Posted: Monday, February 18th 2013 at 2:57pm
State's high court rules in favor of Suwanee
SUWANEE - The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the City of Suwanee in a lawsuit brought against the city by Settles Bridge Farm LLC over the sale of property for construction of a school.
In a unanimous decision Monday, the Supreme Court overturned a January 2012 Gwinnett County Superior Court decision by Judge Warren Davis to award approximately $1.8 million to Settles Bridge Farm; the developer had claimed the city's decision to impose a development moratorium and create a special-use process for large-scale projects reduced the value of the 36-acre tract of land near the intersection of Moore and Settles Bridge roads.
The high court ruled that Settles Bridge Farm LLC filed the lawsuit prematurely and should have gone through proper city government channels before taking legal action.
Originally, Settles Bridge had planned to build a subdivision on the property in question, but in 2008, the developer sold the tract of land to Notre Dame Academy for construction of a school.
When the city learned of those plans, it amended its zoning codes, requiring that any construction on property in residential areas that exceeded 20,000 square feet would have to undergo a special use permit zoning review. Settles Bridge claimed that zoning change negatively impacted the value of the land in question.
City manager Marty Allen said the city was pleased that the high court ruled in Suwanee's favor.
"We felt that the Supreme Court would understand the complexities of the case and they did and they ruled in our favor," said Allen. "we're very happy about that."
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