Woodlake Resort & CC Residents File Class-Action Lawsuit

Homeowners in the Vass, N.C., community announced on October 23 that they have filed suit against development owner Woodlake CC Corp. for allegedly causing property values to plummet after repeatedly failing to repair a dam’s deteriorated spillway. The company told residents it could not afford to rebuild the dam.

Residents of the troubled Woodlake Resort and Country Club in Vass, N.C., have joined together to file a class action lawsuit against the company that owns the development, the Southern Pines, N.C., Pilot reported.

The filing was announced October 23 in a statement from the Restore Woodlake Committee, a group whose chairman and co-chair are among the 14 homeowners listed as representatives in the lawsuit, the Pilot reported.

The homeowners blame Woodlake CC Corp. for causing property values to plummet in the gated community. The values began to drop after the state ordered the controlled draining of Lake Surf, the development’s 1,200-acre centerpiece, because of concerns about the stability of its dam in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, the Pilot reported.

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Woodlake CC Corp. was later sued by the state Attorney General’s Office for repeatedly failing to follow through on promises to repair the dam’s deteriorated spillway, the Pilot reported.

An agreement to dismantle the spillway was reached in court between the state and Julie Watson, vice president of Woodlake CC Corp. The state was forced to perform the breach itself after the company failed to meet the court-ordered construction deadlines, the Pilot reported.

Watson later told Woodlake residents that the company could not afford to rebuild the dam, a necessary precursor to refilling the lake. She offered to transfer the empty lake and dam to a group of lakefront homeowners, which had devised a plan to secure funding for the multimillion dollar project, the Pilot reported.

But according to the statement released by the committee, Woodlake CC Corp. “has taken no meaningful action and has provided no update with respect to their stated intent to transfer the lake properties,” the Pilot reported.

“The purpose of this lawsuit is to receive a court-ordered judgment against (Woodlake CC Corp.) for many millions of dollars in lost property value, in addition to the damages suffered by those who have paid ‘membership dues,’” the statement said, referring to the fees paid by residents to use the lake, golf courses and other amenities at the resort. “This judgment will enable us to foreclose on WLCCC properties and force a liquidation of these properties to satisfy the judgment.”

The Restore Woodlake Committee is expected to share more details of the lawsuit during a town hall-style meeting on October 25, the Pilot reported.