With Tribune Media withdrawing from its $3.9 billion merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group ( the owner of Bay Creek South, L.L.C. ), it may be useful to review how Sinclair, through its controlled entity Keyser-Sinclair, has not been either a good, reasonable nor responsible business or corporate person with the Town of Cape Charles.
Under the Virginia Property Owners’ Act (POA), the Declarant is also described as the ‘developer’. Bay Creek South, L.L.C., and Sinclair agreed in March 2008 to become responsible, by deed recorded with the Clerk of the Northampton Circuit Court – ‘Declarant’ for all of the obligations and assurances made by Brown & Root in 1990 and 1991, as part of Brown & Root’s efforts to have the Town of Cape Charles annex a significant portion of Northampton County into the Town. Brown and Root had a proposed industrial site in the County (begun in 1970’s in reaction to the then Oil Crises). Brown and Root also owned over 50% of the vacant and undeveloped land in the adjoining Town of Cape Charles. Brown & Root sought and successfully achieved its goal of combining the two significant parcels into one PUD then known as Accawmacke Plantation, now known as Bay Creek at Cape Charles. Brown & Root’s lawyer also acted during the annexation proceedings as counsel to the Town, before, during and after the Annexation Order was issued November 25, 1991. In Virginia, Annexation Orders of the Virginia Special Annexation Courts (appointed by the Virginia Supreme Court) become Legislative Acts – and the Annexation Order was and remains Law No. 27, filed in both the Virginia Legislature and the Northampton County Circuit Court. This premise and the recorded obligations and promises are extremely important to the residents of the Town, the County as well as the U.S. and Virginia taxpayers.
Why? Because Sinclair in its own agreement with Baymark Construction Corporation (the original purchaser and obligator in 1998 to the Brown & Root agreements) purchased from Baymark all of the interests in Bay Creek South and filed to become the Second Successor Declarant – obligating Sinclair to the Annexation Order Agreements. Now after many years of attempts by the Town and by factual misrepresentations made by the County to the Virginia Department of Transportation, Sinclair is and has not followed the stipulations in the Annexation Agreement, nor the findings published by the Commission on Local Government – February 1991 (CLG) incorporating those such agreements.
The precise language in the CLG report is on pages 62 & 63 TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR ANNEXATION.
In March 2008, Sinclair during its quarterly public filings acknowledged it had purchased the controlling interest in Baymark (Bay Creek South, L.L.C.) and was in ‘control’. Baymark and its controlled subsidiary Bay Creek, LLC lost control due to its own inadequate financial schemes. Neither Baymark, Bay Creek nor Sinclair followed the federal guidelines for sale of land to purchasers as required under Federal Law, The Interstate Land Sales and Full Disclosure Act. That evidence was made clear in the Virginia Beach Circuit Court in 2012 – it remains unknown if Sinclair ever corrected this under the ILSFDA.
Sinclair has refused to pay the Town for its share of water and wastewater demands of the Bay Creek development for the required Virginia upgrades and expansion of the old and dysfunctional Town of Cape Charles’ wastewater treatment plant, as clearly found in the Commission on Local Government’s Report (attached) and Annexation proceedings. The U.S. taxpayer, through an Obama stimulus bill and the residents of Cape Charles, through borrowings from the EPA, Virginia State loans, and significant increases in the Town’s water, sewer and connection fees, has paid for the required upgrades of the old plant which was and remains a contributor to an unhealthy Chesapeake Bay. The replacement plant is undersized for the required new 1,900+ homes planned to be built in Bay Creek, which under the PUD allows for 3,000 homes. Only 973 have been approved for platting, yet subdivisions are not yet built nor completed.
Sinclair did not pay for the highway extension across its and its POA’s property (The Martin Parcel), the Virginia state taxpayer has paid the bill.
Now as the twenty year developer controlled POA comes to an end at December 31, 2020, Sinclair maybe trying to find a buyer for its interests in the Bay Creek development (in which one major subdivision, Marina Village East of 118 lots – only 5 house were built – has been abandoned, and left unfinished for over 10 years or just after or before the March 2008 purchase by Sinclair. Either way, as Successor Declarant, Sinclair is the developer).
During the FCC deliberations with Sinclair, it is of the opinion of many locals that Sinclair was trying now to wrap this property and its unfulfilled obligations, into a spin-off attempt to settle matters with the FCC.