A group of 19 Bella Vista homeowners will be filing legal proceedings against the Tauranga City Council.
The homeowners are holding a press conference at the failed Bella Vista Homes development site at The Lakes to outline their response to the buyout offer put forward by the council last week.
They have decided to pursue legal action with Tauranga lawyer Nathan Smith.
The homeowners say, in their view, they are being punished for the council breaking its own rules. They say the ideal result of any court action would be fair market value.
Sasha Tyrrell, speaking on homeowners behalf, said council's offer would strip many homeowners of opportunity to own a home again.
Council's offer was conditional on all 21 homeowners accepting the offer.
"What we are asking for is not unreasonable."
"We now find ourselves caught up in a battle between the council and their insurers."
"It has become apparent the council is not prepared to do what is fair and just. We have to turn to the justice system to help."
Homeowner Jenny Coffey said they did not want to take legal action, but they felt like they had no choice.
"We want to be able to purchase a home in the current market, she said.
Another homeowner, Andre Stewart, said they were still willing to talk and negotiate with the council before filing legal proceedings.
"I think the city feels let down.
"We will fight this through to the end," Stewart said.
The homeowners say a Facebook poll that showed 79 per cent of respondents favoured market value over purchase price shows ratepayers are behind them.
Earlier, in a press release today, the group of homeowners said they felt they had no choice but to proceed "with this path".
They invited the media, Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless, council chief executive Garry Poole, the local community and Tauranga ratepayers to the press conference, where they said they would reveal more details.
Last week the council agreed to make offers to buy the 21 Bella Vista properties at The Lakes – but not at the market value homeowners wanted.
The offer was based on the price homeowners paid for their houses plus expenses and on the advice of what would constitute fair compensation from retired Court of Appeal judge Rhys Harrison, QC.
Bella Vista homeowners said they felt "insulted" and "heartbroken" by the offer and last week did not rule out taking legal action.
A separate class action lawsuit has already been filed on behalf of Bella Vista residents.
There are two households named in those proceedings.
Auckland QC David Heaney, an experienced local authority litigation lawyer, filed the class action in late May.
Tauranga City Council was served with the legal proceedings on June 1, and the lawsuit is now due to have its first court conference.
Heaney said last week that his two clients were proceeding as planned with their class action against the council.
"They thought the offer was derisory."
The other 19 Bella Vista homeowners are represented by Nathan Smith.
The group was considering joining the class action against the city council in the wake of last week's buyout offer.
One of the 19 homeowners confirmed on Friday that joining the class action had been discussed by the group during the week, as well as other possible options.
When Heaney was asked last week if there had been any correspondence between him and the other residents or their lawyer about joining the class action, he said: "Yeah, they're thinking about it, and they're having a meeting ... I think to make a decision on that."
More to come.
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