EAST FORSYTH — A recent decision by a visiting Superior Court judge appears to have ended the long-running legal battle over Lanier Golf Club.
The suit was filed in 2011 by Pedro Pedro Techologias, a corporation run by William Pulford out of his home on Fairway Lane, near the 172-acre golf course east of Cumming.
It was filed against both Forsyth County and Lanier Golf Club, owned by Jack Manton and George Bagley Jr. However, Judge G. Grant Brantley’s decision granted the defense’s motion for summary judgment, essentially dropping the case.
Barring an appeal, it would appear the decision clears the way for the golf course site to be developed.
“It’s exactly what we asked for, so we’re very pleased with the ruling of the court,” Manton said. “That’s as much as we could have asked for and that’s as much as we got.”
As for the property, Manton said it is “under contract for development.”
The attorney for Pedro Pedro, Bill Crecelius Jr., said he plans to speak with his client early this week to determine if there is a desire to continue pursuing the matter.
From Forsyth County’s perspective, County Attorney Ken Jarrard said, “assuming there is no appeal to the ruling, this should mark the end of any further litigation.”
“I believe the judge’s ruling was consistent with the law,” he said. “The Lanier Golf Course situation has gone on a long time. Hopefully, this may bring some finality, at last, to the litigation element.”
The owners have sought since October 2007 to be able to develop the site.
After several years of legal disputes involving the county, owners and residents, an order from another visiting judge in May 2011 required the county commission "to rezone the property to a constitutional zoning classification," which was done in July of that year.
The front 93.8 acres were rezoned from agricultural to a master planned district, with a conditional use permit for a continuing care retirement center.
The 78.6 acres in the rear of the site were rezoned from agricultural to Res 2, or residential with 1.5 to 2 units per acre.
That rezoning spurred two suits in August 2011 against the county and the golf club, one of which was dropped in January 2012 by resident group Save Lanier Golf Club. The other suit was filed by Pedro Pedro Techologias.