Confusion at council meeting over Limerick Lake Estates development

·8 min read

At the July 19 Limerick Township council meeting, an update was provided on Limerick Lake Estates, including a discussion on the proceedings of the planning committee meeting on July 12 with regard to the development. This involved several items like moving toward ascertaining the amount of the maintenance guarantee on the storage building and the docks, finalizing the development’s road names and some confusion with regard to Can-Ray Group’s involvement in the Limerick Lake Estates development and a Welcome to Limerick Lake Estates package being circulated by real estate agents to prospective buyers.

Limerick Lake Estates will eventually consist of 118 lots that will be up to an acre or more in area, with a total area of 320 acres. The whole development boasts over 4,000 feet of shoreline and multiple recreational opportunities at the fingertips of potential buyers. It is owned by Trident Members Inc. and their legal counsel is Al Burton from Thomson Rogers LLP. Kirsten Musgrove from O’Flynn, Weese LLP is the township’s lawyer. Murray Davenport from M.J. Davenport and Associates, is Trident Members’ engineer, while Chris Bent from Jewell Engineering is the engineer for the township. In addition to council and staff, Burton and Davenport were at the July 12 planning committee meeting, while Musgrove and Bent were not present.

At the July 12 planning committee meeting, Councillor Glenn Locke, the chair of the committee, introduced Limerick Lake Estates for discussion and asked Mayor Carl Stefanski about it. Stefanski had a query about the 18 point list of items to accomplish to get the development going forward.

Councillor Jan MacKillican said that the list they were currently working off of was from the last letters exchanged between Musgrove and Burton, and was based upon the original 18 points, but now they were into subsets of that.

“So, the 18-point list is from quite a while ago. For example, the condo agreement which we’re trying to get approved now is just one of those 18 points. I don’t know if that helps, but that’s how we got here,” she says.

Burton agreed, and said that was a fair summary. He said the 18-point list was from his recollection, from April or May of 2020 that Musgrove had circulated.

“Since then, we’ve done a number of things that have crossed off items but gotten into some other matters that weren’t on the list but reared their head, so to speak,” he says.

Stefanski then asked Burton if there had been any progress on the deferred items between the legal counsel. Burton said there had been no further discussion on the resolution of the maintenance guarantee on the storage building and the docks at this point. He said that Davenport had sent a number of items to Musgrove the previous week. Tisdale said she had gotten an email from Musgrove confirming she’d gotten the documents and that she had sent them to Jewell Engineering for review. While there was no answer yet on the maintenance guarantee, there should be one soon.

With regard to the road names, while they initially thought that they need to pick one last name, they realized that everything had been settled and that the road names were all picked and it was a done deal.

Tisdale next broached the subject of the Welcome Limerick Lake Estates package that had been circulating around.

“I received phone calls from multiple realtors over the past couple of weeks about this package. The last realtor that called sent me a copy of it. Money has been requested and changed hands, the package has been sent out and it has inaccurate information in it. There’s false advertising in it for four season cottages [the Limerick Lake Estates development is a three-season development]. It’s something I thought that should be brought to your attention,” she says.

Tisdale said she had spoken with Ivan Pavkovic, the owner of the land that Limerick Lake Estates will be built on, and Burton, and neither knew anything about it and had given no permission to anyone else to sell lots or homes on their behalf. Burton reiterated that it was not his client doing this.

“He’s not selling anything because there are no approvals in place, and he’s not taking any deposits. And my client is the owner of the lands. So quite frankly, I’m not entirely certain what this marketing package purports to be. It’s never been reviewed by my office; sales agreements would have to be reviewed by my office before they were signed by any prospective buyer. I can’t enlighten you. I don’t know what this purports to be, but it’s not my client doing this,” he says.

Burton also clarified that the properties were not going to be for sale until the development was registered.

A caller on the Zoom meeting that day, A.A. [initials used to protect his identity] said that he and his wife had signed a sales agreement and made a deposit for the Limerick Lake Estates through a company called Can-Ray Group, who are advertising the development on their website and taking deposits to reserve spots. He sent all the documentation to Tisdale so she could review it and said he had come onto the call to make sure he wasn’t getting scammed.

Burton reiterated again that he and his client knew nothing about this and that they had a number of things to do before they get to the point where they can begin to sell properties.

“I do not know and certainly my client does not know what these potential sales agreements are all about but they’re not coming from us,” he says.

At that point, Raymond Grant, the president of Can-Ray Group, asked to speak. He said that his company was not selling anything, but were just reserving spots in the development, and he said he had Pavkovic’s permission to do so.

A.A. said that he was not told that it was to reserve a lot and was told that they were buying it and the house that would be built on it, and were even given a closing date.

Grant replied that was not possible, as they were just reserving. He also mentioned that Can-Ray will be building the houses for Limerick Lake Estates.

“I’m here representing Can-Ray Group. I’m not stealing or trying to rob anybody of anything. I’ve been working with Ivan [Pavkovic] for 10 years and I’ve known about the project. I’ve visited the project many times and I’ve gone to meetings with Ivan. So, like I said, it’s just being reserved and there’s lots of interest,” he says.

Answering a question from Stefanski, Grant said that they had 40 to 45 reservations so far for Limerick Lake Estates.

At that point, Stefanski suggested that the meeting go into closed session to protect the identity of identifiable individuals, and the committee agreed. They then moved on to the next item of business that day for the committee.

At the July 19 meeting, Mayor Carl Stefanski asked Victoria Tisdale, the clerk and treasurer, to provide an update on what transpired at the planning committee meeting July 12 with regard to Limerick Lake Estates. She said there had been discussion on several items like moving toward ascertaining the amount of the maintenance guarantee for the storage facility and the docks, finalizing the development’s road names and some confusion with regard to a Welcome Limerick Lake Estates package being circulated by real estate agents, and the involvement of a company called Can-Ray Group.

After Tisdale had given the update, Councillor Jan MacKillican suggested that it would be good to reiterate what they were going to say as a council about this whole matter of what was going on with Limerick Lake Estates, considering there were questions still remaining.

“We need to be wary about what we can say. There are questions about the realtors’ input and the developer’s input. Essentially the development has not been registered and lots are not to be sold at this time until it has been registered,” she says.

Stefanski agreed there were some troublesome aspects to it and felt that some parties were not being upfront with them. For instance, he said that Grant’s revelation that they had 40 to 45 reservations was incorrect and that there were actually 68 reservations. Tisdale also felt it was all very strange, and added that on the sales document she’d seen [sent to her by A.A.] that the seller was listed as Limerick Lake Development Inc. not Trident Members Inc. She had subsequently spoken to Musgrove about it.

“She said [potential buyers] may enter into a purchase and sale but the condition must be upon final registration of the development plan. I wouldn’t hand over any money until it’s been finalized but that’s up to personal discretion,” she says.

With the confusion regarding Can-Ray’s involvement with Limerick Lake Estates and whether it was authorized by Pavkovic or not, Stefanski made it clear that the township and council have nothing to do with the Limerick Lake Estates project, to preclude any of them being brought into any potential litigation because a potential buyer didn’t practice caveat emptor, or buyer beware.

Tisdale said in an email on July 22 to The Bancroft Times that she was aware that there seems to be some mixed answers.

“We did some digging of our own, and upon speaking with our lawyer [Musgrove] the fact that they seem connected, even though they deny it,” she says. That’s why it is a liability for me [and the township council] to say anything other than entering a purchase and sale should have a condition that the deal isn’t finalized until the condo and subdivision agreements are registered.”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times

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