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Appeal likely in case for course
Attorney: Fight far from finished
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Forsyth County News


The attorney for a Forsyth County resident who filed suit in an attempt to stop the development of Lanier Golf Course said they plan to appeal a recent decision on the matter.

Bob McFarland Sr., who is representing Michael Peck, said the fight isn’t finished.

“This will be the third appearance at the Court of Appeals,” said McFarland, adding that Cherokee County Superior Court Judge Frank Mills’ decision to grant summary judgment is only against Peck.

He said 21 to 23 plaintiffs were added to the case after class-action status was denied. Their case is pending.

McFarland said if the appeals court upholds the ruling, he likely will take the case to the Georgia Supreme Court.

In an order dated May 13, Mills granted the motion for summary judgment requested by course owners Jack Manton and George Bagley Jr.

Mills was appointed to the case after Forsyth County’s two Superior Court judges recused themselves.

Peck, who lives adjacent to the 172-acre course, filed suit in 2007 against Lanier Golf Club on behalf of himself and about 120 other landowners who live near the site.

Though Peck was denied class-action status in the matter, the State Appellate Court ruled in July that he still had a case.

Manton and Bagley subsequently filed their request for summary judgment.

Manton said the men plan to sue Peck for more than $100,000.

“We have a pending motion for the recovery of attorneys’ fees and our expenses as a result of Mr. Peck filing a frivolous lawsuit,” Manton said.

McFarland said the legal matter involving Peck and other residents near the course is completely separate from a suit Manton and Bagley filed against the county government.

In that case, the Forsyth County commission has been ordered to grant Manton and Bagley a constitutional zoning of the golf course.

The owners filed a lawsuit against the commission in 2007, after it denied Manton and Bagley’s request to rezone the site from agricultural to a master planned district.

Manton and Bagley had a contract with a developer who planned to buy the course, contingent upon its rezoning. The county was given 45 days to rezone the property.

“Our case is an implied easement, that case is for a zoning,” McFarland said. “It’s apples and oranges. Whatever zoning they get ... it has no effect in our case.”