Suit seeks to halt PTC’s annexation of West Village

Tue, 06/05/2007 - 5:08pm
By: John Munford

A Peachtree City man has filed a lawsuit against the city, asking the court to nullify a vote taken May 3 to annex two large parcels of land that would house 1,075 homes on 782 acres in the city’s West Village area.

David Worley, an attorney who lives in The Point on Lake Kedron subdivision, said Tuesday morning that he was present for the May 3 council meeting and witnessed the vote, which convinced him to file the lawsuit.

“I think many other people in the city are concerned that this annexation is not consistent with the original vision for the city, and are concerned with the impact that 1,100 new homes will have on our schools and traffic,” Worley said.

Had the property remained in the county, it would have been far less dense. The Wieland 379-acre tract, located north of the current terminus of MacDuff Parkway and adjacent to Ga. Highway 74, was zoned in the county for homes with a minimum lot size of two acres. It is likely that a similar zoning would have been in the cards for Levitt’s 403-acre parcel, which is further north and borders the town of Tyrone.

The suit contends that the City Council initially voted down the annexation proposed by Levitt and Sons, and since the annexation for John Wieland and Homes was contingent upon Levitt’s annexation succeeding, neither should have been successful. The suit claims that the “no” vote for the Levitt property triggers both a city ordinance and a Georgia law which require a six-month waiting period after annexations or zoning requests that are denied.

In light of the lawsuit, the City Council has postponed consideration of the impact fees that will be set for both new subdivisions, according to a city spokesperson.

Although council at one time voted down the Levitt annexation at the May 3 meeting, it reconsidered the motion minutes later after Levitt offered to cut the density by 17 homes. The approval vote was 3-2 with council members Steve Boone, Cyndi Plunkett and Harold Logsdon in favor; voting no were Stuart Kourajian and Judi-ann Rutherford.

The suit claims that the city violated Georgia law by allowing Levitt and Wieland to change their annexation applications at the meeting “without providing notice or a hearing after the applications had been changed ... .” This refers to the reduction in density that was made at the meeting as Wieland dropped its total number of homes from 495 to 475 and Levitt reduced its homes from 679 to 650.

In 1990 Worley ran for Congress against Newt Gingrich. He is also a former state chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party. Worley is currently a member of the Georgia state elections board.

Worley is represented on the case by attorney Richard N. Hubert.

The suit is asking for the council’s vote to be overturned and Worley is also seeking attorney’s fees. The suit was filed in Fayette County Superior Court and is currently assigned to Judge Christopher C. Edwards.

According to the biography on his law firm’s website, Worley works mainly in the area of securities and consumer fraud, working on defective products, whistle-blower, antitrust and securities litigation matters.

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