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Claim for easement rejected
Appeal involved Lanier Golf site
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Forsyth County News

 Course lawsuit dropped


A separate lawsuit filed by resident group Save Lanier Golf Club against Forsyth County and the course owners has been dropped.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard said there was no settlement associated with the group’s January dismissal of the case, and he didn’t know why the residents dropped it.

Since the suit was dismissed without prejudice, he said the residents could file again within a certain time period.

Members of Save Lanier Golf Club did not respond to requests for comment.

The group filed that case in August, after commissioners followed a May court order to rezone the property from agricultural.

That decision came as a result of course owners Jack Manton and George Bagley Jr. successfully challenging the county’s denial of a request to rezone to a master planned district in 2007.

Jarrard said the county’s only pending litigation pertaining to the golf course is a case filed in August by Pedro Pedro Tecnologias, a corporation run by William Pulford out of his home on Fairway Lane.

That suit names the county and Lanier Golf Course based on the July rezoning.

— Alyssa LaRenzie

The Georgia Appeals Court has upheld a decision that a neighbor of Lanier Golf Club does not have implied easement rights.

The case originated in 2007 when Michael Peck, who lives adjacent to the 172-acre course, filed suit against Lanier after the owners announced plans to sell the property for development.

Peck’s suit was based on the grounds of an implied covenant when he purchased his property, which if the court agreed, could stop development of the site on Buford Dam Road.

The most recent ruling, dated March 8, states that “Peck failed to present evidence establishing the existence of an implied easement based upon a recorded subdivision plat … and cannot show that he reasonably relied upon any oral assurances regarding the golf course as a matter of law.”

Bob McFarland Sr., Peck’s attorney, filed the appeal after a May court decision granting summary judgment to course owners Jack Manton and George Bagley Jr.

“Obviously, I don’t agree with [the decision],” McFarland said Monday. “There are other steps that can be taken.”

He added that he plans to file a motion for reconsideration with the appeals court within the 10-day deadline.

If that motion isn’t granted, McFarland said he could request the Georgia Supreme Court hear the case.

According to Manton, the appeals court “dismissed” Peck’s claims of an easement.

“Mr. Peck’s attorney has filed with the Forsyth County Superior Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals hundreds of documents, depositions, affidavits, maps and surveys that not only pertain to Mr. Peck’s claims, but also apply to the remaining plaintiffs who live adjacent to the golf course,” Manton said.

Though 25 additional plaintiffs are included in the original case, McFarland said this appeal ruling only includes Peck.

Peck was denied class-action status in the matter, but the State Appellate Court ruled in July 2010 that he still had a case.

Manton and Bagley subsequently filed their request for summary judgment.

McFarland said the decision “is pretty clear” that the ruling only pertains to Peck and his subdivision.

“Hopefully we can get a trial [for those other residents],” McFarland said. “But I expect that [the course owners] will try to do this motion for summary judgment to circumvent a trial.”