Peninsula owners want more time to build clubhouse

November 15, 2010

A long-standing issue concerning the construction of a clubhouse and nature center at The Peninsula on the Indian River Bay will resurface for the second time before Sussex County officials.

Land Tech Receiver Services LLC, the court-appointed receivership for Peninsula at Long Neck LLC, has filed an application to modify one of the conditions placed on approval of the project back in 2002. The company is asking the county to extend the time to construct the community’s golf clubhouse and nature center facilities. The same request was made in July 2008 based on the slumping real estate market.

At that time, 400 units had been sold. County officials ordered the developer, at the time, Ribera-Odyssey LLC, to build the nature center immediately and begin construction of the clubhouse within two years with substantial completion within 3 1/2 years. In addition, a bond or letter of credit was also required guaranteeing completion of the projects. County council passed that resolution Dec. 9, 2008.

Lawrence Lank, director of county planning and zoning, said the original condition required all amenities to be constructed within two years of the issuance of the first building permit. During the time of the 2008 application, the developer asked the county to modify the condition to allow for construction of the clubhouse to commence after 500 golf memberships had been issued. Nature center construction would begin following that.

Two years ago, there were 60 club members. Sussex County planning and zoning commissioners have scheduled a new public hearing at 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 18, in the county administration building on The Circle in downtown Georgetown.

The Peninsula, which features a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course among its many amenities, went into receivership, a form of bankruptcy in which a company can avoid liquidation by reorganizing with the help of a court-appointed trustee, Oct. 14, 2009. Located off Bay Farm Road and Route 24,

The Peninsula is one of the largest subdivisions ever approved by Sussex with more than 1,400 units comprising single-family homes, town homes and condominiums ranging in price from $300,000 to $600,000. The first residents moved into the development in August 2005.

During the Nov. 9 county council meeting, Councilman George Cole, R-Ocean View, said the county has received more than 100 letters in support of delaying construction of the clubhouse. Lank said the only avenue a developer or homeowners association has is to file for an amendment to the site plan.

Land Tech, based in South Carolina, was established in 1980 to assist financial institutions with troubled real estate properties.