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Opening arguments held for Supreme Court case involving city of Cumming
Cumming

CUMMING -- Oral arguments were recently held for a Georgia Supreme Court case between the city of Cumming and homeowners of the Castleberry Homeowners Association Two, Inc.

According to court documents, the case began with issues over townhomes built in the Villages of Castleberry subdivision that did not meet setback, the distance between a lot line and a building line, which homeowners complained “ the townhomes were so close to their property lines that the windows looked down into their single family homes’ windows and back yards.”

In April, Mayor H. Ford Gravitt and the Cumming City Council, acting as the city’s board of zoning appeals, granted a variance for the setback for builder Kerley Family Homes LLC.

Homeowners then filed a lawsuit with the Forsyth County Superior Court, which the city later attempted to have dismissed on grounds that the homeowners did not follow court procedure by filing a petition for a writ of certiorari, an order a higher court issues to review the decision of a lower court.

The Superior Court decided in favor of the homeowners, and the city appealed the decision to the supreme court.

“This is a fairly technical legal argument with regard to whether or not the appropriate route of appeals for a variance is by way of what’s called a writ of certiorari to Superior Court when there’s nothing in the city ordinance that says to do it that way,” said Stuart Teague, the attorney representing the homeowners.

“It’s almost an esoteric legal argument.”

Teague said the timetable on the court’s decision depended on their schedule. The court’s website states that decisions are typically made one to five months after oral arguments.

City Attorney Dana Miles said in an email that he could not comment on pending litigation.

City Councilman Christopher Light is referenced in the suit as he was the homebuilder’s attorney in the process. When reached for comment, he said he had only been involved as an attorney and had not taken any council action related to the case out of caution.