Rose legislation protects neighborhood retention ponds from being hijacked for financial gain

Rose legislation protects neighborhood retention ponds from being hijacked for financial gain

SB 3085 filed in response to Nasty Joe’s buying Champaign retention ponds in 2017

 

State Sen. Chapin Rose is sponsoring legislation that could prevent people with the wrong intentions from purchasing retention ponds in Illinois subdivisions. 

Rose’s legislation (SB 3085) is in response to a 2017 incident where a suburban Chicago company called Nasty Joe’s LLC swooped in and purchased two retention ponds in the Timberline Valley South subdivision in Champaign. The purchase occurred without the knowledge of homeowners in the subdivision. Nasty Joe’s then threatened to use the ponds for catfish farms or hosting a fraternity houseboat and charge homeowners if they trespassed on the ponds. 

The county sold the retention ponds at auction when the previous owner failed to pay the drainage taxes on the ponds for years. The delinquent tax bills were then auctioned off. 

“Nasty Joe’s certainly lived up to their name in this case, finding a legal loophole to snatch up these ponds and use them solely for financial advantage and to intimidate homeowners,” Rose said. “What Nasty Joe’s did was wrong and unethical. It’s equally outrageous that homeowners were never notified that the ponds were being auctioned off until it was too late.” 

Under Rose’s legislation, if the owner of a drainage or retention pond doesn’t pay the taxes due, then a notice that the property will go up for sale will be sent out to adjacent homeowners so that they will have adequate time to react, rather than reading about it after it’s too late. These homeowners could either bid on the sale of the property or repay the taxes. 

“This legislation would provide homeowners around retention ponds with a clear notification process and a practical timeline so they can take appropriate action before the property even goes to sale – thereby saving their neighborhood from being hijacked by people from outside their community who may be trying to take advantage of the situation,” Rose said. “Let’s allow homeowners in a neighborhood to actually control their neighborhoods future. This legislation does that.”

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