HOA sues Oswit Land Trust, others, seeks to pause development of nature preserve on golf course land

Members of the HOA, some of whom oppose the lawsuit, plan to meet to discuss the issue. Oswit’s president said she would attempt to attend the meeting.

Residents of condominiums surrounding the decaying Mesquite Golf and Country Club golf course have named its new owners – Oswit Land Trust (OLT) — in a lawsuit seeking among other things to pause the development of a nature preserve on 180 acres OLT acquired in July.

Driving the news: In a 677-page civil suit filed Aug. 12 in Riverside County Superior Court, attorneys for the Mesquite Country Club Condominium Homeowners Association (HOA) claim a lease agreement with the previous owner of the 180-acre golf course, which dates back to 1984, must now be honored by OLT.

  • The HOA asks for plans to create “Prescott Preserve” to be halted while the case makes its way through the courts, and for a jury to decide what compensation its members should receive for loss of property values should the golf course continue to languish.

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At issue: According to the lawsuit, the lease agreement states that any owner of the property “is prohibited from changing or redeveloping the Golf Course without the (HOA’s) prior written approval.”

  • Oswit’s plan to create the preserve violates the lease it inherited, the attorneys wrote, and would cause financial harm to HOA members if a portion of their monthly fees goes toward creation of the preserve. 

  • Worse yet, the lawsuit states, their property values would decline if the preserve never came to fruition.

What they’re saying: “Because Oswit is openly soliciting outside donations to fund this proposed project, it appears that Oswit lacks sufficient funds to complete the project itself,” the HOA’s attorneys wrote. If the preserve is never built, they said, the land would become “a blighted eyesore and health and environmental nightmare.”

Between the lines: The HOA assigned blame for the situation to the property’s previous owner, Ramin Saghian. He is believed to be the sole owner of Palms Partners, which is also named in the lawsuit.

  • The HOA has struggled to get Saghian to maintain not only the golf course but the clubhouse, tennis courts, and other amenities at Mesquite for years.

The other side: In an email sent Thursday to Mesquite Country Club residents, provided to The Post, OLT President Jane Garrison said, “To say that we are all ‘in shock’ that the HOA is suing Oswit Land Trust is an understatement.

  • “All of us will benefit from this Nature Preserve now and for generations to come, especially owners in communities adjacent to it,” Garrison wrote. “However, the actions taken by the HOA are going to slow down and hinder our ability to create something truly spectacular for our community.”

Next up: While the case awaits its first hearing, members of the HOA, some of whom oppose the lawsuit, plan to meet in person at the Mizell Center Friday morning to discuss the issue. Garrison said she would attempt to attend. So, too, will Brad Prescott, who purchased the golf course and gifted it to OLT. He also purchased a condominium at Mesquite and is a member of the HOA.

  • “I intend to be at tomorrow’s HOA meeting and also intend to communicate with as many homeowners as I can before holding accountable the Board and the individual members who authorized a court action,” Prescott wrote in an email to the HOA’s management.

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