It appears Lanier Golf Course may be rezoned after all.
Appalachian Judicial Circuit Judge Robert E. Bradley issued an order Thursday, requiring the Forsyth County commission “to rezone the property to a constitutional zoning classification within 45 days of the date of this order.”
County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the local government will comply with Bradley’s order, which does not specify what type of rezoning it must grant.
Jarrard said the county likely will hold a public hearing on the rezoning before it is approved.
In a statement released Friday, course owners Jack Manton and George Bagley Jr. said they were grateful for Bradley’s decision.
“Since January 2011 the attorneys for Lanier Golf Club and the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners and its county attorney have been in meaningful discussions awaiting Judge Bradley’s order,” the men said.
“The only request of Lanier Golf Club during the zoning process was that it be treated equally and fairly as other similar property owners in Forsyth County located adjacent to the Buford Dam/Market Place Boulevard area.”
The course owners filed suit against the county in 2007, after commissioners rejected their request to rezone the 172-acre site from agricultural to a master planned district.
Manton and Bagley had a contract with a developer to buy the site, contingent upon its rezoning.
Bradley, who was appointed to the matter after the county’s two Superior Court judges recused themselves, ruled in Manton and Bagley’s favor in June, following two days of testimony.
Phillip Friduss, the attorney who represented the county in the case, took issue with the fact that Bradley had visited the site the night before his June 29 decision.
As a result of what Friduss characterized as “independent, unsolicited and undisclosed” behavior on Bradley’s part, the attorney filed a motion for a new trial and a request to have the judge recused from the case.
The county learned in March that its request to have Bradley replaced in the lawsuit had been denied.
The case was then turned back over to Bradley for a final decision on the county’s request for a new trial.