An afternoon drive through Rock Hill's Mabry Park subdivision turns up scenes of typical suburban life.
Families splash in the neighborhood pool. A young boy pedals a bicycle down the street. Two men unload a TV from a truck and carry it inside.
But spend some time talking to homeowners on these quiet streets in western Rock Hill, and evidence of a simmering conflict begins to emerge. In fact, it has mushroomed into a legal battle now being waged against Cornerstone Development, the Rock Hill company that developed Mabry Park and two adjacent subdivisions along Rawlinson Road.
In a lawsuit still unresolved nearly a year after it was filed, homeowners accuse Cornerstone of failing to:
• Properly maintain common areas;
• Remove construction debris;
• Fill in open pits that turned into pools of stagnant water;
• Repair ruts in the road caused by heavy construction trucks; and
• Build enough parking spaces at the pool and clubhouse.
Cornerstone's response, filed last November, denies any wrongdoing suggested by the allegations. Further comment from company President Greg Whitehead was unavailable Friday.
Hamilton, Martens, Ballou & Sipe, the Rock Hill law firm representing the homeowners, declined to comment, other than to say it hopes to "to obtain a satisfactory resolution for our clients."
As subdivisions across the country wrestle with rising foreclosures and tumbling property values, homeowners here are confronting a different set of frustrations.
At the heart of the suit is what neighbors call an "unfair and deceptive" move by Cornerstone to "shed itself of property ... considered a liability" once it finished building houses.
In the suit, neighbors say Cornerstone transferred ownership of the common areas and clubhouse to the Rawlinson Road Homeowners Association without giving notification or following a proper legal process. As a result, the company left homeowners in charge of paying for improvements and upkeep.
The problem, neighbors say, is that the pool and common areas were left uncompleted or in poor shape.
"To me, that appears dishonest," said homeowner John Horn, who moved into Reflection Park four years ago. "You should have some responsibility to leave it in good condition. I can see why we would have responsibility to stay with it and keep it at a certain level. But if was never where it should've been to begin with, that's not right."
The swimming pool area has become a flash point. On many weekends, cars park on both sides of the road, making it difficult for traffic to pass through.
"There are three parking spaces at our pool for 480 homes, and two of them are handicapped," said neighbor Diane Neville, secretary of the HOA. "There's nowhere for anyone to park."
The complaint asks for a ruling from a master-in-equity judge, but no court date has been set. Neighbors are hopeful for a resolution, but aren't sure how long it will take.