Starwood, homeowner settle differences out of court |

Starwood, homeowner settle differences out of court

The Starwood gate and private road sign.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times

A court fight over fines associated with a 12-year home-building project in the exclusive Starwood neighborhood outside of Aspen won’t be headed to trial.

Parties have reached a confidential settlement, according to a case file in Pitkin County District Court, where the owner of the home in question and the Starwood Homeowners Association had been embroiled in litigation for nearly two years.

The settlement, struck Feb. 21, means the dispute won’t be going to a five-day trial that had been scheduled to begin March 9 in Judge Chris Seldin’s courtroom.

“The matter has indeed been settled but included is a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement that binds me” from talking about the settlement, said Rick Crandall, president of the Starwood HOA, via text message Wednesday.

Attorney Corey Zurbuch, who represented Epic View LLC and Thomas Duckworth, also declined comment.

The Duckworth-controlled Epic View is technically the owner of the home, on which construction began in 2007.

The LLC sued the HOA in March 2018 over the $900,000 in fines it had racked up for the prolonged construction of the home located at 1000 S. Starwood Drive. The suit argued the fines were excessive as well as miscalculated.

Starwood argued in a $3.4 million counterclaim against Epic and Duckworth that the HOA’s covenants require home construction to be completed within 18 months after it begins. Projects taking longer result in fines levied against the property owner.

The home’s certificate-of-occupancy status could not be confirmed Thursday, as Pitkin County’s chief building inspector, Brian Pawl, could not be reached for comment.

In a pleading earlier in February, Zurbuch asked the court not to allow testimony about Duckworth’s other home projects, claiming it was irrelevant and could taint the jury.

Duckworth and his wife, Connie, both former partners with Goldman, Sachs, & Co. reportedly took nearly a decade to build a home in the Lake Forest, which is located in the Chicago area.

“What happened with construction projects related to Mr. Duckworth other than the one at issue in this case is simply not relevant,” said the motion, on which Seldin did not rule before the case was settled.