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Difficult Roads: The Orchid Bay Story

Difficult Roads: The Orchid Bay Story
April 26
14:43 2019

Friday, April 26th. –
The Reporter broke the story of ongoing drama and rising tensions at Orchid Bay in the northern district of Corozal several weeks ago and has covered the issue extensively, airing both sides of the unfolding controversy and has done so in as an objective fashion as possible. Following all the publicity, some of the interested parties who have shared their stories with the Reporter have expressed concerns over reportedly increased pressure and scrutiny from the project’s developers.

One person reportedly relocated from the premises after her expenses were raised abruptly following reports of the perceived irregularities at Orchid Bay. The resident also reported feeling intimidated and scared into leaving. Others have been singled out and named in a letter sent from Orchid Bay’s developer to residents in the community.

Legacy Global Development CEO, Chris Williams, who is developing the Orchid Bay project in a letter to the community’s buyers named several villa buyers who he blames as the source of all the fuss. Williams dismissed the claims from the unhappy buyers as an attempt for an unwarranted refund, as per the terms of their contract. “We do not get a free pass on our financial obligations, and neither do these Villa buyers,” Williams said. He claims these disgruntled purchasers have not payed enough of their milestone payments to progress with construction, but the buyers categorically deny this and say their payments, of which they’ve shown copies to the Reporter, should have yielded further development than currently stands.

Williams has assured other stakeholders in the project that despite acknowledged delays and several unforeseen setbacks, including issues in transferring titles to lot buyers due to “shortcomings” of the previous project manager, development continues at Orchid Bay. The letter admonished Orchid Bay’s detractors, pointing out efforts to contact Belizean authorities such as the Central Building Authority, the Mining Department, the Department of the Environment, and even the media as attempts to block construction. He also addressed concerns over claims that the developers were proceeding with construction of bungalows without required clearance and permits.

Williams further claimed that he had been able to confirm the names of his so-called detractors with a “local editor-in-chief and another reporter.” To the Reporter’s knowledge, no other media outlet has picked up this story, and this newspaper states in no uncertain terms that it has not and will never adhere to demands from any authority to divulge the names of sources. Mr. Williams has had amicable communications with the Reporter during our coverage of this issue, and despite persistent questioning from Williams himself about the source of our information, the Reporter has never confirmed or divulged the names of any sources.

Williams’ critics have also pointed to an unrelated lawsuit in the US as cause for alarm, but Williams countered those concerns previously telling the Reporter that as an international businessman he is subject to the occasional lawsuit but said it has no bearing on circumstances at Orchid Bay. Our sources have informed us that they are fearful of sharing much more information about their situations and are seeking other options on how to resolve their issues.

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