NORMAN — A developer has been ordered to make an estimated $3.2 million in improvements to an exclusive gated community in northwest Norman.
In a ruling issued a week ago, a Cleveland County judge found against William Dow Hamm III and his company and in favor of 11 residents of the Ashton Grove neighborhood, including University of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops.
According to the ruling, Hamm must demolish electronic entrance gates, which residents say are unsafe, and replace them with new gates built with traffic turnarounds. The Texas-based developer also must replace fencing and repay money to some residents who were overcharged homeowner association fees.
The community is the first phase of a six-phase development north of Rock Creek Road and east of 48th Avenue NW.
Attorney John Hastie, one of five attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said his clients were satisfied with the ruling. "It’s clearly in our favor,” he said.
Hamm’s attorney, David Morse, could not be reached for comment.
Stoops and his wife, Carol, and 10 other families, including several prominent physicians, complained to the Norman City Council in 2005 that Hamm was not living up to promises he made when he sold them their property. The residents filed a lawsuit in 2006.
"Our greatest concern is the entrance gates. Cars back up at the gates and into Rock Creek Road with no way to turn around if they can’t get through,” resident Jeff Nees said.
OU basketball coach Jeff Capel is a resident, but was not a party to the lawsuit.
"He moved in after the lawsuit was already filed,” Hastie said.
District Judge Tom Lucas has given Hamm 45 days to begin building new entrances and fencing and 90 days to complete the construction.