Archive for December, 2010

Dunwoody Sues DeKalb County

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.

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Lilburn City Council Deadlocked On Proposed Mosque

Following a unanimous denial by its Planning Commission, the Lilburn City Council deadlocked at 2 in favor and 2 opposed to the rezoning request that would have allowed Dar-E-Abbas to construct a 20,000-square-foot mosque on four acres at U.S. 29 and Hood Road.  The tie vote equals a denial and rejection of the rezoning application.

The issue will now proceed back to federal court for a judge to decide.

Lilburn Planning Commission Rejects Mosque

Citing feasibility, the Lilburn Planning Commission voted 4-0 to recommend denial of the rezoning request by Dar-E-Abbas for a 20,000-square-foot mosque on four acres at U.S. 29 and Hood Road.  According to the AJC, the Planning Commission members took issue with everything from buffers and parking to the potential for noise and water runoff.

“This board does not change zoning on the flip of a coin,” Commissioner Mike Hart told more than 70 residents at city hall. “We have to change zoning understanding that the project will work, and this site plan doesn’t communicate that this project will work.”

“All of the discussion about compliance with traffic and hydraulics and buffers and setbacks can be dealt with in the permitting stage,” Dillard said. “The bottom line is, by denying it, they are still taking away the constitutional right that this congregation has to worship in free and peaceful assembly and that’s wrong, and I’m very disappointed in the planning commission.”

The rezoning application and the Planning Commission recommendation now head to the City Council for a final vote.

This recent Planning Commission decision is the latest in a yearlong dispute over the planned Mosque.  In November 2009, the Lilburn City Council denied a similar rezoning request sought Dar-E-Abbas, which led to  a federal religious discrimination lawsuit against the city.  The lawsuit is on hold through January.

T-Mobile Sues Johns Creek

T-Mobile has sued the City of Johns Creek following the City’s denial of its application to build a 134-foot cell tower on Rogers Circle.

The Johns Creek decision came after a public hearing in which five people, including a representative of the current owner of the property, spoke against the tower.

Resident Lisa Muzi presented the council with a petition signed by more than 700 residents in opposition to the tower.

Jay Stroman, vice president for advancement at Young Harris College, said as trustee of the property, the college is committed to maintaining its value. A cell tower, he said, could diminish the property value by as much as half, he said.

The college assumed ownership of the property in July, following the death of the former owner whose family had been working with T-Mobile.

City council members pointed out that the proposed site is in one of Johns Creek’s last rural areas and contains numerous historic sites. They also said they were not convinced the company explored alternatives to the site.

In its court filing, attorneys for T-Mobile said the company performed all the studies and met all the requirements set out in the city’s ordinance. It further acceded to any conditions for landscaping and buffers recommended by the planning staff.

The council’s decision, the company attorneys argued, was made in bad faith and has caused T-Mobile unnecessary trouble and expense.