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Date of Issue: September 28, 2006

City says Villa Rosa 'nuisance'

greig escape
A slew of rubble is all that remains at the site of the former sales office of GSR Development's Villa Rosa development on South Bay Boulevard in Anna Maria. The city has declared the area a public nuisance and ordered GSR to clean it up. In the background is the $2.5 million model home for the project. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

While some Island wags might have thought financially troubled GSR Development LLC has long been a nuisance on the Island, Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn made it official last week.

That's when the company's Villa Rosa property on South Bay Boulevard was declared a "public nuisance" by public works director George McKay, but not before he and the mayor inspected the property Sept. 14, following removal of the company's leased sales trailer from the site.

A letter from the city to GSR said the company has 20 days from Sept. 18 to get rid of the "trash, junk and garbage" left on the property.

McKay said that during his inspection, he found "construction materials and rubble randomly scattered about," along with "pooled standing water, ‘broken' stair parts, ramp, platform and awning" damage.

If GSR doesn't clean up the mess, the city said it will "proceed to remedy this condition" and bill the cost to GSR. The company then has 30 days to pay the city, or it will impose a lien on the property.

Getting paid, however, could take some time since GSR is already in federal bankruptcy court facing creditor claims of nearly $33 million.

SueLynn said she understood that GSR was in bankruptcy proceedings, but that does not absolve the company from the city's public nuisance ordinance.

She also said GSR has to maintain the property around its model home or that could also become a public nuisance and subject to the same action.

The model home is under contract for purchase by NBA player Theo Ratliff for $2.5 million, but sources involved with the home's construction say considerable more work is needed before the house can meet the city's building standards and receive a certificate of occupancy.