g The Truth About Toll Brothers

The Truth About Toll Brothers

Friday, June 01, 2007


1. The Lake Arrowhead Condominium Association is suing luxury home developer Toll Brothers Inc., alleging that the developer violated local, state and national building codes by building condos that have numerous cracks and many other defects. East Naples condominium group becomes latest to sue Toll Brothers

2. Until this past May, Toll Brothers and Beazer Homes did little to address the flooding problems, according to the Harmons.

Representatives from Toll Brothers and Soil Consultants Engineering - the firm conducting the geotechnical study - did not respond to several messages requesting comment. Times Community Newspapers - Flooded basements escalate to 'David and Goliath' situation

3. According to the engineer's report, Toll Brothers failed to substantially complete portions of the improvements for the Castle Point at Marlboro project. Complaints from residents regarding problems with stagnant or standing water and water runoff have also not been addressed by the developer, according to the report. Council nixes reduction in builder's bond

4. Supervisors hope to discuss what Middle Smithfield believes may be an illegal, separate private community within the larger Country Club common interest development. Pocono Record - Supers prepare questions for Toll Brothers sitdown

5. Toll Brothers calls it an honest mistake, but Chip Lamphere doesn't think it was a coincidence.
Lamphere accused Toll Brothers of intentionally trying to cut him out of the public process. President of his own home-building company, Custom Living, he said he was a project manager for Toll Brothers a few years ago. "I'm in the business," Lamphere said, explaining why he thought Toll Brothers division president Tom Anhut, his former boss, would cut him out of the loop. "Tom knew we would voice our opinion."

Oakley voiced frustration with the meeting Toll Brothers held with property owners in July.
Oakley wanted details on road improvements, but he said Toll Brothers refused to share that information.

"I don't believe there's been full disclosure," said Oakley. http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=1593&topicId=21355&docId=l:515746435

6. Now, due to errors and omissions in the EIR, the neighbors have sufficient ammunition to take the City and Toll to court and win. All because City officials cut corners to help Toll and get that purchase money into this year’s budget where it has already been spent. When will they ever learn?

Now, it seems there is a very good chance that Toll will simply walk away from the deal due to the bad housing market. The General Fund budget will go looking for a lost $8 million. Toll, the Redevelopment Agency and the City Council will blame those intractable neighbors, and maybe a couple of City Council members for making the deal go bad. E-Mail Forum

7. three City of Richmond Agencies and two independent consultants, perhaps in a misguided attempt to suck up to the Richmond City Council and Toll Brothers, appear to have conspired to circumvent state CEQA law. E-Mail Forum

8. Toll Brothers has a long history of being less than forthright, said former state Assemblyman John Knox, a Point Richmond resident. "If you're going to deal with them, always have a witness and get everything in writing," he said. ContraCostaTimes.com 08/01/2006 City says builders avoiding duties

9. At the end of the discussion, it was clear that Toll Brothers had misrepresented their reasons previously provided for not constructing the trail and had no credible excuses. E-Mail Forum

10. Toll Brothers, while immensely profitable and financially successful, also has a reputation for sleaze that may explain the way it has treated Richmond citizens. E-Mail Forum

11. Numerous calls to Toll Brothers for comment were not returned. ContraCostaTimes.com 07/04/2006 Condo plan draws opposition

12. An agreement forces Toll to provide necessary disclosures in Richmond, CA. The agreement calls for Toll Brothers to disclose to potential condominium buyers that they are moving near an industrial area. CC Times, May 4, 2006

13. The firm is a powerful enough force in the national economy that a Dec. 8 Toll Brother’s announcement of record profits triggered a decline in the stock market because it was tempered by a statement that said 2006 earnings could be affected by an increasingly soft housing market.

Toll Brothers wants to build an 85-foot-high project with 325 units. Current zoning would allow a maximum height of 35 feet and a maximum density of 289 units.

Calls to Toll Brothers were not returned. Berkeley Daily Planet

14. When it became clear that the protests of the residents were not going to be considered and that the outcome would be whatever the developer proposed, many of us stopped participating.

It was clear that no one had the stomach for a lawsuit or a ballot measure campaign. Why waste time quibbling about what time construction starts when it will have no impact on the ultimate project?

Even the developer, Toll Brothers, knows that nothing the neighbors say will influence the city to support a lower-density project. As you quote the arrogant Toll Brothers project manager Kelly Snider, "We expected a lot of concerns about traffic and about trees and that is what we got." I guess Snider doesn't think such concerns carry any consequences. In fact, all environmental impacts discussed in the draft Environmental Impact Report seem to be designated "less than significant." Mountain View Voice: Letters to the Editor (February 17, 2006)

15. "[Toll] has done this many, many times to us. I can name probably at least seven or eight times that he's done it,” Wydro said. “They just dangle these over our head. That's not right. To just simply have three [plans] running simultaneously is awfully hard on a municipality.”
Toll Brothers revives old fight (phillyBurbs.com) Courier Times

16. The person who is always absent from the table, he said, is Robert Toll, the CEO of Toll Brothers. “Mr. Toll is missing in action — MIA,” Ausura said. “Veterans are very upset with Mr. Toll.” The Courier Times was unsuccessful in reaching Toll Brothers for comment Toll plans under review (phillyBurbs.com) Courier Times

17. There has never been any give and take with Toll,” Kulig said. “We don't start with an ordinance. ... I think it's going backwards.” West said Toll has “made no submissions,” except for the sketch plan that was presented to the citizens roundtable group 10 minutes before last week's meeting. Cemetery, housing on zoning fast track (phillyBurbs.com) Courier Times

18. without toll brothers there can be no veterans cemetery...and because of toll brothers there may not be a cemetery. stay tuned...toll brothers: patriots or pariahs? Philly Future - Philadelphia Blogs - The News YOU Write

19. Timothy Vile, whose property abuts the Dolington parcel, believes the supervisors have worked out a "backroom deal" with Toll Brothers to get the cemetery and allow Toll to build more homes on the property than permitted by zoning laws. Backlash over Toll housing proposal (phillyBurbs.com) Courier Times

20. Truth Still Elusive Is it just an incredible coincidence that Fox used his committee position to financially benefit Toll and a group of large political contributors to the Fox campaign? Toll denied knowing about the Fox proposals until he read about it in the paper, yet the article reported that it was Toll’s people who set up the Fox event on the Toll property. PRESS RELEASE: NLPC Hits Fox Again and Again; LSC Champion Took Illegal Loans and Lied About It

NLPC Complaint filed with Ethics Committee (May 12, 1998)

21. It was the discovery in April of Cangiano’s plan to sell the property to Toll Brothers for a $5 million profit that led Rackham and Abramowitz to bring a halt to the sale, alleging fraud and breaches of contract, according to a court brief. The sale had been scheduled to go to settlement April 10. Developer Sues To Force Wheatland Farm Sale -- Leesburg2Day-- The Journal of Loudoun County

Among the claims in the court filings associated with the Wheatland Farms litigation is that the discovery in April that Cangiano sought to assign the purchase contract to Toll Brothers for a $5 million fee led Rackham and Abramowitz to bring a halt to the sale, according to a court brief.
Court Battle Over Wheatland Farms Purchase Spurs Fraud Allegation -- Leesburg2Day-- The Journal of Loudoun County

22. In a related matter, the supervisors delayed discussion of a "punch list" of Concord Chase residents' complaints about "poor workmanship" such as poor insulation, leaks and stormwater runoff. Many Concord Chase residents want Toll's license revoked until all the problems are fixed. More than 40 residents of Concord Chase, or about 40 percent, levied complaints against Toll Brothers for poor workmanship, according to an anonymous source. The source asserted that Toll removed trees and a vegetation buffer zone between Garnet Valley Woods and Newlin Mill Park on Cheyney Road. The removal of the buffer created excess water runoff on Cheyney Road, resulting in a dangerous patch of ice, the residents said. CountyPressOnline.com - Toll Brothers Take Flak


The following was posted by Michael Guffy, who along with other plaintiffs filed separate complaints against Toll Brothers alleging, among other causes of action, that they were fraudulently induced to enter into an Agreement of Sale with Toll Brothers for the construction and purchase of a residence. Opinion Flash; 10/28/2004 :

Toll Bros came into Tennesse and built homes in Williamson County. They cheated, lied, defrauded the home owners. They did not follow codes and built homes with structural problems, roof and chimney leaks. There are still legal suits against Toll including myself. They had to leave Tennesse, but for many of use the damage is done. I am in a legal battle with Toll, but, what can a person do. Toll is so big. They stall and keep you tied up in court hoping the cheated customer will give up. Please keep these stories alive, this company is no good. They could care less for the customers, its all about their bottom line. CountyPressOnline.com - Toll Brothers Take Flak


This following was posted by a former employee of Toll Brothers:

It appears the scam that Toll Brothers has been using to boost there perseved profits will finally strat to fall in aroud them. I have worked for Toll and it is clear what they are doing. They are a land bank. Toll purchases land, develops the land, and inflates the value of the land for the shareholders. The shareholders look at the assets as a total, never to know the inflated value of the developed lots is based on inhouse apprassials from Toll Brothers. In the Charlotte, NC market, Toll valued vacant lots for $100,000.00. Doesn't sound bad unless you look at the price point for the neighborhood being $300,000 to $400,000. I once talked to an estimator who pointed out, if everything goes right Toll would only loose $10,000.00 per house. To counter this loss, Toll increased their land holdings in Charlotte, inflate the cost of the land, and guess what.... the Charlotte office is profitable. When housing sales fall then Toll will have to scale back their land purchases, and their scam will be exposed. Will Toll be the next Zaring Homes? Toll Brothers


I received the following poignant e-mail. Thank you for disclosing the truth...

Date: Aug 9, 2006 2:32 PM
Subject: Toll Brothers in Cupertino, CA
To: tolltruth@gmail.com


We are fighting a proposed Toll Bros. development in Cupertino, CA. The Cupertino city council was coerced into rezoning a large tract of land, owned by Hewlett Packard, to allow a high density housing project by Toll Brothers. One of the city council members has a financial interest in the deal, as a consultant to Hewlett Packard, and as a former employee with an HP pension and with HP stock, but he voted in favor of the rezoning anyway (complaints to the FPPC regarding this council-member's actions have been filed).

Cupertino citizens collected about 5000 signatures, in thirty days, to put the rezoning ordinance on the ballot. Toll Bros. sent paid goons out to try to thwart the signature gathering process, including trying to get citizens to withdraw their signatures by lying about the size of the development. Once it was clear that we had collected far more signatures than necessary, Toll convinced the city council to call a special election, rather than have the referendum put on the ballot at the next municipal election (2007), which is the normal procedure. Toll also sued to have the referendum signature petitions thrown out, by lying about the methodology by which the signatures were collected, and lying about the requirements regarding the wording of the petitions. A judge threw out their lawsuit, and the referendums are going forward at a special election in November.

Interestingly enough, Apple Computer, which is Cupertino's largest employer, came out strongly against the rezoning of industrial land for residential, stating, "We want to stay in Cupertino; we just want to make sure there's space here for us to grow over time," and "Once it turns to housing that's the end of the road. I haven't seen an industrial to housing conversion in a long time."

One big problem we have is that the local newspapers receive a lot of advertising revenue from Toll Bros., and will never come out against a project no matter how awful it is.

Your site is very helpful. We also have found a lot of environmental violations by Toll Bros., which is interesting, since they always are able to get the local chapter of the Sierra Club to endorse their condo projects.

AND, for everyone who feels they are unable to take a stand against Toll Brothers, please read the following. Congratulations citizens of Cupertino!

Date: Nov 8, 2006 10:26 AM
Subject: Toll Brothers
To: tolltruth@gmail.com


Wow, we won big ("No" prevents the rezoning for the development). 63% no, 37 % yes. On a companion measure for another developer next to the Toll Bros. development, we won even bigger, 65% no, to 35% yes.

This is despite the facts that:

1. Both the major newspaper (San Jose Mercury News) and the weekly (Cupertino Courier) came out in favor of Toll Brothers because of the advertising revenue they get from real estate sales.

2. The developers outspent us about 50 to 1.

3. The developers hired people to disrupt the process from the very beginning, including goons to try to prevent citizens from signing the referendum petitions, stealing our campaign signs, and physically trying to hurt our volunteers.

4. The developers funded a spurious lawsuit to try to keep the measures off the ballot after it qualified with far more signatures than necesssary. They knew they would lose, but it forced us to spend money on lawyers, rather than on the campaign.

5. The developers got the mayor and two other council members to campaign against us.Now we're thinking of getting shirts made with some of the mames they called us, i.e. "Angry Mob," "Liars," etc.

AND, thanks for the compliment...

To: tolltruth@gmail.com
Date: Sep 22, 2006 5:23 PM
Subject: Thanks

I am so glad I found the blog regarding Toll Brothers. It saved us a lot of money and most likely a ton of disappointment. Thanks for the heads up!


  • Cupertino residents have fought long and hard to win a second chance to develop it's own city with out the likes of Toll Brothers and it's "goons," and also with out the assistance of the local chapter of the Sierra Club as well, who supported this rouge developer even when they were given documented governtment proof clearly showing Toll Brs.had a negative environmental record in CA, fined as a polluter for example at a development project built next to another city's creek, much like a fragile urban creek environment in Cupertino, which was next to the currently proposed (and now defeated) Toll Bros.project, and still the Sierra Club supported this polluting developer's profits over the protection of Cupertino's own very fragile urban environment, and the best the Sierra Club could do in there brown nosing endorsement letter,
    Click here: http://yesforcupertino.com/endorsements/Sierra Club Endorsement - Cupertino Feb 2006.pdf,
    sent to Toll Brothers was to say "perhaps" Toll Bros. could have used Green building methods(?) what is up with the Sierra Club, and what kind of donations are they getting from Toll Brothers, from all developers realy, for there endorsements and for then also misleading the residents of Cupertino, and all Americans perhaps?
    Cupertino residents are much better informed then the Sierra Club perhaps thinks we are, as the S.Club is losing professional face and then our local support in leaps, bounds and financial donations...perhaps why the Sierra Club desperately needs the large developer contributions from Toll Bros., and why they are doomed to stray from any sound urban environmental protection platform, becoming a mistrusted organization of mean spirited folks who will soon define the eminent domain battle in years to come, with the Sierra Club clearly coming down on the side of big developers, in a misguided search for the holy grail to save our country's vanishing wilderness, yet they gladly help destroy our fragile urban environments with Toll Brothers help, which if protected and maintained, with the S.Clubs assistance, would make for more liveable urban environments, and honestly help stop urban sprawl, avoiding their current use of deception, destraction, and the eminent domain property rights wars to come. Eminent domain power is for those who have lost the abilty to communicate, and wish to govern us by there own selfish mandates, killing our nations democratic and intellectual rights all in one mean blow, with Toll Brothers the willing recipient for that kind of forced development in our nations communities, as they alone will be laughing all the way to bank, and over the dead environmental goals of the Siera club, who sold all of us out.

    Quasimoto is still holed up in a cold Cupertino bell tower, looking down on the streets below where the Festival of Fools marches on in Cupertino, but our residents know who the bell rings for today, it's for Toll Brothers and the Sierra Club.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/14/2006 4:04 PM  

  • UPDATE: August 2009:
    The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) announced that an economic conflict of interest had existed for a Cupertino Council Member and it’s now current Mayor, Orrin Mahoney, who in 2006 allowed himself to participate in the city council’s review of the Toll Brother’s rezoning application and then vote on the 2006 Toll Brothers’ Project.
    Mayor Mahoney was not fined by the FPPC due to the a very suspicious bungling of Cupertino’s City Attorney who had withheld key economic conflict of interest information from an official FPPC review; a review which had was also initiated by the city attorney at City Council Member Mahoney’s request.
    The FPPC in 2006 could only consider disqualifying economic conflict of interest information which was officially submitted to it by Cupertino’s City Attorney or by the public official in question – and nothing else.
    Mayor Mahoney manipulated the limited scope of the 2006 FPPC finding ,obfuscating his economic conflict of interest with Hewlett Packard and then for the Toll Brothers Project by result too. Mayor Mahoney stopped all attempts by his constituents to question his false propriety, as residents wished to protect their Cupertino city council member from public embarrassment and more importantly they desired to avoid the legal and financial hazards which were now gathering on the horizon.
    Mayor Mahoney a 35 year former employee of Hewlett Packard, this company owned the undeveloped property which Toll Brothers desired to rezone from commercial to residential housing. Mahoney did not respond prudently to his constituents vocal concerns, preferring to squelch the appeals of his outraged constituents who were labeled as being anti representative government, anti housing, anti growth, or just ignorant.
    Cupertino residents had hoped that their newly elected freshman city council member would be more cautious, avoiding any appearance of impropriety, any which might embarrass not only himself, but their entire city as a whole, as Mayor Mahoney had a responsibility to represent all of his constituents, not just one major commercial enterprise which it appears he had an economic conflict of interest with.
    Mayor Mahoney helped birth two referenda against two major development projects in his city, breaking a 50 year history of effective representative government & public trust which had offered open transparency and democratic participation to residents and businesses. Mahoney divided his constituency, pitting his neighbors against each other, each divided on exactly what love of ones city meant. Civic minded gadflies were sought by Toll Brothers to attack their neighbors with a lawsuit, claiming those who circulated petitions had used illegal means to seek a direct democracy resolution to repeal two city ordinances. The lawsuit failed. Cupertino’s city council decided to further complicate the representative government oversight process by changing the administrative reconsideration process, a last ditch administrative review, by charging a new high fee to a once 100% free process which was originally fashioned to insure open transparency and recourse for all aggrieved constituents, businesses and residents alike.
    In Mayor Mahoney’s State of the City speech 2009, he commented that the recently approved replacement project for the Toll Brothers project was far more successful then he had envisioned possible back in 2006 , his constituents were to be commended for there efforts
    Cupertino residents are vigilant participants in their representative government. I hope this public official understands he was saved from prosecution, civil lawsuits, and further FPPC violations with the overturning of the 2006 approval of the Toll Brothers Project –– thanks to the 2/3’s of eligible Cupertino voters who supported the referenda.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/27/2009 5:11 PM  

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