissioner Jack Duncan said although he appreciated the “Kumbaya attitude” there still has not been any 75 percent approval, ever, of anything, by the unit owners.
Yablon told the commission that JHM will not agree to any contract until the board can gain the necessary vote.
At one point, redevelopment task force representative Tom Aposporos suggested the town stop grandfathering the tourism units, take them back, and hold a referendum to reallocate them as the commission sees fit.
Many unit owners after the meeting said that any move by the town to take away the tourism units would be met with litigation. One owner said that The Colony had operated continuously with the same number of units for 40 years and that because the town failed to reflect this reality in its zoning codes, is the fault of the town and not the owners of the resort.
For the time being, Yablon said he and JHM will continue negotiating to get past the 75 percent threshold.
For the complete article, click here —–>