We’ve been trying to unravel the mess that are Stoneybrook’s roads for the past week or two.

The stakes are high, because if it’s proven that the roads are owned by the public (which seems to be the case) it will forever alter the Stoneybrook HOA’s ability to establish or enforce street parking rules.

It could potentially also mean the end of the Stoneybrook security guards being able to prevent anyone from entering the community. Or even stopping people for any reason, even just to check identification.

When Stoneybrook HOA member Joe Mikulka recently stood before the Board of Supervisors of the Gateway Services District and complained that Stoneybrook’s roads were transferred from the developer to the CDD rather than the HOA – we thought he had a point.

All the other developers in Gateway transferred their roads to the HOA, allowing the HOA to establish parking rules. Why didn’t that happen in Stoneybrook? Seems unfair.

Yesterday I published 3 documents and 1 screenshot image on the Gateway Sun Facebook page and then put up the bat-signal asking for help interpreting what I was looking at.

In the first document, what I saw was that the northern section of Gateway Boulevard and Stoneybrook’s roads were legally two separate tracts of lands, identified in the plans as TRACT “A-1” and TRACT “A” respectively.

I was also able to find two documents establishing the transfer of TRACT “A-1” (Gateway Blvd) to the GSCDD, and published both of those as well.

Here’s how one expert described those two documents: “The reason there are two deeds is because there are two ‘potential’ owners of interest in Tract A-1. One is the Warranty Deed or the actual conveyance of the right-of-way from US Homes to the GSD; this is the one that counts. This is the one that physically changes the ownership from US homes to GSD. The second one, the Quit Claim Deed, simply transfers any interests that the HOA have, or may have, in Tract A-1. It doesn’t mean that the HOA had any interests, just if they did, they no longer have any interests. This would be like me giving you a Quit Claim Deed to my next door neighbor’s house. I can do that, that is a legal deed, but I am literally giving you nothing.”

But I was unable to find any documentation that transferred TRACT “A” (Stoneybrook’s roads) to the Gateway Services District. So I specifically asked if the TRACT “A-1” transfer would have the TRACT “A” transfer wrapped up within it. Are the tracts linked?

Said the expert: “From what I see, Tract A-1 and Tract A are two separate things. This documents provided only apply to Tract A-1, Gateway Blvd. Somewhere else there must be a transfer of Tract A.”

But there doesn’t appear to be.

So if there isn’t, would that mean Stoneybrook’s roads would technically still belong to the developer?

“Supposedly the roads were built using bond funds. To get the bond funds, I think the underlying ownership has to be a governmental agency,” said the expert.

And therein may lie the answer to Mikulka’s question as to why the GSCDD was given the roads and not the Stoneybrook HOA.

It also makes more sense that the TRACT “A” transfer documents are somewhere and I just cannot find them, than the possibility that the roads were actually never legally transferred to the GSCDD.

(You see now why it might be helpful if people could go through the GSCDD’s records from 2007? Ahem.)

Anyway, we are one small step closer to getting to the bottom of all this.

I’d like to thank the expert who took the time to respond.

UPDATE: About 8 hours after publishing this story, we were sent documentation proving that TRACT “A” was transferred directly to the GSCDD section by section as Stoneybrook was built out.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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