UPDATE: Fractious, five-year fight over fate of golf course

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Nydia Tisdale
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Lanier Golf Club PUBLIC HEARING June 16, 2011

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 21st, 2011, 6:08 am

THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011 at 5:00 P.M.

Watch video here:
http://www.forsythco.com/video.asp?wmsI ... %2F16%2F11
Right click, Zoom, Full Screen, fast forward

Public Hearing for rezoning of Lanier Golf Course, pursuant to May 12, 2011 Court Order in Forsyth County Superior Court case number 07CV2213 – County Attorney.

Decision was deferred to a Special Called Work Session to be held on Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room – Suite 220.

0:54:50 County Attorney Ken Jarrard
0:55:10 Chairman Brian Tam
0:56:30 Interim Planning Director Tom Brown
1:02:15 Doug Dillard, attorney for applicant
1:04:05 David Schorr
1:09:30 Bob McFarland, attorney for homeowners
1:12:00 Paul Baron
1:15:00 David Schorr
1:16:35 Jim Harrell
1:17:30 Connie Knight
1:20:25 Robert Slaughter, Smart Growth Forsyth County
1:22:40 Robert Hasse
1:24:55 Ken Leach
1:28:15 Doug Dillard, attorney for applicant
1:32:15 Public Hearing closed
1:33:10 Room cleared
1:38:00 Vote to move decision to work session

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Nydia Tisdale
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Lanier Golf Club, Inc. public hearing June 16

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 21st, 2011, 8:50 am

TAM: Public hearing #2. Counselor.
JARRARD: Mr. Chairman, public hearing #2 is a public hearing regarding the rezoning of Lanier Golf Course [sic] pursuant to a May 12, 2011 court order, and before I get into the specifics and turn it over to Mr. Brown, I wanted to open up to the board, if you wanted to make any preliminary statements, Mr. Chairman.

TAM: Yes. Counselor, members of the board and the general public, we are here tonight because we are under a court order to zone this property. Although this is the eleventh hour, we are currently working on a plan that could possibly — and I said possibly — zone the front half of the property and possibly leave the back half dormant; therefore, I am going to ask that we have a public hearing tonight and defer a decision until one week from tonight at a Special Called Work Session on June 23rd at 5 p.m.

During the next seven days, I encourage both sides to work together in the spirit of compromise. I feel that seven days from tonight, this property will be zoned. However, tonight, I believe, we’ll go ahead and have the public hearing. Mr. Brown, if you’d go ahead and make your presentation.

BROWN: Thank you. This item involves 172.349 acres of property located at Buford Dam Road, Fairway Drive, Samples Road, Caney Creek Drive, Fairway Overlook and Fairway Lane. The property is known as Lanier Golf Club. The proposal before you would rezone the property from A1 to a split zoning and, if you could display the file, public, titled: Public Hearing 2 MPD Plan.

Thank you. This depicts the front half of the property and the front half of the tract which is adjacent to Buford Dam Road and, now shown on your screen, is approximately 90 acres and the proposal would rezone this property from A1 to MPD with a conditional use permit for a continuing care retirement community. This section of the property would include 429 independent or assisted living units, 50 hospice beds and 150 skilled nursing beds.

If you would now, please, display Public Hearing 2 MPD Conditions and if you would slowly scroll through those — that document for me. These are the conditions that would apply to the MPD section which was just shown on the screen.

TAM: Maybe you could slow that down just a little bit down for them.
BROWN: I would call — this was just brought to my attention as the meeting was started — earlier today, we had added the Condition #1.
TAM: Maybe, we should show that condition.
BROWN: Let’s go back to Condition #1. I’ll call out that earlier today Condition #1 was added, uh, it was brought to my attention by the applicant that, now, in condition #5 we have an incorrect, uh, reference to Condition #6 and that should read Condition #7. So, our staff will work on that, if indeed this item is postponed for a week, to correct that.
TAM: Again, can we slow that down just a little bit?
[Conditions for front half are scrolled on the screens.]
TAM: Does that, does that conclude the conditions?
BROWN: That concludes the conditions for the MPD half of the property.
TAM: Okay.
BROWN: If you would now display the file, please, titled: Public Hearing 2 RES 3 Plan. This depicts the rear tract of the property. It is approximately 80 acres and under the proposal it would be rezoned from A1 to RES3. This section would include 171 single family units. If you would now, please, display the file Public Hearing 2, the RES3 Conditions. And these are the proposed conditions for the back half, RES3 section of the property.
[Conditions for back half are scrolled on the screens.]
BROWN: And that does conclude my presentation. Thank you.
TAM: Thank you. Counselor, do you have anything to add?
JARRARD: Only, Mr. Chairman that I am in agreement that the public hearing does need to go forward this evening, uh, and then we have, pursuant to the court’s order, we have 45 days from May 12th, so I think the June 26th, um, is about, is about our deadline.
TAM: Okay.
JARRARD: So, uh, why don’t you go and open up the public hearing at this time.
TAM: Okay. And the Clerk is clear that we want to have a Special Called Work Session in one week from tonight at 5 p.m., and we’ll advertise, accordingly? Thank you. Is there a motion to open the public hearing?
AMOS: So moved.
BOFF: Second.
TAM: We have a motion and a second. Please vote on the motion. Motion passes unanimously. Anyone wishing to speak in favor of the proposed rezoning for Lanier Golf Course [sic], please step forward.

DILLARD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the commission; I’m Doug Dillard with Dillard & Galloway. Um, I along with my partner Andrea Jones, uh, and Mr. Emory Lipscomb and his, his fine staff, uh, represent Lanier Golf Club, Inc. As you know this, uh, matter has been pending for quite a while. Lawsuit was filed in October of 2007. We had a trial, now, almost a year ago. Uh, various motions were filed, all of which, uh, were resolved to the applicant’s satisfaction. So, we’re here asking you tonight to rezone this property to, uh, MP, MPD and to RES3. Uh, I want to, uh, also remind you that we have filed constitutional notices, uh, which have been filed with the clerk and we ask that they be, uh, incorporated and made part of the, uh, of the record.

We also would state that under the both the MPD rezoning and the RES3 rezoning, that we accept the conditions that have been recommended to you this evening by staff. So, we would ask that you, uh, rezone this property in accordance with these various conditions, uh, all of this is consistent with, uh, many years of work and labor on behalf of Mr. Manton and Mr. Bagley and, uh, and us and now your staff. Uh, we think these conditions are consistent with activity center designation of your comprehensive plan. We accordingly ask that you adopt, uh, those conditions as part of rezoning of each of these properties. Uh, I’d like to reserve my remaining time for rebuttal. Thank you.

TAM: Thank you. Anyone else wishing to speak in favor of rezoning Lanier Golf Course [sic], please step forward.
[No one stepped forward.]
TAM: Anyone wishing to speak in opposition of the rezoning of Lanier Golf Course [sic], please step forward. And, um, could I get a show of hands as to how many people plan to speak or are wanting to speak? Okay, let’s please keep it, uh, to two minutes per speaker, if we can. That will be twice the time that the clerk or that the, uh, or that the speaker, or that she had, uh, mapped out.
SCHORR: Alright. Would you say that again please?
TAM: Say, if we keep it to two minutes that’d be twenty minutes. She had said ten minutes earlier.
SCHORR: I understand.
JARRARD: Mr. Chairman, why don’t we go ahead — if you don’t mind, I’ll interrupt you — why don’t we go ahead and, and make a motion by the board to go ahead and give twenty minutes and then go ahead and give twenty minutes or Mr. Dillard and his side some, the equivalent amount of time that we extend. That’s, that’s going to be appropriate.
TAM: Alright. Is there a motion from the board?
SCHORR: Before that’s, um, voted upon, Mr. Dillard already reserved, reserved time for his comment on rebuttal which was eight minutes. So, I think he had his opportunity to make that request that made his case and I think —
TAM: No —
SCHORR: — I think it’s irresponsible.
TAM: — If we’re going to give you twenty minutes, we’re going to give him twenty minutes.
AMOS: I make a motion we give each side twenty minutes.
TAM: Total.
AMOS: Total.
BELL: Second.
TAM: We have a motion and a second. Any discussion? If not, please vote on the motion. Motion passes unanimously. Go right ahead.
~ ~ ~
MCFARLAND: Gentlemen, my name is Bob McFarland and I’ll attempt to be very brief. I live across the street from this golf course. I developed a subdivision of 37 acres in the late 70’s. Recently, the City of Cumming has condemned my neighbor’s property to put a three-stage sewer pump on her property moving from Samples Road to that property. That property, then that sewer pump then connects over to Samples Road for one purpose and that is so that this development can be made. We fought that as hard as we could fight it. Commissioner Boff was a witness in the case. We did not win, but I will assure you, the City of Cumming paid a lot more in attorney’s fees than they ever wanted to in that case. Also, the jury awarded us about three or four times what the City of Cumming wanted to pay. I say that for one reason. If somebody will put up that much resistance that lives across the street, think about what’s going to happen when a 125 people all have those bulldozers like I had in my backyard for nine months.

Also, I want to bring to your attention, there’s a pending case, that I’m the attorney on that has been to the Georgia Court of Appeals twice and now is on its way a third time and the purpose is to say that these people — the ones that are plaintiffs in that case — have an implied easement in the 177 acres that you are thinking about rezoning and I will assure you that that case is going to go to the Georgia Supreme Court at one day and they’re going to make a decision. And I just want to tell you that when we filed the case, we had a lot of authority to support our position and since the case was filed and the Nebraska Supreme Court and the Alabama Supreme Court both sustained cases just like ours and we have every reason to believe that the Georgia Supreme Court is going to do the same thing. And so I ask you the question: What are you going to do when everybody has an implied easement in that property? Thank you.
TAM: Thank you.
~ ~ ~
TAM: We have one minute remaining. Is there anyone else wishing to speak in opposition? If not, do you folks care to offer some comments?
DILLARD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We’re not going to take twelve or twenty — however long we’ve got — I don’t think I’ll take more than two or three minutes here. Uh, unfortunately, uh, we’ve not heard anything today that we haven’t heard four years ago. We haven’t heard anything here today that wasn’t tried in front of Judge Bradley a year ago. Uh, we haven’t heard anything different that would cause us to anyway say that there should be any other zoning on the property other than what’s been asked for.

A denial, which the, has been, uh, suggested by some of these opponents, would be a very irresponsible act on your part. It would not only be in contempt of Judge Bradley’s order, it would not, it would not satis[fy], it would not satisfy the legal requirements, which while difficult in these kind of situations is one that calls for balance — one that calls for understanding the equity of the situation — one that understands the balancing between the public good and the rights of citizens to have their property and use their property for a lawful purpose. We’ve got that unfettered right.

You set in discretionary roles to determine how, and in what manner, conditions need to be put on this zoning that protects the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Forsyth County. Now, we have a disagreement about how that ought to occur, but we suggest the conditions that have been recommended by staff, that we agreed to, uh, will balance those equities and would, would create the kind of community, uh, that, uh, needs to be, uh, accommodated on this property.

Regarding Mr. McFarland and his lawsuits, this is the third trip to the appellate court that they have had. They haven’t won a ruling yet. We don’t think they’re gonna win this one. And we don’t think that Nebraska courts or courts in any other state are going to change the long established law of Georgia regarding the rights of easements and the rights of adjacent property owners, uh, that abut these kinds of facilities.

And in conclusion, I want to just read from Judge Bagley’s order about why we have asked for what we ask for. He confirmed that, that this application is consistent with your Future Land Use Map and he found that this application did not contravene the public health, safety and welfare and I quote: “In finding that the A1 zoning classification on the property in unconstitutional, the court finds that the property suffers a significant loss in value at its present, existing A1 zoning both as raw agricultural land and as an operating golf course. The court further finds that the Future Land Use Map designates the property as quote “an Activity Center” end of quote, and — this is important — and the proposed use as a Master Planned Development is consistent with the Future Land Use Map.

That’s your map. That was your decision that was made long before we filed this zoning application. It was found then that an Activity Center is in the best interest of this particular part of Forsyth County. We’re just asking you that you follow the plan. We have reduced the zoning. Uh, we think that the R —the RES3 gives a transition into the MPD that, that will provide logical transition of single family into higher densities and we, we would ask that you zone these properties as requested in accordance with the conditions as submitted. Thank you, sir.

TAM: Thank you. Okay. As I stated earlier, we will have a specially — Special Called Work Session one week from tonight at 5 p.m.
JARRARD: May we have a motion to close the public hearing?
BOFF: So moved.
AMOS: Second.
TAM: We have a motion and a second to close the public hearing, but before we do, I would just like to say what I said earlier: We are under court order and I encourage both sides to work together in the spirit of compromise. Any further discussion? If not, please vote on the motion.
[The board displays five green lights indicating unanimous vote.]
TAM: The public hearing is closed.

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Nydia Tisdale
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Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 21st, 2011, 5:52 pm

Forsyth County Board of Commissioners
Public Hearing
June 16, 2011
I’m Doug Dillard with Dillard & Galloway. Um, I along with my partner Andrea Jones, uh, and Mr. Emory Lipscomb and his, his fine staff, uh, represent Lanier Golf Club, Inc.


Since October 31, 1975, William Emory Lipscomb III has served, and continues to serve, as general counsel to the Development Authority of Forsyth County, at the same time that he is suing Forsyth County on behalf of his client, Lanier Golf Club, Inc.

http://www.dca.state.ga.us/development/ ... pe=&sdreg=

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Nydia Tisdale
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Theft by taking land value

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 23rd, 2011, 2:21 pm

June 19, 2011


I appreciate your time and careful consideration regarding the pending decision on ZA 3370, and am grateful for the opportunity share my concerns and participate in this process. I did express a few of my concerns in the public session last week and specifically questioned the impact rezoning will have on the adjacent property values and question if the related taking of more than $3,000,000 in land value from these properties could result in felony charges.

I have many more concerns which were not expressed due to the time limits imposed by the commission for this public session.

I will greatly appreciate each of you review and consider the information presented in the attached email. I sent this to the commissioners and shared these concerns in the prior public hearing on this matter. I believe you will find the concerns and facts still apply.

Thank You,
Rob Hasse

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rob Hasse
Date: Mon, Aug 27, 2007 at 3:29 PM
Subject: ZA 3370 - Rezoning of Lanier Golf Course
To: Brant Meadows, Pam Livesay, Barry Russell, Bettina Hammond, Mary Helen McGruder, David Richard, Jim Harrell, Brian Tam, Charles Laughinghouse, Linda Ledbetter, Jeff Chance, Tom Brown, Matt Bucchin, Vanessa Bernstein

Commissioners and members of the Forsyth County Planning Division,

The Forsyth County Planning Commission is scheduled to make their recommendation on rezoning of Lanier Golf Club during the regular meeting tomorrow August 28, 2007. Wellstone, LLC ZA 3370 is listed as Item # 3 under the Public Hearing Rezoning agenda.

I would like to read the following statement in opposition to ZA 3370 during the meeting:

Review of the case file suggests the planning department may recommend approval of the rezoning request because the requested Master Planned District (MP) zoning fits with the "Activity Center" designation for this property in the Future Land Use map, the developer has received approval from Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) and Georgia Mountains RDC (Regional Development Center), and they have apparently complied with all other requirements identified in the UDC.

Evidence suggests the Future Land Use Map may have been misprinted to indicate the “Activity Center” designation for this property. While the color on the map indicates "Activity Center," the subarea committee recommendations on page 15 of the Buford/GA 20 East Subarea Land Use Report indicate "New activity centers will be located near the intersection of GA 20 and Sanders Road and GA 20 and Windermere Parkway." No mention is made of an “Activity Center” along Buford Dam Road or on the Lanier Golf Club property.

Chapter 13 of the Forsyth County UDC indicates the purpose and intent of an Activity Center is for the development of neighborhood shopping districts and urban village districts. This designation is intended to promote development of a centralized business district surrounded by walkable residential communities (similar to the way small towns with a town square or downtown area were designed and developed 50 to 100 years ago).

Has any evidence ever been presented or considered which indicates this property is a logical or desirable location for a new downtown?

An Activity Center is intended to promote alternative development to the subdivision sprawl communities typically developed over the past 35 years.

The developer is using this designation to justify a massive sprawling high density subdivision in an location which cannot be further developed into either a town center or as a focal point for the future quality growth of the surrounding community.

Is there any evidence the proposed plan adheres to the intent of an Activity Center?

The developer is requesting rezoning to Master Planned District (MP) because this matches the Activity Center designation in the Future Land Use Map. However, the submitted development plan appears to more closely fit a Planned Unit Development District (PUD).

The fact is the property is currently zoned agricultural and is primarily (90%) surrounded by R2 residential properties (approximately 10% of the property borders to R6). Would either MP or PUD be appropriate for rezoning of this property if the Future Land Use map indicated it was a Private Park as it was originally designated in the Land Use Report?

The Future Land Use Map is a guideline created by planning experts with community input and intended to assure the best interests of the community at large are being considered when rezoning and development decisions are made. A conveniently misprinted color on a map does NOT provide adequate justification for a decision impacting thousands of people and millions of dollars. There must be some evidence to support the reasoning and logic behind the Activity Center designation for this property if this is the appropriate land use designation.

The developer may have gained the needed approvals of necessary state agencies and may have creatively manipulated the development plan to fit within the boundaries of the existing laws of this community, but the county planning division and our elected officials have the responsibility to address both the Letter and the Intent of the laws of the county to protect the current and future interests of the community.

Approval of this request will unfortunately demonstrate a few individuals with a lot of money can work the system to maximize their personal profit in spite of the intent of the laws and the irreparable harm their actions will have on the existing community. Denial of this request will clearly indicate the elected and appointed officials of Forsyth County respect and take action on the concerns and needs of their community and its citizens.

I thank you for your time and trust you will make the right decision.

Robert Hasse

PS: Please note I sent you an e-mail on July 18th on this same subject with specific concerns on the negative impact on home values, traffic, public safety, and other critical issues raised by this proposed rezoning. I did not receive an acknowledgement and found this letter was not included with the file available for public review at the planning office. The file did contain a few correspondences from a couple of my neighbors, but I am concerned as to why my letter was not included and would like to know how many others may have been removed or excluded from the file.

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Forsyth County commission calls special session

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 23rd, 2011, 2:25 pm

Forsyth County commission calls special session for Lanier Golf Course rezoning

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Monday, June 20, 2011
By Jeffry Scott

Many were gathered at Thursday night's Forsyth County Commission meeting to oppose the commission's plans, following a judge's order, to rezone Lanier Golf Club so that the course could be replaced with residential housing. Instead of a decision, for or against them, the opponents of the rezoning got a reprieve from the commission, which voted 5-0 to call a special work session June 23 to come up with a solution that may be a livable compromise and finally end four years of litigation over the course.

http://www.ajc.com/news/forsyth/forsyth ... 82121.html

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Nydia Tisdale
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Request for Action in the Spirit of Compromise

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 24th, 2011, 6:10 am

June 20, 2011


During the public hearing on ZA 3370 Lanier Golf Club this past Thursday Commissioner Tam suggested both sides work together in the spirit of compromise, but provided no information on how the adjacent property owners or general public may participate in this process. I request the commissioners take immediate action to serve the best interest of this community, please.

Request for Action:

1) I request the County Commissioners inform the community how to participate in this effort.
2) I request the County Commissioners file an appeal to the court order to delay the date of their decision.
3) I request the County Tax Assessors conducts an analysis to determine the property value changes which will result from the proposed rezoning and publishes the finding prior to making their rezoning decision.
4) I request the County Commissioners seek a court order for binding arbitration to identify an alternate development plan which address the communities concerns and preserves or increases the actual property values of the community.

I trust Commissioner Tam was sincere in his expressed statement encouraging both sides to work together in the spirit of compromise, but am somewhat confused as to who officially represents the opposition and how the community can be involved. While I am glad to finally see some suggestion to pursue a compromise I do so with cautious anxiety based on previous 11th hour tactics of Lanier Golf Club's owners. The last efforts they made to engage the adjacent property owners in this process was on the eve of the original Commissioner’s decision to deny ZA 3370.

Jack Manton invited a group of neighbors to listen to an alternate proposal which included limiting most of the redevelopment to the area fronting on Buford Dam Road and transforming the remainder of the property into and executive golf course which would preserve the golf frontage for the majority of adjacent property owners.

Jack asked that we speak in favor of the rezoning under the promise of this change, but when asked to put it in writing he refused. When asked why he didn’t originally submit this plan, and I suggested he could still withdraw the application to make these revisions, his only reply was to assure me he would win this as he has very deep pockets and could spend whatever money was needed to fight this in the courts and was certain the county would eventually give in to the financial pressures of opposing his plans.

I hold the elected officials of the community to be obligated to protecting the interests of every citizen and resident of the community, not just those who contributed to their campaign or voted for them.

Great thing are only and always accomplished through the spirit of cooperation. Every conflict and impasse is actually an opportunity for a win/win scenario to be born. Solutions can always be found, but this requires cooperation not compromise. To accomplish this all vested parties must be willing to listen to the concerns of all involved, seek benefits for all involved, be willing to see the situation through the other parties’ eyes. Most importantly all parties must be willing to dismiss their egos and consider the other parties’ interest ahead of their own.

With this objective I would like to propose the commissioners consider exploring the suggestions in the following section. This was originally prepared and delivered to the property’s developer (WellStone), the Planning Department and County Commissioners following the original decision to deny ZA # 3310 in 2007. Please note this information was developed around the original development plans and may not accurately reflect specific details of the current plan such as number of residential units or total commercial floor space but the basis for this analysis and recommendation still apply.

I thank you for your time and consideration to this matter.


Rob Hasse

Alternate Concentrated Residential Units for Continuing Care Retirement Communities:

This is a proposed guideline and community design for residential housing in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). The intent is to incorporate SMART Development and Sustainable Community best practices along with existing county ordinance and Unified Development Code to allow for appropriate development interest while preserving the existing property values and meeting the community’s needs.

This plan is initially targeted to address the proposed rezoning and development of Lanier Golf Course in Forsyth County Ga. to a mixed use Residential, CCRC, and Commercial community but the basis of this plan can be applied to any residential development project.


The Lanier Golf Club, Inc. property is currently zoned Agricultural. It includes ~ 4,000 (?) feet of frontage on Buford Dam Road and is primarily surrounded by single family residential housing zoned R2R. Properties adjacent to this along Buford Dam Road are zones R6 (townhouses). The property contains over 170 gross acres, but this includes at least 20 acres of ponds, streams, and other areas which cannot be built upon for various reasons. If the entire property were rezoned to match surrounding property it would potentially support up to 300 R6 townhouse units and 200 R2 single family homes. The developer however has requested rezoning to Master Planned district (MP) to incorporate 97,000 sq ft. of neighborhood commercial floor space and 300 CCRC rental units for a total of 772 residential units and at least 2 large non residential structures. The proposed plan includes a ring of small footprint single family homes along the exterior edges of the property where it is adjacent to existing R2 single family properties, with high density townhouses (R6) filling the interior, and commercial structures along the Buford Dam Road frontage. This plan creates the maximum potential use and value of the property under current UDC, but does so at the expense of the surrounding community.

Property values of the surrounding homes have already been negatively impacted due to the rumors of the pending sale. Loss of the Golf course views and frontage will further reduce the home values in the area, and the lengthy build out, traffic, and impact on the community will continue to adversely affect these home values for the next 10 years.

The plan proposed by this document is intended to address the property owner’s rights to develop the property, protect the surrounding property owner’s home value and rights by retaining the golf course frontage, views, and community and the future needs of the community by providing continuing care retirement community with residential housing and neighborhood community and commercial services.

The owners of the golf course have the right to request a change in zoning to develop the property to match the surrounding properties. The property is designated as an activity center in the future use planning but the legality of this designation is under review, but it is assumed rezoning of the property to match the surrounding properties would be approved under existing laws regardless of the future uses designation. Based on current zoning and future use planning this would include a combination of single family residential housing units and high density residential townhouses.

Maximum Appropriate Use:

For purposes of this document it is assumed there would be 100 acres of property rezoned to R2R and 50 acres rezoned to R6. Engineering studies would need to be conducted to calculate the exact number of lots and housing units and to determine the appropriate ratio of single family homes and townhouses, but this should be a fair assumption for purposes of this proposal. This suggests the property has a potential future value equivalent to 500 to 600 residential units (200 R2 single family homes and 300 R6 townhomes or 300 R3 single family units and 300 R6 townhomes). Roadways, common areas, and open spaces required by the UDC for a development of this size along with stream buffers etc. will likely require 15% to 20% of the property thus reducing the maximum number of residential units to approximately 500.

This should be considered maximum appropriate use for the property within the UDC and should be used as the baseline for any proposed development or alternate use of the property.

While 500 Residential Units may seem better than 772 as proposed in the original plan a development of this size would still place significant stress on the community to include traffic, public safety, schools, water supply and treatment, and other community services. This will also have negative impact on the home values, life style, and environment of the existing community due to the loss of the golf course.

Master Development Plan for Continuing Care Retirement Community:

As previously mentioned the original plan intended to develop part of the property as a CCRC community to include residential rental units, fitness club, food services, and neighborhood commercial space to include businesses such as a beauty salon and post office. This would require the property to be zoned as a Master Planned District, which requires at least 25% of the land to be commercial and office use. This would in effect reduce the maximum number of Residential Units by 25% to 375. This zoning definition also requires 20% Open Spaces land use (to not include any part of individual residential lots). Original assumptions indicated about 20 acres of the gross land area would have to remain open but this only accounts for about 12% of the property. Another 40 lots (8%) would need to be set aside for open space to meet the 20% requirement further reducing the total maximum number of residential units to 335 (based on appropriate zoning to match surrounding properties).

This suggests the appropriate use of this property within the MD zoning definition at this location is only ½ of the original proposed plan. This is still a very large development, but effectively cuts most of the community’s concerns in half. The primary remaining issues are the loss of the golf course, lifestyle, and existing home values.

Alternate Concentrated Residential Units:

As the title suggested this document proposes an alternate design which allows for the development of an equivalent number of Residential Units in a concentrated areas of the property. This includes individual 3 story structures which have the outward appearance of a large executive home but actually contains 6 Condominium Residential Units of approximately 1,800 sq ft each. The structures would include drive under parking for 2 cars for each unit and include elevators to provide access the 3 floors each with 2 Residential Units on each floor. These structures would be built in groups of 5 around a cul-de-sac like driveway, with 4 of these groups clustered together in a clover leaf like arrangement around a central square / plaza / pavilion.

This design would facilitate the placement of up to 20 similar structures with up to 120 units on 9 acres of land. The design of the structures would provide for the back of the structure to face the cul-de-sac and the front of the structure (porches and façade) would face away from the cluster providing each residential unit with open views of the green spaces. The central areas of each cul-de-sac and each cluster’s square would be landscaped (preferably incorporate existing mature trees) to breakup the clustered view of the structures. Each cluster would have common areas around the outside to include sidewalks/cart paths, patios, pool, gardens, landscaping, etc.

Save the Green Space & Save the Golf Course!

This design would actually result in 15 residential units per acre but provides 120 units in 22.5% of land area which would be used in R3 zoning and preserving 77.5% of the land area for green space. Further review suggests three of these clusters could be built on the property resulting in 360 Residential Units (more than the calculate maximum of 335) on approximately 30 acres. This would preserve sufficient green space to retain portions of the existing golf course to include at least 9 full length holes and convert remaining fairways and greens into an additional 9 hole executive par 3 course. This plan would not only preserve the golf frontage, views, community, and lifestyle but would also preserve a highly desired amenity to the CCRC and the citizens of Forsyth County. This alternate plan also has the benefit of preserving green space, minimizing impervious surfaces, and establishes a formula and precedence for future SMART growth in the county and beyond.

Additional Benefits of the Clustered Design:

The exterior of the each individual structure will have the appearance an executive mansion similar in overall dimensions rooflines and elevations found in the some of the high end neighborhoods in the county. Each structure will be serviced by a common elevator to provide access to 3 floors of living space. Owners of each unit have a shared ownership in the common lot. Each unit includes drive under parking for 2 vehicles and a golf cart. Each Unit will have average around 1,800sqft (roughly 42ft x 42ft) which is adequate for a very comfortable 2 bedroom condominium, with some additional exterior spaces (porches & decks) and top floor lofts including vaulted ceilings and skylights. Some units may include some smaller (1 bedroom) units on the 1st floor with the balance of space being used for shared common areas like laundry, media, or game rooms.

The clustered design of the structures also provides for easy access to special amenities and facilities shared across the clustered community. This could include designating an entire floor of one of the central structures to community entertainment or service needs such as a large kitchen and dining room for entertaining groups, a library, musical conservatory (with grand piano, etc.), Arts and Crafts facilities and classes, examining rooms for visiting doctors (house calls), pet care health and grooming facilities, etc. Units could be designated for visiting family members visiting from out of town, or on-site nursing care, etc. Transportation and shopping services are also more easily accessible in a clustered environment. Some of these services and facilities may be available at the community center and commercial area of the development, but the clustered condominium design offers the flexibility to also offer these features on a smaller scale in immediate proximity to the residence.

There are additional cost benefits to the clustered design in that there is less infrastructure like road surfaces, sidewalks, water supply and sewage drains, landscaping, etc. The clustered design also provides easier potential to capture and reuse rain water and grey water for use in landscape watering and as more land will be left as existing open space landscape water needs will be minimized. The condominium design also results in less exterior surface areas (roof and siding) per sq. ft. of interior living space.


The bottom line is the originally proposed development plan for this property will result in substantial negative impact to the existing community and home values and has an unacceptably negative impact on the future community in multiple areas such as traffic, public safety, environment, and community infrastructure. However the development of the property with an alternate design which preserves the atmosphere and lifestyle of the golf course community and provides for an appropriate number of residential units equivalent to the standard rezoning requirements would result in the best use of the land.

This proposed alternate plan will result in a CCRC community which is more attractive to the Senior Citizens, better serves their needs, and will generate substantial profit for the golf course owners and developers.

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Nydia Tisdale
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Compromise may be near for golf course

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 24th, 2011, 11:32 am

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Jeffry Scott
June 22, 2011

The parties involved in the long-running and litigious zoning of Lanier Golf Club may be close to a compromise whereby senior living facilities are built on the front parcel of the property and the 18-hole golf course will be reduced to a 9 holes to make room for residential development. “I’ve hard that scenario floated out there,” District 4 Commissioner Patrick Bell said Wednesday. “My understanding is that would work only if all the lawsuits are dropped.” The commission will hear the matter tonight night at a specially called meeting.

http://www.ajc.com/news/county-by-count ... ews_128746

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Lanier Golf Club, Inc. ~ zoning, loan & lawsuit timeline

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 24th, 2011, 12:51 pm

The AboutForsyth Forum
By Nydia Tisdale
June 23, 2011

On August 9, 2006, Wellstone, LLC submitted zoning application ZA3370 as applicant and Lanier Golf Course, Inc. as property owner to rezone 172.349 acres.

“Applicant” Wellstone, LLC — a Delaware limited liability company — declared bankruptcy and was revoked by the Georgia Secretary of State on September 8, 2010 and cannot conduct business or zone property.

“Property Owner” Lanier Golf Course, Inc. does not exist in the state of Georgia and is not registered to conduct business in the state of Georgia. An entity that does not exist cannot execute a PROPERTY OWNER AUTHORIZATION FORM to authorize an applicant to rezone property.

Lanier Golf Club, Inc., a Georgia profit corporation, is in Noncompliance with the Georgia Secretary of State for failure to file an annual registration form for year 2011 and failure to pay the annual registration fee.

On August 18, 2006, Lanier Golf Club, Inc., as Grantor — the owner of said property — executed a DEED TO SECURE DEBT— signed by George R. Bagley, Jr. , President and by John P. Manton, Secretary — to Bank of North Georgia, as Grantee, for the sum of One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,00.00) with final payment being due on August 18, 2007.

The security deed states, "This instrument is a deed and security agreement passing the legal title pursuant to the laws of the State of Georgia governing loan or security deeds and security agreements and is not a mortgage."

Some covenants of the security deed include:

"Grantor shall not initiate, join in or consent to any change in any private restrictive covenant, zoning ordinance or other public or private restrictions limiting or defining the uses which may be made of the Premises or any part thereof.

"Grantor agrees that possession of the Premises during the existence of the Secured Indebtedness by Grantor, or any person claiming under Grantor, shall be that of Tenant under Grantee."

To recap: on August 9, 2006, ZA3370 — requesting to rezone 172.349 acres of land — was submitted by an applicant that no longer exists and authorized by a bogus corporate entity that never existed.

On August 18, 2006, Lanier Golf Club, Inc. conveyed legal title to Bank of North Georgia.

On August 28, 2007, the Forsyth County Planning Commission recommended denial of ZA3370 and on September 20, 2007, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners denied ZA3370.

On October 4, 2007, George R. Bagley, Jr. and John P. Manton signed VERIFICATIONS as officers of Lanier Golf Club, Inc. stating “that the facts set forth in Appeal and Verified Complaint for Declaratory Judgment, and Mandamus are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.”

On or about October 4, 2007, Lanier Golf Club, Inc. and Wellstone, LLC served Civil Action File No. 07-CV-2213 to Forsyth County and to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners for denial of ZA3370.

Wellstone, LLC withdrew as a plaintiff in the above-referenced civil action and was revoked by the Georgia Secretary of State.

The sole remainder plaintiff, Lanier Golf Club, Inc., is precluded from zoning this property under the covenants of the DEED TO SECURE DEBT with Synovus Bank as survivor to merger with Bank of North Georgia on June 1, 2010. Neither modification nor cancellation of said DEED TO SECURE DEBT has been recorded in the Forsyth County Records as of today’s date.

How can Lanier Golf Club, Inc. sue Forsyth County for failure to zone — when the deed clearly doesn't let Lanier Golf Club change the zoning?

Sounds pretty frivolous to me.

Read more here:
ZA3370 Lanier Golf Club, Inc.

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Nydia Tisdale
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Lanier Golf Club VOTE postponed to July 7th

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 25th, 2011, 1:04 pm

Forsyth County Board of Commissioners
Special Called Work Session
June 23, 2011

Decision regarding rezoning of Lanier Golf Course/Club, ZA3370, pursuant to a May 12, 2011 Court Order in Forsyth County Superior Court case number 07CV2213 - a Public Hearing was held 06/16/11 - County Attorney.

Postponed decision to the July 7th BOC meeting.

Watch video here:
http://www.forsythco.com/video.asp?wmsI ... %2F23%2F11
Right click, Zoom, Full Screen, fast forward to 16 minutes

TAM: Any other comments from the board? Alright, at this time I believe the chair would entertain a motion to postpone Item #1 to the July 7, 2011 regular, uh, Board of Commissioners meeting.
BOFF: So moved.
AMOS: Second.
TAM: We have a motion and a second. Any discussion?
JARRARD: Mr. Chairman, just one point, very quickly —
TAM: Yes, sir.
JARRARD: — I want to address before we close the meeting out and that is: there has been some issues raised with respect to some financial instruments that are, uh, attached to the property and I just want to say this to the board that the full extent of whatever security deeds or interests may be attached to this property, um, I — we don’t currently know how many there are — if there are any out there now. We don’t know. I have ordered a title search, uh, so I can know the full extent of that, but I will tell you that to the extent that we are working — or I get authority to work on a deal, to put a deal to bed, that I can bring to you and support — it will be done on the other end of knowing everything about any interests that encumber that property and it will be done in such a way that those interests are taken into account and if I need additional signatures from individuals or entities with financial interest on the property, they will be secured — as they have to be. If you’re gonna, you know, if you’re gonna tinker with the collateral, you’ll need to have those interests, uh, as partners or participants in this process and I will guide the board on that, but I just wanted to address that with you, because it’s out there and people are asking about it and that’s — it’s a fair question. That’s all, Mr. Chairman.
TAM: Okay, thank you. We have a motion and a second to postpone Item #1 to the July 7, 2011 work, uh, regular Board of Commissioners meeting. Is there any other discussion? If not, please vote on the motion. Motion passes unanimously.

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Nydia Tisdale
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Title Loan / Pawn

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 25th, 2011, 6:35 pm


What is a title loan/pawn?
A title loan/pawn is a quick and convenient way for people who own their car without any liens (i.e., a lien-free title) to get cash using the car as collateral. It allows consumers to use an asset they own (their car) to solve short-term cash flow problems. Without title lending, many consumers would be forced to sell their vehicle in a time of need, probably at a discount.

How does it work?
1. Bring your car and lien-free title to TitleMax to use the value of the car as collateral for your transaction.
2. Fill out an application while we appraise your vehicle.
3. We will determine a transaction amount based upon your need and the appraised value of your vehicle.
4. Upon approval, you will receive your funds and retain the use of your vehicle.
5. When you pay off the balance of your account, TitleMax returns your title.

Club Car at Lanier Golf Club on Buford Dam Road.

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Nydia Tisdale
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Location: Roswell, GA

Forsyth County commission delays Golf Club zoning decision

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 25th, 2011, 10:11 pm

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Jeffry Scott
June 25, 2011

The Forsyth County Commission delayed until July 7 a zoning decision on Lanier Golf Club that may allow the community to keep part of its golf course, which would be "gifted" to the county. The owner of the property, in turn, could move forward with plans to perhaps sell a portion of the property for the development of a senior center, and residents would agree to drop all lawsuits. Three commissioners said after Thursday's meeting they prefer to keep the 110-115 acres of gifted land as low-maintenance green space. Negotiations continue.

http://www.ajc.com/news/forsyth/forsyth ... 87721.html

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Nydia Tisdale
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Location: Roswell, GA

Lanier Golf Club has no standing

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 26th, 2011, 12:01 pm

Lanier Golf Club, Inc. has no standing to zone or to sue

1) ZA3370 is a zoning application to change current A1 zoning to MPD. The original and only named applicant was Wellstone, LLC. Because Wellstone was not the owner of record, an owner's authorization was required for the application to proceed. The owner of record has been Bank of North Georgia (which merged with Synovus Bank). There is no evidence that BNG ever authorized a rezoning of their property. The only owner's authorization form was signed by Jack Manton and George Bagley for Lanier Golf Course, Inc. [sic] — which was not the owner of record. Without the true owner's authorization, ZA3370 was not a valid application.

2) After the BOC denied ZA3370, Wellstone filed suit against the county and was joined by LGC which falsely claimed ownership. LGC was a mere tenant — with no ownership interest.

3) Wellstone withdrew from the lawsuit leaving LGC as the only plaintiff. The true owner of the property was BNG and there is no evidence that BNG authorized LGC to represent their ownership interest. In fact, the security agreement between BNG and LGC specifically precluded LGC from participating in any rezoning of the property.

4) LGC's standing in the lawsuit was based solely on their sworn claim of ownership which was false. Their claim to standing was illegitimate. LGC had no standing.

5) After Wellstone withdrew, the lawsuit against the county had no legitimate plaintiff and only continued based on LGC's false claim of ownership. Had the court not been deceived and the true facts been known, the court would have been compelled to dismiss the lawsuit.

6) Forsyth County spent $184,000 of taxpayer money defending itself against a lawsuit whose foundation was based on false claims of ownership. Market values on the golf course have been arrested for five years because of a frivolous zoning application and lawsuit.

7) As steward of taxpayer funds and an officer of the court, the Forsyth County Attorney must have the court's ruling set aside and demand LGC compensate the county for all costs associated with its defense against factually and deceitfully false claims.

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Nydia Tisdale
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Bank of North Georgia ~ Synovus ~ Golf Club

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 26th, 2011, 11:30 pm


Sleeve of balls $11, Round of golf $35

Key to the course — Priceless!

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Re: Lanier Golf Club VOTE postponed to July 7

Post by Relentless » June 27th, 2011, 12:12 am

:roll: Well,Well,Well, Let me get this straight. The "outside agitator" knows more than the "insider commissioner" about the inner workings of our county. Seems to be a lot of that going around lately.

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Nydia Tisdale
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Bank owned homes & golf course

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 27th, 2011, 11:42 pm

Bank Owned Homes on Buford Dam Rd./Habersham Villa Dr.

This instrument is a deed and security agreement passing the legal title pursuant to the laws of the State of Georgia governing loan or security deeds and security agreements and is not a mortgage.
Grantor: Lanier Golf Club, Inc.
Grantee: Bank of North Georgia Div Synovus Bank
Amount: $1,500,000.00
Date: August 18, 2006
Due Date: August 18, 2007
Book 4411, Page 428

This indenture is not a mortgage but an absolute conveyance of said property.
Lender: Bank of North Georgia Div Synovus Bank
Borrowers: George R. Bagley, Jr. and Jill T. Bagley
Date: January 3, 2005
Amount: $140,000.00
Book 3661, Page 368

This indenture is not a mortgage but an absolute conveyance of said property.
Lender: Bank of North Georgia Div Synovus Bank
Borrowers: John P. Manton and Larose P. Manton
Date: January 27, 2011
Amount: $300,000.00
Book 5899, Page 306

Forsyth County Land Records
http://resolution.forsythco.com/Externa ... kPage.aspx

Sports agent "attorney-advisor" John Paul "Jack" Manton

Click link here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6245

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