Harmony Developer Fails to Disclose Gas Pipelines?

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George Schiro

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Apr 18, 2014, 11:41:49 PM4/18/14
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This is a correction to the article "Harmony Developer Fails to Disclose Gas
Pipelines" (see http://tinyurl.com/neg46le ).

I was recently reviewing the documentation on this matter and realized that
something was missing.

Here's an email sent way back in August of last year:

From: George Schiro
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 11:45 AM
To: Dana Schafer
Subject: Public Records Request

Dana,

Please reply with whatever documentation demonstrates
that Starwood / Harmony Development Company fully
disclosed the natural gas pipelines running through the
land donated to the school district for the Harmony
Community School.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

George Schiro

Here's a written statement I received sometime thereafter from Dana Schafer,
Osceola School District Director of Public Relations (not a direct reply to
my email):

Hi George-
The only thing that I wish you would clarify is that
Clyde and I can find no records that show Harmony
disclosed the pipeline to us. I believe it is
important to mention that the people who were in charge
of our Facilities Department are no longer with us. If
it was discussed with folks at the time, I we are aware
of it. Thanks!!!
Dana

I noticed that I never received a response to my original email. So I
followed up with another email months later:

From: George Schiro
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 11:12 AM
To: Dana Schafer
Subject: FW: Public Records Request

Dana,

I don't recall receiving a final email response from
you to this request (see below).

Please confirm what you told me on the phone:

1) There was no disclosure to the school district
about gas pipelines by Harmony Development Company.
The school district only learned about the gas
pipelines (via independent inspections) subsequent
to acquiring the developer donated land and prior
to building the Harmony Community School.

2) Harmony Community School Principal Jon Davis
knew nothing about the pas pipelines adjacent to
the Harmony Community School until after I informed
him of this fact mid 2013.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

George Schiro

From: George Schiro
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 11:45 AM
To: Dana Schafer
Subject: Public Records Request

Dana,

Please reply with whatever documentation demonstrates
that Starwood / Harmony Development Company fully
disclosed the natural gas pipelines running through the
land donated to the school district for the Harmony
Community School.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

George Schiro

I finally received this official reply to my original public records request
(almost 6 months later):

From: Dana Schafer
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2014 3:55 PM
To: 9992200...@schiro.name
Cc: Clyde Wells
Subject: Re: FW: Public Records Request

"George Schiro" <9992200...@schiro.name> writes:
1) There was no disclosure to the school district about
gas pipelines by Harmony Development Company. The
school district only learned about the gas pipelines
(via independent inspections) subsequent to acquiring
the developer donated land and prior to building the
Harmony Community School.

George - I remember telling you that our Facilities
Department knew about the gas pipelines. We did
some further digging since those in charge of
Facilities at the time are no longer here. Please
see the two attached documents that were available
to us before the land transaction agreement as part
of the land acquisition process.

2) Harmony Community School Principal Jon Davis
knew nothing about the pas pipelines adjacent to
the Harmony Community School until after I informed
him of this fact mid 2013.

This is what he has stated.

Dana Schafer
Public Information Officer
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Osceola School District
817 Bill Beck Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL 34744
office: 407-870-4007
cell: 407-908-8811
fax: 407-870-4017
scha...@osceola.k12.fl.us

Again, here is the relevant "fact" which I relied on for my article:

Dana Schafer:

The only thing that I wish you would clarify is that
Clyde and I can find no records that show Harmony
disclosed the pipeline to us.

The statement above, while technically true (at the time), implied the
developer did not disclose the gas pipelines. The result was the following
paragraph in the article "Harmony Developer Fails to Disclose Gas Pipelines"
(again see http://tinyurl.com/neg46le ):

According to the Osceola School District's Director of
Community Relations as well as its Chief Facilities
Officer, there is no documentation showing disclosure
of the gas pipelines on Harmony property by Starwood /
Harmony Development Company, land specifically donated
for construction of the elementary school in Harmony.
The school district learned about the pipelines only
after doing its own inspections. Sadly, Mr. Davis was
never informed about the gas pipelines either by
Starwood or the school district.

We now know that a more accurate version of the above paragraph (at that
time) would have been "According to the Osceola School District... no
documentation could be found by the school district showing disclosure ..."

Well the documentation has finally been found (see attachments). Included is
a land survey and a "special warranty deed" dated 3/21/2007.

If you squint really hard, you will see that the survey shows a "GAS LINE
EASEMENT". That's about it.

The warranty deed starts out like this:

This conveyance is subject to the following: See
Exhibit "A" attached hereto and incorporated herein by
this reference.

TOGETHER with all the tenements, hereditaments and
appurtenances thereto belonging or in anywise
appertaining.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the same in fee simple forever.

AND the Grantor hereby covenants with said Grantee that
the Grantor is lawfully seized of said land in fee
simple; that the Grantor has good right and lawful
authority to sell and convey said land, and hereby
warrants the title to said land and will defend the
same against the lawful claims of all persons claiming
by, through or under the said Grantor.

You can read through the whole thing yourself. It's one page chock-full of
real-estate legalese.

Yet was anything of significance really disclosed?

Did Starwood disclose that the gas pipelines in Harmony
are the largest in Osceola County?

Not disclosed.

Did Starwood disclose that the gas pipelines in Harmony
would carry a half billion standard cubic feet of explosive
natural gas past the new Harmony elementary school each
and every day?

Not disclosed.

Did Starwood disclose that the gas pipelines in Harmony
would carry most of the natural gas supplying the
entire state of Florida?

Not disclosed.

Did Starwood disclose that these immense natural gas
pipelines in Harmony would run fewer than 200 hundred
feet from the new Harmony elementary school?

Not disclosed.

Did Starwood disclose that a cell phone call from your
child during a serious natural gas leak near the school
could spark a major explosion?

Not disclosed.

Did Starwood disclose that the Harmony Community School
would be in a "high consequence area" (according to the
natural gas industry) and that the industry defined
"safe evacuation distance" from these pipelines is
approximately 2163 feet (almost half a mile)?

Not disclosed.

So what exactly did Starwood / Harmony Development Company disclose to the
Osceola School District, giving the school district folks every opportunity
to do a proper safety evaluation of the developer's land donation for the
new elementary school in Harmony?

Here it is:

6. Oil, Gas and Mineral Reservations, in favor of
Consolidated Naval Stores Company set forth in that
certain Deed recorded June 6, 1950, in Deed Book 131,
Page 203; Conveyance of Interest in favor of
Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. set forth in that certain
Warranty Deed recorded October 6, 1969, in Book 194,
Page 132; Notice Pursuant to Section 704.05 and 712,
Florida Statutes recorded August 19, 1975, in Book 314,
Page 644 and Release of Surface Entry Rights with
Respect to Oil, Gas and Mineral Interest recorded
November 3, 1983, in Book 690, Page 452.

Apparently the multi-billion dollar Starwood real-estate empire with its
highly paid team of lawyers figured that the somewhat less than
sophisticated Osceola School District folks and their attorney could do the
due diligence themselves. And so they did.

It's just too bad that Jon Davis, the then and current Harmony Community
School Principal was never informed of any of this prior to his development
the elementary school's emergency response plan.

Since then has the Harmony Community School's emergency response plan been
updated in light of these new facts about the gas pipelines in Harmony? Who
knows? It's a secret! The school district doesn't talk to parents about
emergency response plans.

Now take a look at the last two attachments. They show a copy of the
original press release found online about the new Harmony Community
School. - FYI, when asked for a copy of this press release directly from the
school district, Dana Schafer responded "In accordance with state statue, I
keep press releases for five years. As such, my press releases from 2007
have already met the destruction window. I no longer have a copy of the
press release you are requesting." Isn't that odd? Why would a school
district destroy public records which cost virtually nothing to keep
electronically - forever? They do so because a backward and obsolete old
Florida law says they can.

As you can see, the Osceola School District proudly announced the new
elementary school in Harmony on January 31, 2007, almost 2 full months prior
to receiving the warranty deed "disclosure". So apparently Starwood didn't
actually inform the school district about gas pipelines prior to the school
district accepting its offer of free land for the new school in Harmony.

By the time the warranty deed was in hand the die was cast and the school
district was stuck with it. Otherwise don't you think they would have asked
Starwood for an alternative location for the new elementary school, one far
from the gas pipeline hazard? I guess we will never know.
20140130164434103.pdf
20140130164550039.pdf
The School District of Osceola County, Florida (p1).pdf
The School District of Osceola County, Florida (p2).pdf
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