Okla.’s Stoops, Other Homeowners Win Lawsuit

University of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops and other homeowners have prevailed in a lawsuit against the developers of the exclusive northwest Norman subdivision in which they live.

Cleveland County District Judge Tom Lucas ruled on March 13 that the developers of the Ashton Grove subdivision must reimburse overcharged homeowners and reconstruct fences, gates and landscaping.

Eleven homeowners, including Stoops and his wife, Carol, filed the lawsuit on Feb. 24, 2006, against Ashton Grove, Ashton Grove Master Association, Ashton Grove Estates Section I Community, William Dow Hamm III, William Dow Hamm Jr. and Jonathan H. Brinsden. Brinsden later was dismissed from the lawsuit.

According to the suit, Hamm Jr. owns Ashton Grove, L.C., and his son, Hamm III, controls Hamm Corp., which manages Ashton Grove.

Bob Dill of Norman, one of the attorneys for the residents, said the ruling is valued at about $3.2 million. Lucas gave developers 45 days from the date of the ruling to begin making the improvements to the property and 90 days to finish the construction.

David Morse of Norman, an attorney for Ashton Grove, L.C., said he had no comment on the judge’s ruling.

The ruling orders the developers to demolish the subdivision’s electronic entrance gates, which the residents said are unsafe, and replace them with gates built with traffic turnarounds. The developers also have to replace fencing and repay residents who were overcharged for homeowners’ association fees.

“The entry gates have been a significant issue from the beginning,” Dill said. “He did not build what he should have built.”

OU men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel also is a resident of the subdivision, but was not a party to the lawsuit because he moved in after the suit had been filed.