Fifty-six different owners of units at the Woodcliff Condominiums are disputing the amounts of their disbursements that are part of an almost $8.9 million purchase agreement with the city.
Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Daniel Hawkins received the objections to the disbursements at a June 28 hearing, said Joe Durham, an attorney with Eastman and Smith, who has represented Whitehall in its action against Woodcliff Condominiums.
Whitehall City Council on June 26 formally approved a purchase agreement with the Woodcliff Condominium Unit Owners Association that ended an 11-year battle in the Environmental Division of Franklin County Municipal Court against Woodcliff Condominiums concerning the city's complaints about its condition.
On May 14, the Woodcliff Condominium Unit Owners Association voted 172-77 to accept the city's offer to buy the 317-unit complex at the northeast corner of North Hamilton Road and East Broad Street.
The purchase agreement ends the city's attempt to appropriate the property by eminent domain based on the premise that the property is a nuisance.
"The city maintains that certain nuisance conditions remain in Woodcliff, including defective drainage and plumbing, resulting in unclean and unsanitary conditions," Whitehall City Attorney Michael Bivens said in May.
"The offer to purchase and the acceptance of that offer by all interested parties is a fair and final resolution to abate the Woodcliff Condominium property as a blighted area."
But not all condo owners agreed.
"It's shockingly horrible," John Marette, who last year bought two units at $30,000 each, said in May.
Based on the distribution list -- a table of payouts the receiver will issue to property owners -- Marette will receive $15,450 for each unit.
According to the distribution list, owners of units purchased in 2009, 2010 or 2011 are receiving $35,000 or $45,000 for each unit. A majority of those units are owned by WC Management LLC.
There are a few exceptions. Other units Woodcliff Management owns and those owned by other limited-liability companies and purchased after 2011 also will receive $35,000.
But the distribution list generally indicates a descending amount of buyouts for the most recent purchase dates, with owners who purchased this year receiving as little as $14,450.
Whitehall first filed a complaint against Woodcliff Condominiums in July 2007.
In February 2008, an agreed entry in Municipal Court declared the property a public nuisance.
The first of a string of receivers was appointed in January 2009 and the case remained active, including orders to demolish units that eventually were stayed.
Following an agreed entry signed April 30, owners had until May 29 to file objections, and those objections from 56 owners were heard June 28, Durham said. At a future court date, possibly as early as the first week of July, the court will rule on the objections, he said.
Upon taking possession of the property, the city intends to allow any tenant to reside there through the term of any lease entered into prior to the filing of the order, and offer 12 months for any owner to relocate, according to the agreed entry.