Archive for July, 2008

Dunwoody Candidates Start to Appear

Dunwoody City Council hopefuls begin announcing intentions for September 15 special election.  Cityhood begins December 1, 2008.

Snellville Delays Crematory Decision

The City Council of Snellville responded to opposition and delayed a decision on whether to grant a buiness permit to a crematorium to conduct an study on possible environmental impacts to a neighboring residential area. 

GwinnettBuzz has already noted that the City’s actions jeopardizes the applicant’s property rights to conduct a legal business, but it seems that unless the City has specified a time for action on the permit application the delay also runs afoul of the recent Court of Appeals decision in Curves, LLC v. Spalding County, Georgia.

No Rezoning Necessary for Lake ArrowHead

Houston-based Johnson Development Corp, the developer of Towne Lake and BridgeMill, has already begun construction to complete a budgeted $64 million to retool 5,800 acres in Waleska, Georgia into Lake ArrowHead.  The new Cherokee County development will include an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, 40-acre festival area, Olympic swimming pool, trails, and no more than 5,000 housing units from $200,000 to $500,000+.  The development will also include Lakeside Village – a mixed-use development along the waterfront.

Cherokee County had targeted this area for development years ago by zoning it to accommodate up to 80,000 housing units.  This will be the most development seen around the 540-acre lake since 1974.

Georgia Tech Tries to Rebuild Historic Credibility

The Georgia Tech Foundation is the new owner of the Academy of Medicine building on West Peachtree in Midtown.  The Atlanta Medical Heritage is donating the 1941 National Registry of Historic Places building because it can no longer afford its upkeep. 

The Georgia Tech Foundation has stated its commitment to preserving the building, but will certainly face greater scrunity from the media and the Crum & Foster opponents.

DeKalb County BZA Wants More Power

The infighting between the DeKalb Board of Zoning Appeals and the County Law Department continues with the BZA calling for amendments to the County Ordinances to give it more power.  The BZA claims it does not get any respect and that the County does not enforce the BZA’s decisions.  Complaining that proper County staff are not attending the BZA hearings, Chair Bonnie Jackson said:

If we continually rule in favor of the applicants, staff will begin to show up.

BZA member Bob Lundsten circulated two proposals:

We can’t wait for the county to revise the entire zoning code. This is the fastest and best way to get it done,” Lundsten said. “Commissioner Jeff Rader will bring the final draft to the full board of commissioners as quickly as possible.”

YES! Dunwoody & Other Elections

With 81% approval, Dunwoody is a go.  In other election news that will likely change zoning and land use decisions:

Cobb County Commissioner Annette Kestling forced into a run-off with Woody Thompson.  Kestling garnered only 24% of the vote with Thompson besting her with 46.5%.  Thompson will take on Republican Barbara Hickey in the general election in November.  You may recall Thompson had previously held that same seat for two terms as a Republican before being defeated by Kestling.    Conventional wisdom tells you Thompson wins the general.

Cobb County Commissioner Joe Thompson forced into a run-off with Bob Ott.  Thompson garnered 40.08% of the vote with Ott besting him by a slim margin of 44%.  Likely a toss-up, but incumbents usually lose when forced into run-offs.

Pauling County Commission has a new chair – David Austin.

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charles Bannister forced into a run-off with former Commissioner Lorraine Green in an ugly, bitter campaign.  Bannister got 49.4% of the vote to Green’s 40.4%.  Who knows?

DeKalb County Commissioner Burrell Ellis gathered 47% of the vote for DeKalb CEO, but not enough to avoid a run-off with former State Representative Stan Watson who came in a distant second with 24%.  Predict Ellis walks away with it.

and just about every incumbent in Clayton County was forced into run-offs. 

Any others you know about?

New Legislation Overturns BBC Land & Development v. Butts County

Governor Perdue signed into law an amendment to O.C.G.A. § 44-5-40 overturning BBC Land & Development, Inc. v. Butts County, 281 Ga. 472, 640 S.E.2d (2007) decided by the Georgia Supreme Court on January 8, 2007.  BBC Land & Development, Inc. that had held that vested rights to develop property in accordance with prior zoning were personal to the owner of them and are not transferable with the land. 

The Home Builders Association of Georgia and others were concerned that this decision would completely change the normal process of residential development in Georgia and lobbied the State Legislature for a legislative remedy.

As amended, O.C.G.A. § 44-5-10 simply reads:

Future interests or estates are descendible, devisable, and alienable in the same manner as estates in possession.

Keep reading for GZB’s summary of the now legislatively overturned BBC Land & Development, Inc. v. Butts County.

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