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River’s Edge homeowners sue Pahlisch Homes over planned homes on part of Bend golf course

'Save River's Edge' signs sprout: 'That's not what we were promised and that's not what we relied on when we bought our homes'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Several homeowners in the River’s Edge community are suing Pahlisch Homes in an attempt to stop the company from replacing much of the golf course with more homes.

Jeffery Kramer is one of 10 homeowners in the Hidden Ridge neighborhood of River's Edge on Bend's Westside who are suing Pahlisch Homes.

"When you promise people something, and they rely on it, you can't pull the rug out from under them and change the rules of the game,” Kramer said Thursday.

Pahlisch Homes announced earlier this year plans to purchase roughly 50 percent of the existing golf course and build houses.

"Now they want to change the rules. They want to pave over the golf course and pack it with streets and homes,” Kramer said. “And that's not what we were promised, and that's not what we relied on when we bought our homes."

Kramer claimed homeowners have a right to legally enforce that promise through what's known as an "equitable servitude."

"In connection to real property, when you make promises to people, and you know they're going to rely on it, and they do rely on it, you're then obligated to fulfill those promises,” said Kramer, a retired lawyer. 

Jessica Seidel, senior director of marketing with Pahlisch Homes, said they want to listen to the voices of the community, while trying to help combat the community's housing crisis.

"Bend has a lot of needs as a community as a whole, and the more we can kind of take a step back and look at those needs and try to address them in a more macro version, the better,” Seidel said. 

In an effort to hear the voices of the community, Pahlisch hosted an open meeting earlier this summer, and will have another in the fall.

The homeowners filing the lawsuit are being represented by Martin Hansen, a Bend attorney who was involved in the Mountain High case, where homeowners at the Old Back Nine Golf course argued a similar claim, and won.

Kramer is a retired lawyer himself and says he feels very confident they can make their case.

"I've been a lawyer for nearly 40 years. I've never seen a case this strong,” Kramer said. 

NewsChannel 21 asked Seidel whether with the current lawsuits the company has considered altering or stopping the project.

"We're really committed to not only River's Edge but Bend as a whole,” Seidel said. 

Kramer said this is the only lawsuit at the moment, but other neighborhoods in River's Edge could soon follow.

"The fact is that if we win this lawsuit, the entire community benefits,” Kramer said. 

In the interest of transparency, NewsChannel 21 wants to disclose that an employee of KTVZ's parent company, News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting, is a party to the lawsuit. The employee was not contacted by our news department and in no way influenced our reporting.

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.

Comments

28 Comments

  1. Poor babies have to deal with growth! Try growing up here in the 70s in 80s when the population was still under 20,000. Then all of these rich cry babies found out about Bend, moved here, and destroyed the small wonderful town that it was & now even they have to deal with change. It’s just not fair!

  2. Promise? What promise? Made by who? To whom? ANd none of it in writing?

    Hopefully the judge throws this out. Our area needs homes. It does not need a golf course. You dont like it, move.

    1. All info that would be great to know. C’mon KTVZ, do a little better reporting. Is this promise in any kind of writing? You can’t report about the similarity of the Mountain High case without some facts. in that case, there were promises made…in writing. Is this case similar?

    2. Do you always bloviate without knowing anything? There is written evidence as to Pahlisch’s bait and switch which will be disclosed during the suit. But you wouldn’t know that. You just spew your vile and move on.

  3. Guys, Pahlisch Homes is just thinking about Bend’s “Housing crisis” and totally not the financial incentive of building a bunch of homes on the highly valued Aubrey Butte. LOL

  4. Good for them. Next fight, the lot off Brookswood being sold to Pahlisch by the Central Oregon Irrigation District.
    Who do we sue to stop the massive, unnecessary development of the Pine Ridge Inn property? Developers can’t try to pass that off as needed housing.

    1. So you just want to stop all construction that does not meet your personal approval? And you wonder why construction costs are so high? Let me give you a hint…it is all the extra legal fees they have to build into their operations for all you NIMBY’s.

  5. Don’t have a dog in this fight, but saying that you’re “listening to the community” with no real intention of ever changing your position is about as disingenuous as it gets. I’ve fought city hall and developers before, and the boiler plate response of “thank you so much for your input” (along with that same fake smile that’s almost always there) is the most frustrating part of the process. I would have much more respect for Pahlisch if they would just come out and say go ahead and sue, we’re building cause we can.

    1. Sadly they will if they have them right money. With this current council most of them from commiefornia, rules can be swept aside if the price is right. A good example are the low income apartments being built south of town in Bend just off of ponderosa. And the developer who is a millionaire from Montana will have his property taxes waived for 21 years on the development,while the rest of homeowners will have to continue to pay their property taxes. I hope this text came out readable has my text messaging doesn’t always work right.

  6. It’s a classic “bait and switch.” Sell properties represented as being in a golf community, then shut down the golf course to build more homes. I can’t believe anyone would be pleased about buying one thing and receiving another.

    1. I remember years ago when
      Phalish went to City Hall to complain about dogs barking at the old Mill district park. They were there in the hopes that the old Mill district dog park would be shut down,because there clientele across the river where Palish built homes for the wealthy commiefornians and other out of staters who bought the hideous Phalish homes, actually wanted the dog park in the old Mill district closed. The dog barking was bothering them. Stay tuned for the Bend Pine nursery and other dog parks in Bend being the next hit for close downs so home developments can be built on them.

  7. Build them and they will come and buy them. Bend really wants to be a big city and nobody can stop it.

    The developer will offer a settlement, add the expense to the new home cost, sell them fast and repeat. Palisch Homes in Prineville is spreading like a rash and selling faster than they can be built. I expect the new census count will be closer to 30,000 than 20,000 here. s

  8. Pahlish for years has been given carte blanche by the city to clearcut and slap up hundreds of Jerry Built homes. Their future plans call for thousand more within the city limits. They did a number on the forest at McClain Dr, they went in there and wiped out hundreds of ponderosa took everyone of them down. Zero effort to save or build around any of them. Then put in all the infrastructural, roads, plumbing, etc. months ago and now only one house is being built. Every time the wind picks and comes across those vacant lots the existing neighborhoods get covered in dust. So don’t buy into their BS, “in the best interest of the community and custodians of the enviroment”. They see Bend as their honey pot with gullible taxpayers picking up the tab for the infrastructure that is required to support their developments. Here’s hoping the homeowners from Rivers Edge can take em down.

  9. For those that really have an interest in this topic, you should go to SAVERIVERSEDGE.ORG and most specifically the “Resources” and “FAQ” links on that page. You can read the lawsuit filings and discovery details thus far. Homeowners were most definitely made certain representations which have been breached. I think all of us in this area believe that more affordable housing is necessary–but you’re crazy if you think what Pahlisch will be building in River’s Edge will be affordable. Please don’t kid yourselves.

  10. What has been left unsaid in this obvious ‘bait and switch’ operation is that the owner of the land, Wayne Purcell, is just as complicit as Pahlisch Homes. Does anyone who really is aware of this situation, or more accurately swindle, really believe that these two haven’t plotted together for years to lie to the current homeowners in order to inflate their purchase price, knowing full well the plan was to close the course and build even more homes? Greed on top of lies.

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