On Sunday, March 3, 2024, BNN reported that developers in Sarasota County, Florida are seeking the removal of the judge presiding over an ongoing legal battle regarding a century-old water supply contract.

The controversy began last year when the Gran Paradiso Property Owners Association challenged the validity of a 2018 irrigation agreement between the West Villages Improvement District. Judge Hunter W. Carroll initially ruled in favor of the homeowners’ association, finding issues with how the contract was approved and advertised according to legal standards. He further characterized some terms of the agreement as “obscene.”

In response, entities tied to developer Mattamy Homes filed a motion calling for Judge Carroll to be recused from the case, citing potential bias. Specifically, they pointed to his past involvement with a nonprofit that had connections to a key figure involved in approving the disputed contract. If successful, their motion would result in a new judge overseeing further legal proceedings.

The dispute highlights tensions between developers’ interests and property owners’ rights regarding resource management and community governance issues. As one of Florida’s fastest-growing regions, Sarasota County must balance the needs of infrastructure expansion with resident accountability. How judges interpret long-term contracts and their impacts could influence future negotiations between associations and developers across similar booming areas.



Source: BNN