.

Cease Fire in Lanier Golf Course Rezoning Battle

County commissioners postponed for one week a decision on the rezoning of Lanier Golf Course. Chairman Brian Tam urged both sides to work out a compromise.

The bitter rezoning battle that has gone on between the owners of Lanier Golf Course and its neighbors the last four years isn't over just yet.

Following a public hearing Thursday, Forsyth County commissioners voted to give the two sides one last chance to reach a compromise before the issue is decided. Commission Chairman Brian Tam reminded both sides that the county is under a court order to rezone the property and put them on notice that the board would comply with that order in a called meeting scheduled for June 23 at 5 p.m.

"I encourage both sides to work together in the spirit of compromise," Tam said.

Course owners Jack Manton and George Bagley Jr. sued the county in 2007 when commissioners rejected their request to rezone the 172-acre site from agricultural to a master planned district. At the time, they had a contract with a developer to purchase the golf course contingent upon its rezoning.

Last month, Judge Robert E. Bradley found in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered the property to be rezoned within 45 days.

Speaking on behalf of the owners, attorney Doug Dillard of Dillard and Galloway asked the county to rezone the golf course to Master Planned District and Residential 3.

Dillard was the only person to speak on behalf of the rezoning. Eight people rose to speak against it. Some, including attorney Bob McFarland who represents the opponents, indicated that they may continue to fight the rezoning through an appeals process.

Commissioners also defeated a pending motion by Commissioner Todd Levent to notify the Georgia Department of Community Affairs that the county's sponsorship of a HUD 108 loan application has been revoked and that all further processing should cease.

Developer Almquist Hansen, LLC requested the county's sponsorship for the application that would help facilitate the construction of a senior apartment community on Windermere Parkway.

Commissioners originally approved the process in May, but Levent attempted to have the decision rescinded earlier this month. That effort resulted in a 2-2 deadlock with Tam absent. Tam cast the deciding vote Thursday that allows the process to continue.

"I'm willing to get the information necessary to help us all make the right decision," Tam said in casting his vote.

In other business, the board approved modifications to the Unified Development Code regarding overlays. One change removes the Power Transmission Line Overlay Zoning District. The other would require Alternate Design Review for the Peachtree Parkway Overlay District and Castleberry-Bethelview Crossroads Overlay Zoning District proposals to be considered by the Board of Commissioners instead of the Planning Commission.

The board also authorized the Finance Department to advertise the M&O millage rate of 4.812 mills which is a slight increase from the previous year. Also, the bond rate has been reduced from 0.947 to 0.869 as the county inches closer to balancing the budget.

Public hearings on the budget have been set for July 7 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and July 21 at 6 p.m.

Commissioners have said they do not expect to raise the millage rate this year.

"We're getting closer to balancing the budget, which is pretty good considering what's going on all around us," said Finance Director David Gruen.

SOGTP June 20, 2011 at 07:22 PM
If you believe in private property rights, then the owners should be allowed to dispose of their private property as they see fit. Private property is the basis of our civil society and the United States Constitution recognizes this reality.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »