Homeowners band together to solve landscaping dilemma


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SOUTH JORDAN — A group of homeowners are asking Kennecott Land to step in and help landscape their lawns after Daybreak community homebuilder Gold Medallion Homes went under.

"We paid a premium for the lot and a premium for the landscaping," said Daybreak homeowner Deron Johnson. "So now we're stuck with having to pay for that again."


We paid a premium for the lot and a premium for the landscaping. So now we're stuck with having to pay for that again.

–Deron Johnson, Daybreak homeowner


Gold Medallion documents show landscaping was included in the purchase price of the home; for some homeowners fencing was also included. But eight homeowners in the master-planned community of Daybreak, they have been living with a mélange of weeds, rocks and sun-baked dirt for the last year.

"I know some neighbors have complained, and rightfully so," said Eber Irigoyen, another Daybreak homeowner who lives on a corner lot. He says his yard is often the subject of ire from his neighbors with lush, perfectly manicured lawns.

"We did what we were supposed to do. We paid for these houses," Irigoyen said.

The eight households that paid for landscaping and never received it banded together and turned to Kennecott Land, the developer of Daybreak, for help. They hoped the multi-national company would take responsibility for the landscaping of their yards — a cost that could run upwards of $10,000 for the corner lots and an estimated $4,000 for the interior lawns.


Kennecott has the ability to control the rules and regulations and the things that happen here. They're not powerless.

–Kimball Ungerman, Daybreak homeowner


"Kennecott has the ability to control the rules and regulations and the things that happen here. They're not powerless," said Daybreak homeowner Kimball Ungerman.

But all the homeowners admit Kennecott Land has no legal obligation to help them recoup the loss of the money each paid to Gold Medallion Homes to have their landscaping completed.

"If we had a contract with the homeowners to complete their landscaping, we would have completed their landscaping," said Rulon Dutson, Kennecott Land's manager for community planning.

Dutson said he understands the frustration these homeowners are faced with, considering they will have to pay out of pocket again to have their lawn landscaped. "It is an unfortunate situation," he said. "There is no question why the homeowners would be frustrated."

After meeting with the homeowners last week, Dutson said Kennecott did offer to help these homeowners. That offer included providing trees and top soil, and waiving homeowner landscape review and approval fees. He said the company also offered landscaping expertise and critique of contractor bids and estimates.


If we had a contract with the homeowners to complete their landscaping, we would have completed their landscaping.

–Rulon Dutson, Kennecott Land


"Do those concessions take care of the landscaping responsibilities? No, it does not. But it helps to shrink that gap," Dutson said. "We would hope it provides an acceptable approach to the residents, several of which want to move on."

A majority of the homeowners took Kennecott's offer while others are hoping for more. "There are three of us here with the larger lots to take care of. We're not willing to back out," Johnson said. Although, he admits that he may be pooling his money with the remaining homeowners to do their own landscaping.

"Everything that we have done to date, again, we have approached it as wanting to be a responsible developer," Dutson said.

As for Gold Medallion Homes, KSL News repeatedly tried contacting them through various phone numbers listed on their website. Some had been disconnected; others were recorded pharmaceutical advertisements.

A court record search of the company revealed a long list of lawsuits filed against Gold Medallion Homes, or variations thereof, in state court. However, in federal court a bankruptcy filing under Gold Medallion Homes was not located.

Email: lprichard@ksl.com

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