Isles dispute settled

aerial-BGIsles-3sistersOn Friday, May 1, The Boca Grande Isles Property Owners’ Association and 5F, LLC closed on a settlement agreement resolving a dispute that stretches back several years to Sunset Realty’s sale of plats to the Isles and subsequent sale of submerged plats surrounding the Isles to 5F’s predecessor.

The case itself was sparked by BGIPOA’s need to repair a private bridge, the only access by road to the Isles, and a subsequent dispute over their right to do so, given that 5F owns the submerged land that it spans.

In January, both the plaintiff, BGIPOA, and 5F, the defendant, filed a joint motion to the case management plan, and in support of that motion stated, among other things, that both parties were “actively pursuing settlement negotiations.”

This is a global agreement that not only resolves the case regarding title to the land around the Boca Grande Isles Bridge, it also resolves 25 years of conflict over access to portions of Three Sisters Subdivision, as well as conflicts regarding submerged properties adjacent to Boca Grande Isles.

At the BGIPOA annual meeting in March, the Settlement Agreement was overwhelmingly approved by 95 percent of the BGIPOA membership.

The amended case management plan included a March 15, 2015, deadline by which parties had to complete some form of alternative dispute resolution. According to that plan, mediation is mandatory unless the parties agreed to another form of alternative dispute resolution.

That motion to amend was filed with the Lee County court on January 20, 2015, and a notice of mediation was filed the following day that states both parties agreed to the mediation.

The result of the most recent conference with the mediator is given in his report as a “contingent settlement, subject to and contingent upon a final settlement agreement to be concluded by counsel.”

BGIPOA now has clean title to the bridge and land around the bridge, and is working towards replacement of the bridge this fall.

5F gains access over the private bridge and roads of Boca Grande Isles to the lots they own on Three Sisters Island. 5F will combine their 11 lots in to not more than six lots. These will be for sale in the near future.

The settlement agreement also includes the transfer of title to submerged lands to more than 40 adjacent property owners, and payments to BGIPOA, which will cover the cost of replacing the bridge.

Completion of all of the terms and conditions of this agreement should occur no later than October 15, 2016.