When revisiting the annexation agreement between the Town of Cape Charles and Brown and Root, the notion that the original agreement ‘goes with the land’ is the fundamental foundation of the document. While the obligations of who should pay for the wastewater plant ‘upgrade’ as well as when they should pay, is the predominant issue, other items, especially in regards to the historic character of the town are also important.
On page 9 of the agreement, it states that Brown and Root would share in the planning and engineering of the town’s breakwaters. Does the agreement cover some or all of the breakwaters, or part of the entire ‘breakwater’ system? Could the arguments be made that the cost of providing protection to harbor, which is the latest phase of the harbor breakwater project, still falls under this agreement?
The hand written notes were actually on the document when it was on the Cape Charles web site. Both Annexation Agreements have been removed from the Town’s web page. On paragraph 15 of the original agreement the Amendment to the so called “Settlement Agreement” dated the day before the Court Order Law 27 was entered and includes more language as to the responsible parties obligations.
These signed covenants entered upon by the mutual parties, which ‘run with land’ were never meant to be dropped on the subsequent lot purchasers’ and condo owners. Such Agreements never appear on Title abstracts for property in Bay Creek.
Note: The original title abstract and title searches were performed by Progressive Title, owned by Richard Foster and Virginia Sancilio – Cross.
While the Town has engaged in what is termed the ‘Community Trail Project’, leveraging millions in citizen’s state and local tax dollars, the annexation agreement clearly stated that Brown and Root, now Bay Creek, should have shared in the grant match for the redevelopment of the ‘old school site’. That would of course include the current ‘Community Trail Head’, which is the old school. Further, by ‘old school site’, does this agreement include the old school itself? When the town was quietly planning on divesting itself of the old school to developers for a mere $10, were they aware of this aspect of the covenant? Also, how much were the developer’s obligated to pay, relative to their share, for the renovation of School Park in the first place, and why was that cost foisted onto ordinary citizens?
Notes of the weird: Back when the town was working through the agreement with Brown and Root, they employed Brown and Root’s attorney to represent them at the same time. Yes, that is correct, the Town used Bay Creek’s lawyer when they were filling out that Annexation Agreement. RJ Nutter, II was Special Counsel, Town of Cape Charles, when he wrote letter to staff of Commission on Local Government, July 18, 1990 (Footnote # 3, page 2 Report on the Town of Cape Charles – County of Northampton Annexation Action – February 1991). See link below to current law office where he is general manager and note his historical representations (Brown & Root) and at the same time for the Town of Cape Charles:
Although many would like the 1991 Annexation agreement to remain covered in dust, to be buried in the marsh with the rest of the bodies, it is too woven into the fabric of this town, too elemental to our history to let that happen. Like all historical artifacts, it can teach and enlighten us about our current situation and help us understand, like a pilot, the condition of our craft, and help guide us as we make decisions that will effect all of us, especially our kids, in the future.