Dunwoody filed a lawsuit this week against DeKalb County alleging that the county owes it more than $7 million for Brook Run park. The City sued for the balance of the $11.5 million county voters approved for the park in a 2005 bond referendum.
Archive for the ‘Georgia Counties’ Category
Facing 300 residents waving “NO” signs, the Gwinnett County Commission voted 3-0 to reject a special use permit that would allow Bill Head Funeral Home on Lawrenceville Highway to construct a 436-square-foot incinerator and crematory. The Commission vote follows the Planning Commission denial recommendation.
The AJC reports that the meeting drew the attention of State Senator Steven Henson who hinted at state involvement on the impacts of a crematory on surrounding communities.
After Tuesday’s hearing, state Sen. Steve Henson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he believes the General Assembly needs to re-examine data over crematories.
“I do think there’s every cause for concern,” he said.
Without officially resigning, embattled Gwinnett County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly voluntarily suspended himself until the charges have been resolved or until Kenerly’s term ends at the end of December. Kenerly is under indictment for allegedly accepting $1 million in bribes related to County land purchases and failing to disclose a relationship with a private developer seeking rezoning from the County.
Kenerly was facing increasing criticism from voters.
“That’s what he needed to do,” said Steve Ramey of the Founding Fathers Tea Party Patriots. “He should have done it a long time ago.”
James Bell, co-founder of the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance, said Kenerly’s presence on the commission was a distraction.
“I can’t say I’m happy, but I’m pleased,” he said. “Kenerly did the right thing in stepping down.”
Fellow alliance member Ron Williams agreed.
“I think it was a little late,” he said, “but it was the right thing to do.”
By a 4-3 vote the Gwinnett County Planning Commission recommended denial of a special use permit for Bill Head Funeral Home that would allow it to construct the 436-square-foot crematory incinerator at its Tucker location on Lawrenceville Highway.
The proposal has met almost unanimous opposition from the surrounding neighborhoods because the crematory would be about 100 feet from several residences and within a half-mile of 17 residential subdivisions.
The Planning Commission vote is non-binding. The application now proceeds to the Gwinnett County Commission, which could vote on it as early as November 16.
The Georgia Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s dismissal of the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation‘s legal challenge to tax breaks granted by the County to six large developments in Buckhead and Midtown that include The St. Regis Buckhead, The InterContinental Buckhead and The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Midtown.
The Fulton County Board of Assessors assigned to these development projects a “50 percent valuation formula” to determine the fair market value of the property. Under the formula, the board agrees to initially value the estate at 50 percent of its overall fair market value and then increase the value by 5 percent a year over the value of the lease.
The lawsuit alleges that this valuation formula is unconstitutional and illegal because it allows the developers to pay less than their fair share of property taxes because the estates were initially appraised at less than fair market value.
The trial court had dismissed the lawsuit without hearing any evidence. The case now proceeds to trial.
You can find a copy of the Court’s decision here.
The Sandy Springs City Council unanimously approved filing a lawsuit against Fulton County for its alleged failure to maintain two detention ponds at Arlington Memorial Park on Mount Vernon Highway. The City blames the detention ponds for problems with Colewood Creek and flooding of residential properties in Colewood Court.
AJC reports the Grand Jury indicted Gwinnett County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly for one count of bribery and two counts of failing to disclose a financial interest in connection with properties the county bought.
The Grand Jury considered, but did not indict former Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charles Bannister who recently resigned amidst the controversy.
AJC obtained the Bill of Indictment.
The Gwinnett County Grand Jury investigating the County’s parkland purchases considered indicting former Commission Chair Charles Bannister for perjury for making false statements, but declined. The Grand Jury continues its work and will meet again on October 22. Until then, the work of the Grand Jury and the fates of Bannister, Commissioner Kevin Kenerly and others remains unknown.
UPDATE: Charles Bannister cut a deal with the Grand Jury to resign as Commission Chair to avoid indictment.
Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Michael Clark ordered the work of the Grand Jury be kept under seal until October 22. Commissioner Kenerly formally objected to the Grand Jury filing a motion last week challenging its work. That motion is also under seal.
DeKalb County Commission approves a permit for a crematory to be built at A.S. Turner & Sons funeral home on North Decatur Road near Winn Way. This will be only the second crematory approved in DeKalb County. The County eased crematory regulations last year.
Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charlie Bannister unexpectedly resigned before his scheduled appearance before a Grand Jury investigating the County’s $37 million land deals. Chairman Bannister was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. First elected to public office in 1976, Bannister served on the Lilburn City Council six years then two years as Mayor. Bannister went on to serve eighteen years in the Georgia House of Representatives before being elected Gwinnett County Chairman in 2004.
Chairman Bannister and fellow County Commission Kevin Kenerly were to appear today for the last meeting of the Grand Jury in its 9-month investigation into land deals. The investigation has centered on allegations that the County paid politically connected developers inflated prices for parkland.
Commissioner Kenerly met with the Grand Jury the news of Bannister’s resignation broke.
AJC snagged the resignation letter.