West Village annexation challenge headed to Ga. Supreme Court
A legal battle over a large May 2007 annexation that added more than 1,075 potential homes to Peachtree City’s west side is headed to the Georgia Supreme Court. The Georgia Court of Appeals in July had ruled that the annexation is null and void because it violated state law, but the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.
The suit was filed by Peachtree City resident and attorney David Worley, who claimed that the City Council was in violation of a law that requires a one-year cooling off period following a “no” vote to an annexation proposal.
Technically, the council recorded a no vote against one of the two annexations before minutes later voting in favor on a 3-2 vote, with Mayor Harold Logsdon and council members Steve Boone and Cyndi Plunkett in favor and council members Judi-ann Rutherford and Stuart Kourajian voting against.
The property owners involved in the suit are John Wieland Homes, which was authorized to build 475 single family homes, and developer Brent Scarbrough, who succeeded the first developer Levitt and Sons, which was authorized to build a 662-unit age-restricted subdivision for senior citizens.
The developers filed the appeal on their own, as the City Council voted in July of last year to not pursue any further action.
If the annexation is nullified, the developers will have to develop their property as zoned by the county for lots with a minimum size of two acres, which won’t come near to the density provided by the city’s annexation.
The developers also could re-file an annexation request, but the current City Council is widely seen as averse to annexation, making it unlikely that such an annexation would be approved.
Hanging in the balance with the court’s decision is what many consider a key component to the city’s transportation network. Both developers have agreed to construct an extension of MacDuff Parkway to Senoia Road, which would give an access point to Ga. Highway 74 North and allow cars in the city’s Wilksmoor (West) Village to avoid the intersection of Ga. highways 54 and 74.
But another concern of Worley and other annexation opponents is that all the new homes will require city services, and that will take its toll on the city’s beleaguered budget. Worley also has stated concerns over the impact the developments would have on the school system and traffic in the area.
On the other hand, the city’s sewer system would most certainly welcome the opportunity to service more than a thousand new residential customers as it recently raised most residents’ sewer bills by 50 percent or more due to declining revenue.
Another factor at play behind the scenes of the annexation is a potential location for a college campus that could be carved out.
Peachtree City officials have long salivated over the potential for a college here, and while Clayton State University has already established a beachhead, so has the private Atlanta Christian College, which is looking to relocate from its campus in East Point.