A bulldozer moves dirt last month at the Villages at Hayden subdivision. Construction at the Villages at Hayden and Hidden Springs Ranch has been temporarily put on hold because of a legal dispute between the developers and their contractors.

Photo by Matt Stensland

A bulldozer moves dirt last month at the Villages at Hayden subdivision. Construction at the Villages at Hayden and Hidden Springs Ranch has been temporarily put on hold because of a legal dispute between the developers and their contractors.

Hayden developments stall

Villages at Hayden, Hidden Springs Ranch hit legal snag

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Model homes were being worked on last month at the Villages at Hayden subdivision. Primary contractor Robinson Construction alleges it is owed $1.41 million for the Villages at Hayden development.

— Construction at the Villages at Hayden and Hidden Springs Ranch residential developments has been put on hold because of a legal dispute between the developers and their contractors.

Liens have been filed against 4-S Development by Hillsboro, Ore.-based Robinson Construction Co. to the tune of $2.13 million.

Robinson Construction claims it is owed $1.41 million for the Villages at Hayden development and more than $700,000 for work at the Hidden Springs Ranch subdivision, according to documents from the Routt County Clerk and Recorder's Office.

Construction has been held up at both developments since the liens were filed in September, but sales and reservations are continuing. The developers had hoped to deliver homes to buyers before the first of the year, developer Roger Johnson said.

"What is aggravating is how it has impacted our customers, because they're innocent bystanders in this thing," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, it's impacted people who want to be able to get into a home."

Although most buyers still are working with the developers, a small number have had to pull out of their purchases because of the delay, Johnson said. Such was the case with buyers who already had sold their previous homes or those who had a tight timeline for relocating.

Representatives of Robinson Construction declined to comment about the nature or details of their dispute with the developers. Johnson said the liens are a baseless "nuisance."

"The liens are not valid liens," Johnson said, adding that there is documentation proving the work has been paid for.

"We've actually overpaid, because we've got work that hasn't been done yet or wasn't done properly," he said.

The developers are pursuing the matter with their attorneys, and Johnson said they might have to go to court to get the matter resolved.

Although delivery dates are not definite, construction at Hidden Springs Ranch and Lake Village, the first stage of the Villages at Hayden development, is expected to resume by the end of the year, and Johnson estimated the projects would be back on schedule by spring 2008.

Roughly half of the plots and homes available in the two developments have been sold or are under reservation, Johnson said.

Johnson said legal costs from the dispute are not expected to raise prices for homebuyers.

"They're part of the cost of doing business," he said.

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