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Residents drop suit against Lanier Golf Club

POSTED: December 22, 2012 11:59 p.m.

Lanier Golf Club’s neighbors have dropped a lawsuit against its owners that has spanned more than five years in court.

The case originated in 2007 when Michael Peck, who lives adjacent to the 172-acre course, filed suit against Lanier after the owners announced plans to sell the site for development.

Peck’s suit was based on the grounds of an implied covenant when he purchased his property. Had the court agreed, it could have stopped development of the course on Buford Dam Road.

The Georgia Appeals Court ruled in March that Peck did not have implied easement rights. That followed a May 2011 court decision granting summary judgment to the course owners, Jack Manton and George Bagley Jr.

The 25 other plaintiffs in the case filed notices of dismissal shortly after the Georgia Supreme Court denied a petition to hear the appeal in October.

The 172-acre site remains a golf course, though the property was rezoned by the county commission in July 2011 on the order of a judge.

The rezoning closed out a lawsuit the golf course owners filed against the county after the commission denied their request in 2007 to rezone the site from agricultural to a master planned district.

The front 93.8 acres were rezoned from agricultural to a master planned district, with a conditional use permit for a continuing care retirement center. The 78.6 acres in the rear of the site were rezoned from agricultural to Res 2, or residential with 1.5 to 2 units per acre.

That rezoning spurred two suits in August 2011 against Forsyth County and the golf club.

Resident group Save Lanier Golf Club dropped its suit in January.

The only other pending suit is one filed by Pedro Pedro Techologias, a corporation run by William Pulford out of his home on Fairway Lane.

Though the case for an implied easement has been dismissed, arguments continued Wednesday in Forsyth County Superior Court as the course owners’ motion for attorney’s fees was heard by visiting Judge Frank C. Mills of Cherokee County.

The owners filed the motion based on the grounds of a frivolous lawsuit. Mills announced Wednesday that he will grant partial payment of attorney’s fees.

“It’s not a totally frivolous case,” he said. “I don’t think this case was brought for harassment or delay … I think it was brought because the plaintiff felt like he was losing something he was entitled to.”


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