Resident seeks responsive HOA for Greens at Wyoming

By Mike Finney
Posted 4/19/24

Residents of The Greens at Wyoming are attempting to get control of their neighborhood after they say their concerns have been ignored by an out-of-state homeowners association.

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Resident seeks responsive HOA for Greens at Wyoming


WYOMING — Residents of The Greens at Wyoming are attempting to get control of their neighborhood after they say their concerns have been ignored by an out-of-state homeowners association.

The neighbors have a list of complaints: Most of the roads in the development — established in 2005 — remain unfinished, with sewer lids sitting high above the pavement. Plus, there has been no landscaping done, a promised playground was never built, and the ditches in the area are not maintained.

Gwendolyn Colston, a disabled veteran, purchased her newly built Greens at Wyoming home in November 2021.

Increasingly frustrated, she said the community — which contains single-family dwellings and town houses — is “in utter chaos for new homes valued at around $300,000 apiece.”

“My house and several other houses in my development are valued for $250,000-$350,000. The annual homeowners association fee is $300, with no amenities, and the community is trashed.”

After several unanswered attempts to address the situation with the homeowners association declarant, she filed a legal complaint against the group, revealed by court documents to actually be a single individual, Sean Marcus of Danbury, Connecticut.

Ms. Colston filed the lawsuit through Kent County Chancery Court, and she is awaiting a court date.

Multiple attempts to contact Mr. Marcus on Friday were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Ms. Colston said several additional issues have been discovered in her neighborhood, including:

  • Multiple violations of bylaws and title codes under the Delaware Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act
  • There have been no board members appointed since the community was established almost a decade ago.
  • The last annual franchise tax report filed was in 2016.
  • The development has reached full capacity for building and needs to be handed over to homeowners.
  • Through the years, inconsistent budgets have been given to limited residents, and the declarant has not provided annual expenditure reports, nor has there been an audit for distribution of HOA funds. Homeowners do not have official access to any management reports, and all fees are only accepted by check or money order.
  • Negative online reviews pertaining to trash are deterring potential homeowners from purchasing in The Greens.

“I filed the complaint, and the declarant was given the opportunity to respond, but he was very evasive,” said Ms. Colston. “Not only that, but things became discovered during the complaint.

“That’s when we discovered there’s no board. That’s when we discovered that he’s the sole board president with no accountability. ... Then, we also discovered that he doesn’t communicate to the community.”

Ms. Colston’s lawsuit seeks to transfer the association’s authority over to the property owners.

“Several community members and I have contacted the HOA declarant multiple times to address unsanitary living conditions and a list of growing concerns within our neighborhood,” she said. “Unfortunately, the HOA declarant is not a Delaware resident and has been evasive, nonresponsive, and has not made themselves physically present in the development.”

Ms. Colston added that she believes things would be drastically different if the neighborhood were controlled by residents.

“If (residents) got control of the HOA, I think it’s going to be a model community. That’s my goal,” she said. “I think we’re going to set the example and set the standard, and after this gets resolved and we get our community, I want to go and try to change laws in the (legislature) because it shouldn’t be this hard for a homeowner to file a complaint.”

Other residents see need for change

Several other neighbors gathered for a cleanup April 13, attempting to get some of the trash under control.

They had similar concerns as Ms. Colston regarding the future of The Greens.

Kathy Fansler moved into her home on Downey Oak Circle in October 2016.

“When I first moved in (the conditions were better), and since 2016, it’s kind of deteriorated a little bit,” she said. “There’s stuff that has blown over into our ditches. There’s play equipment just sitting there. People have to go around the neighborhood and pick up diapers, condoms, you name it.

“There are no amenities for our children. There’s nothing for them to do, and this was all promised when I bought (my home) in 2016.”

Tanya Gonzalez, who also lives on Downey Oak Circle, moved there in 2010.

“According to the people that have built homes here from the beginning, ... this neighborhood was supposed to be a thriving community for the community — which is the children and the adults,” she said. “The neighborhood I feel has deteriorated.

“There are people parking on their lawns because of a lack of parking, so they just decided to make their own parking on their lawns, which is against the bylaws. I’m a homeowner, and I just want a positive change for all the residents here.”

For her part, Ms. Colston is trying to remain positive, despite fighting a battle that she would rather not have to fight.

“It’s been chaos, but I do hope to have a good community, and a safe community,” she said. “It is good people, despite what the declarant has done, as far as bringing the disunity. There are very good people here in this neighborhood.

“There’s a lot of active-duty (military), a lot of retired people. … There’s just good people here, and they don’t deserve it.”

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