Tulare may turn to the courts to finally force completion of the Del Lago Subdivision.
Nunley-Owned Company Defaults
Begun in the first decade of the 2000s, the subdivision reached a point in 2015 when upgrades to the area surrounding it should have been completed.
Owners of Del Lago Place–a limited liability corporation and one of several companies that participated in the construction of the subdivision–originally agreed to move utility lines in the area underground, as well as to provide an access road to nearby Mooney Boulevard. That work was never completed.
Del Lago Place (DLP) is owned in part by Greg Nunley, a recently defeated former member of the Tulare City Council. Also listed in state documents as owners of DLP are Don Daniels and Frank Ray Golden.
In a closed session held Tuesday, November 15, members of the newly-constituted Tulare City Council met with their attorneys to discuss options for compelling payment from the bonding company that backed Del Lago Place’s development agreement. The preparations for possible legal action follow an October decision to declare DLP in default in its development agreement with the city.
“It was council’s decision to declare the allegation of default,” said Mayor Dennis Mederos, who is coincidentally also an attorney. “Now it’s between the attorney and bonding company.”
The city filed a claim with the bonding company that has since been denied, prompting the need to consider legal action.
Multiple Deadline Extensions
The original development agreement between Nunley’s company and the city was inked in 2013, and the city began seeking completion of the work in 2015, when an extension was granted.
In June of 2016, after Nunley was elected to the council, a second extension on completion of the work was granted, followed by further extensions each year until 2019.
Then, before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and its concomitant financially-damaging fallout, what was intended to be a final six-month extension was granted. That was extended repeatedly until the council decided to force the matter with its declaration of default in October.
Mederos said the council decided enough was enough.
“We have a work of improvement that the city of Tulare hopes would have been completed years ago,΅ he said. “Basically, the position of the city, as reflected by its vote, that the time has come for this to take place.”
The Final Option
With Nunley now apparently out of the way, a final resolution on how and when the work will be completed should be forthcoming.
Because of an unrelated conflict of interest with its standing city attorney, Tulare will be represented by special counsel Mandy Jeffcoach in matters involving DLP. Jeffcoach has previously represented the city in claims by Tulare police officers, and represented the Tulare Local Healthcare District in the past.
Mederos said intent now is to complete the project quickly in a businesslike manner.
“Now that it’s in discussion and potential litigation, our hope is that those who are negotiating for the city with the bonding company to get this completed to everyone’s satisfaction,” he said.
The Del Lago Subdivision–bordered by Prosperity Avenue in the south, Cartmill Avenue to the north, Hillman Street to the west and Mooney Boulevard to the east–has no eastern egress onto Mooney, which is also a state highway. The goal now is to secure the funds to rectify that lack.
“We want the resident to be able to safely get in and out of Mooney Boulevard as originally intended,” Mederos said.