Sunrise Hills bills topic Friday


Sonora City Council members Friday will consider approving an agreement between the city and owners of some of the lots in the Sunrise Hills subdivision over payments for improvements in the development.

In January 2000, the City Council declared an "ultimate loss" on the then-undeveloped and legally entangled lots and voted to call in bonds that had been sold on the project with the promise that when or if money came in on the property, the investors would receive a share based on the amount of their investment.

Bondholders were told at that time to surrender their bonds and were issued certificates in place of the bonds, entitling them to the appropriate share of money eventually collected.

If adopted Friday, the agreement would now allow property owners who own those certificates to use them toward paying assessments for improvements to the property.

In 1993, bond investors put up $7.9 million for the project, with the money to be used to make improvements on the property, which includes 87 residential lots on the hillside overlooking Sonora's historic downtown. The council agreed to sell the bonds and form the Sunrise Hills Assessment District to pay for roads, sewers and utilities.

Approximately $407,000 in delinquent assessments is owed the city on both residential and commercial properties in the project.

City Finance Director Pat Perry said approval of the agreement would not affect residential lot owners who have already built homes, are now building homes or who own lots and plan to build later in what is now called Morning Star unless they choose to use certificates to pay their own assessments.

In addition to the residential lots, the project includes 13 commercial parcels and a 32-acre still-undeveloped residential area on top of the hill. Three of the commercial parcels have buildings in place.

The agreement would require all taxes and assessments be made current, Perry said.

The Union Democrat
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