July 8, 2004
An investigation into homeowners’ complaints by the Arizona Department of Real Estate has cleared Richmond American Homes of failing to disclose Chandler’s waste transfer station and plans to expand it.
Department spokesman Jerome Jordan said Fulton Homes is still under investigation for similar complaints.
State law requires developers to produce a public report describing the condition of the land, all utilities and adjacent land uses next to homes. Homebuilders are then required to give prospective home buyers a copy of the report.
Jordan said five homeowners in southeast Chandler filed complaints about nondisclosure of the city’s waste transfer station, 3200 S. McQueen Road, with the real estate department, which is charged with upholding statutes regarding homebuilders.
One of those homeowners, Richmond American Homes’ Saguaro Canyon resident Scott Barmore, filed his complaint in February. He received a letter from the department June 22 stating Richmond American had disclosed the transfer station because it was considered part of the landfill operation at 3850 S. McQueen Road — and the homebuilder had disclosed the landfill.
But the department also sent Richmond American a nondisciplinary "letter of concern" advising the homebuilder that its "actions were improper" and it should be more specific in future disclosures.
"I was pretty disappointed," Barmore said. "They just seemed to make excuses for the homebuilders."
Barmore requested in June that the department reopen its investigation, but was told the case would not be reopened.
Dave Siegel, director of the Chandler Municipal Utilities Department, said the transfer station and landfill have always been separate operations with different addresses because they are not located on the same property. He said the two properties, separated by a canal, were even purchased by the city at different times.
Fulton Homes’ Lantana Ranch resident DeWitt Gibson filed a complaint in November against Fulton for not disclosing the transfer station or the expansion plans. Gibson said he didn’t get a response until March and his concerns were not addressed.
Jordan said Fulton, which is still under investigation, did amend its public report in April to include a disclosure of the transfer station and possible expansion plans. If Fulton is found to have violated state law, it could face civil penalties of up $1,000 in fines, have its license revoked or have its public report suspended.
He said Richmond American was not required to amend its public report to include the transfer station.