Adding to the growing pile of condo contract litigation, the developers of The Gulch's Terrazzo have answered charges leveled against them by a purchaser.
Last week, the defendants fired back with a detailed response that looks to sink plaintiff Robert Elliott's claim that his purchasing contract is void under the Interstate Land Sale Full Disclosure Act.
The response and counterclaim filed on behalf of CJUF Terrazzo by attorneys Phillip F. Cramer and L. Webb Campbell of Sherrard & Roe state outright that the Land Act is “inapplicable” in Elliott's case according to “the plain language of the statute, the legislative history, HUD regulations, the HUD Interpretative Guidelines and numerous advisory opinions issued by HUD.”
The filing argues the Terrazzo was exempt from the Land Act because the statute allows projects to be exempt simultaneously under both its 99-unit and two-year construction time exemption. The argument interprets the statute to consider a development's unit capacity as determined by contracts entered into, not the number of units planned.
“Thus under the Land Act, a condominium project with, for example, 150 units, may rely on the One Hundred Lot exemption for 99 of the units and the Improved Lot exemption for the remaining 51 units,” the filing reads.
In a statement to NashvillePost.com, Sherrard & Roe attorney C. Mark Carver said Terrazzo's backers also will seek damages from Elliott “due to his failure to close on the unit as required by the purchase contract. The developer has complied with all of the requirements under Mr. Elliott’s contract.”
Elliott's attorney William Hawkins of Jones Hawkins & Farmer says the matter of exemption is far from clearly established.
“Predictably, they are relying on an exemption that doesn't exist in my opinion," he said.