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Regions Bank seizes Gold Creek

POSTED: April 8, 2009 11:30 p.m.

DAWSONVILLE — What was once billed as a premier golfing destination in Dawson County, Gold Creek Golf Club, is now the property of Regions Bank.

Because no outside parties submitted bids on the courthouse steps Tuesday as part of the property’s foreclosure proceedings, an attorney for Regions placed a bid on the property.

James M. Ottley, an attorney for Regions Bank who handled the foreclosure, said he was not authorized to comment, although he did confirm Wednesday that the bank now has possession of the property.

According to the foreclosure notice, more than $5 million was owed to the bank for the golf course property.

The foreclosure is the latest in a litany of battles for the golf club, which closed last summer and later began bankruptcy proceedings.

The golf club has encountered numerous financial problems since it opened in 1999.

Last year, Dawson County Tax Commissioner Linda Townley announced her intention to seize the property for back taxes. Prior Gold Creek LLC owners Bob and Jeff Tablak were in debt to the county more than $171,000, according to tax records.

Until the taxes are paid, the buyer will not be able to do anything with the property, she said.

"We expect to receive the taxes pretty shortly," Townley said.

A spokeswoman with the tax commissioner’s office said as of noon Wednesday, no money had been received.

Tuesday’s proceedings could also have an impact on Gold Creek’s ongoing litigation with the city of Dawsonville.

The Tablaks sued the city over a 2006 denied rezoning request. Gold Creek had requested a rezoning to make changes to its master plan in 2006.

The Tablaks’ attorney, Joey Homans, said the Tablaks wanted to add more housing and take away several holes on the golf course. The rezoning request eventually was denied.

A separate suit filed by the city claims Gold Creek violated a contractual wastewater agreement.

"When (Bob and Jeff Tablak) bought the property back in 2003, the agreement was to allow us to use Swan Lake (a small lake on the property) as a water reuse basin, where treated water would be used for irrigating the course, and that never happened," said city planner Steve Holder.

City Administrator Kim Cornelison said the city plans to work with the buyer to run sewer and gray water lines through the community.

Gray water lines use reclaimed water for irrigation purposes.

"Whoever buys it, they are going to need sewer if they want to grow," she said.

Despite the foreclosure of the property, the city and Gold Creek have continued to battle.

Last month, a judge ruled in the city’s favor regarding the city’s procedure for posting public notices regarding Gold Creek’s rezoning request.

Homans said he has filed an appeal on Gold Creek’s behalf.



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