FAIRFIELD — Parkway Gardens should address the delay in establishing a board for the homeowners association at the 240-unit condominium complex, Superior Court Judge Paul Beeman says.
“I don’t want to just keep treading water,” the judge said Friday in court.
He said having so many owners at the development and no five-member board after nearly a year of a court-appointed receiver “is starting to smell a little fishy.”
Ben McGrew, appointed by the court to manage Parkway Gardens, said as many as four people applied for the board, but two rescinded their applications. Three people are now applicants, he said.
Beeman said to beat the bushes, get two more people and “get it done.”
The next court hearing is Oct. 3 and McGrew will report about the homeowners board.
Attorney Toussaint Bailey, representing the city of Fairfield, said during the court hearing that he understands McGrew’s difficulty in seating a board. McGrew wants a strong board for the homeowners association at Parkway Gardens, Bailey said.
Condominium resident Janice Eaton, who filed the lawsuit that led to the city’s involvement and the court appointing a receiver, said everyone is working hard to get owners of Parkway Gardens units to step up.
Eaton in her legal filing last year had said the homeowners association failed to maintain the required five-member board. Fairfield joined the legal action and stated a year ago that the lack of a board affected the ability to police crime and enforce city codes.
Minnie Noble, who lives at the development, thanked McGrew for his hard work and asked that the court return the condominiums back to owners and appoint a board of directors.
“We just can’t continue to pay Mr. McGrew $270 an hour,” Noble said after the court hearing Friday.
“He got us where we are,” Noble said, but added, “He needs to step down.”
The report McGrew submitted to the court for the Friday hearing stated crime at Parkway Gardens “is only a fraction of what was previously documented” and that property values at the Fairfield development have risen substantially.
Fairfield Police Lt. Greg Hurlbut, in a letter included in the court file, wrote, “The data suggests a very healthy outlook for Parkway Gardens at this point with significant reductions in criminal activity and an increase in resident outreach to police.”
Judge Beeman in court referred to an April 13 shooting involving the suspects arrested at Parkway Gardens and pondered whether some people commit crimes and return to the condominiums as a safe haven.
“I don’t want you to think I don’t read the newspaper,” the judge said.
Beeman noted complaints about aggressive enforcement of regulations by a Parkway Gardens resident working under supervision of the court-appointed receiver at Parkway Gardens. Beeman said he understood such rules – involving vehicle towing and notice about noncompliance with homeowners associations regulations – may not have been enforced in recent years.
But the judge added: “We don’t need some vigilante out there thinking he’s John Wayne.”
“The last thing we need is some kind of riot out there,” Beeman said.
The judge also praised Fairfield Police Chief Walt Tibbet, who spoke at the court hearing Friday.
Beeman said he heard Tibbet speak at a Solano County Bar Association event and that the police chief amazed him with insights into crime and its sources.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.