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Worley challenged annexation of 782 acres over traffic worries

When the Peachtree City Council in 2007 approved the annexation of 782 acres on the city’s northwestern border, resident David Worley didn’t just complain about the deal.

Worley, an attorney, took his grievance to court, filing a lawsuit that twisted its way through the legal system until last week when the Georgia Court of Appeals struck down the annexation, which would have added 1,075 homes inside the city limits.

Last week the Peachtree City Council voted not to challenge the decision. But one of the developers involved: John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods or Brent Scarbrough and Company, has decided to seek an appeal of the dispute to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Worley, in an interview last week, said he filed the suit because he thought the annexation had too many homes given the land area.

“It would have a major impact in the east part of the city, which is where I live basically,” said Worley, who lives in the Kedron Village area.

Worley said he also was concerned about the start-up costs to the city in addition to the need to fund additional city services for the area.

Worley said he knew some other residents who also opposed the zoning.

“There were a number of people I talked to who were concerned about the density of the development,” Worley said.

Worley’s suit prevailed by challenging the annexation since it created a mass of city land that completely surrounded a smaller tract of land which remained part of the unincorporated county. Because the smaller tract was not contiguous to the unincorporated county, it was in effect made an “island,” a result that made it illegal under Georgia law.

The city later approved a second annexation to address the “island” issue, but the court ruled that the second annexation did not make the first one moot.

Worley, who handles mostly securities litigation for the Page Perry law firm in Atlanta, said he was at work last week when he happened across the Appeals Court’s opinion, which overturned the decision of visiting Superior Court Judge Brian Amero of Henry County.

“I’m hopeful this gives the city the opportunity to just reevaluate the annexation and the size of the development on the property if it is eventually developed,” Worley said.

He also said the city should take another look at the economic assumptions that were made as part of the annexation based on the number of homes that would sell each year until the development was finished.

The real estate market has changed significantly since then, Worley added.

Worley said while he was happy to have won the decision at the appellate level, he also was pleased to have worked with City Attorney Ted Meeker on the matter.

“The city attorney and I have been able to work on this very well over the last three years,” Worley said. “Obviously we have different views but the city has been very well represented.”



I don't know you Mr. Worley, but you my respect and support. We have a chance to undo the poor Logsdon legacy on this one for the benefit of the people this time.

mudcat's picture

The man is a lawyer, a Democrat organizer and guilty of violating PTC's laws by cutting down all the trees on his property without permission. A lawyer should know better, don't you think.

He may be a hero to Wieland and Levitt because this lawsuit delayed them enough so they missed the beginnning of the current recession. Better to have raw land devalued that being caught with a subdivision and a bunch of empty houses. Not sure Fayetteville zoning and septic tanks along Line Creek and no McDuff extension is an improvement, but if you do - go thank Mr. Worley.

And no one on earth can undo the legacy of Logsdon (or Brown or Lenox or Haddix). We are left with whatever mess they made and whatever good they did.

In an accidental happenstance it was probably good that no one built a bunch of houses in the area in the article above. The recession hit the next year.

Also, in my opinion homes worth one acre or more of land that some want will never be built in that particular area! Those homes would have to be $500,000 or more to be worth the land. They won't sell in that area at that price. Too much commercial and railroads, etc., too near.

So eventually smaller homes will be built on smaller lots. It could be a good investment if held until the recession is over. I don't think inhabitants in Kedron along 74 on the opposite side of the area can stop development there forever. Unless they buy it!

Is the cities problem money? What would they need to spend that they couldn't get the developer to spend?
Unless they would;d like to have 20 more cops, 20 more firemen, 20 more vehicles, and a police and fire station, and 20 more city hall employees to serve them! Maybe even another library and ice rink.

Did anyone see where a city in California of 35,000 mostly low wage minorities was paying their city manager 800,000 dollars, assistant 600,000 and Chiefs 3-400,000?
Citizens finally woke up and are trying to fire them all today. Recession you know.

Also another city fired ALL of the city employees, and are contracting most necessities and the Sheriff's department has taken over the policing!
So far all is well.

It seems there are thousands of municipalities in the USA with large staffs in the same condition!

I don't know where all these people are now going to work with no industry left. Pick up oil balls I guess.

It is about time somebody looks over the city and council and I am glad to know you stepped up to the plate.

to the actual subdivision that Mr. Worley lives in now, the Kedron Village or Peachtree City as a whole.

Steve Brown's picture

I applaud David Worley for taking on a very flawed annexation.

In regard to the post from Spyglass, the comparison of densities is not a valid way to address the situation. What we should be looking at is compliance to Peachtree City's Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

That annexation/rezoning was definitely not in compliance with the city's land use plan calling for lighter estate-type densities on the city's boundaries. Furthermore, the council made a huge mistake by leaving a huge doughnut hole of light industrial zoning in the center of the site.

We needed to create an access point at South Kedron and Hwy. 74. If the council had committed to that point, we would have improved access to all the subdivisions, retail establishments as well as fire/EMS protection coming from the north a years ago.

Mr. Worley is giving us an opportunity to make really bad situation a whole lot better. My thanks go to Mr. Worley.

Commissioner-elect Mr. Brown, speaking of annexations, what do you think about PTC's consideration of annexing the property near the intersection of Redwine and Highway 74 for the purpose of locating a manufacturing facility there? It seems to be mostly aimed at blocking any future retail development on that site down the road under the current county zoning. Does the county have any say on annexation by municipalities?

Mike King's picture

I believe it highly unlikely Mr Brown will criticize that annexation on our south side due to Haddix having his fingerprints all over it. Land use plan be damned if Don thinks its a good idea. I would agree that a manufacturing facility across from the Starrs Mill school complex in light of additional traffic on school mornings, the widening of highway 74S, not to mention that the plan calls for estate residential on city boundaries does little except to give a bad first view of our town.

Are you saying that Commissioner-elect Brown and Mayor Haddix are allies in some nonpublic way? I never got that impression, but I haven't been here that long. As for the potential Low Temp site, a week or so ago I asked Mayor Haddix on this blog if he had any personal relationship with the owning family, and he categorically denied this, so I am still searching for the reason behind the push for rezoning to light industrial other than 'it will expand our tax digest and prevent retail development under the current county zoning.' It doesn't seem that 150-160 employees eating lunch everyday at the few restaurants in the Wilshire shopping center will do much to boost municipal revenue. Also, where are the residents of the Wilshire Estates community on this issue? Do they really want a factory staring them in the face?

Mike King's picture

Haddix has tried to distance himself earlier, but to be honest I really do not know if they're close. As I see it, a newly elected commissioner is not about to publicly criticize a recently seated mayor intentionally. Brown made the point of the Land Use Plan to highlight his earlier objection to the annexation. He failed to mention that as a sitting mayor he entered into talks with John Weiland about the same area.

The citizens on the city's southside as well as the county residents with kids in the schools should be included in annexation talks to our south.

I asked Haddix on a couple of occasions if he and Sturbaum would have any say-so on who the DAPC staff hire would be and so far he has not responded except to say they could not vote on it. Duh! I can only take that to mean that yes...even though that may be illegal. DAPC is an independent agency and it would appear to be illegal for the mayor and sitting city council person to have any influence on DAPC matters including hiring of staff. Of course it will not be a public vote but a phone call for a meeting somewhere with Mark Hollums to discuss who it is the DAPC Board plans to recommend. If they don't approve, with a smile on their faces, Mark will be strongly urged to go back and recommend someone else will be . Nice and tidy isnt it? No fuss.

Whatever Mayor Haddix says, DAPC could never be truly independent as long it is funded from city revenue. I hope Imker sticks to his guns on DAPC funding AND the pension issue.

All development authorities are funded by a city or county but the law says they are to be independent entities. Even Haddix admits this.

If that is the law, then no DA can be truly independent, as the the local councils/commissions pull the budget strings. Anyway, I am blogged out on this issue and will wait to see if the additional funding goes through.

to want to locate to. I know some of the Family well, and will try to get some answers as to why they want to be there. Maybe it's better access to 74/85 south to Hwy 16 etc.

Still, I think there are better areas for them.

Your point about blocking future retail is surely HIGH on Mr. Haddix's mind.

David Worley certainly did something of great benefit to Fayette County with his free legal work stopping this huge mistake. In one fell swoop he did more than Congressman Lynn Westmoreland has in his entire career.

David Worley ran for Congress when he lived in another district. Next time I hope he runs against Westmoreland the "do nothinger" Congressman.

Doesn't Worley live near the proposed annexation? Looking out for himself it appears.
Or is that OK with you"?

That's about all he has a chance at.

He ran against Newt Gingrich and came close to winning.

had more to do with the demographics of the district than Worley being a quality candidate. That district is now VERY heavily Democratic.

That said, it was a close race, and Newt moved to a safer district very soon after.

No Spy, blv all Gingrich's elections took place in the 6th District, where he first ran in 76 & lost to incumbent Jack Flynt (D). In 78, Flynt did not run and Newt was elected and subsequently reelected 6 times, beating Worley in 90 by 978 votes. He left Congress in 99.

later in his career to the other side of town. Clayton County was changing rapidly during the race he almost lost to Worley. I should know, I lived there.

From Wikipedia..

"As a result of the 1990 United States Census, Georgia picked up an additional seat for the 1992 elections. However, the Democratic-controlled Georgia General Assembly eliminated Gingrich's old district, which stretched from the southern suburbs of Atlanta to the Alabama border. Gingrich's home in Carrollton was drawn into the Columbus-based 3rd District, represented by five-term Democrat Richard Ray.
At the same time, the Assembly created a new 6th District in Fulton and Cobb counties in the wealthy northern suburbs of Atlanta — an area Gingrich had never represented. However, Gingrich sold his home in Carrollton, moved to Marietta in the new 6th and won a very close Republican primary. The primary victory was tantamount to election in the new, heavily Republican district. Meanwhile, Ray narrowly lost to Republican state senator Mac Collins."

I still stand by the info I have that says Gingrich represented the 6th District from 1978 til 1999, when he retired. Not denying he moved, but he was initally elected and reelected in the 6th district. BTW, I had a Jonesboro address from 77-83!

That's for sure..the area he represented was totally different.

I still have a lot of Family in Jonesboro, Lake City, etc..the hard headed ones who didn't want to move, now their homes are basically unsellable.

Newt did move to the northside and ran for election from there. His, our, District was altered by Tom Murphy in a failed attempt to "get" Newt. Democrats in Georgia have always attempted to manipulate the election process in an attempt to maintain their past power. This includes the current Democrat Nominee for Governor, Roy Barnes. At his direction, this state was chopped up into ridiculous State and Federal Districts, don't you remember them? The focus was, and is, on political manipulation. The focus is supposed to be on serving the citizen, but there is no way one could justify those Districts on that basis!

Spy originally said he moved and the insinuation was thathe did that so he could run in a demographically different district. All I was saying was that, the record reflects he represented the 6th district (regardless of how it was configured) from 78, when first elected, til 99, when he retired.

To run in a much friendlier district to Repubs.

Other than that, WGAS? :)

Point: Newt originally ran for election(76) in the 6th District. He was first elected (78) in the 6th District and reelected 6 times in the 6th District. He did not run in any other District, as you infer. Regardless, got nothing to do with whether or not Worley should run. If he could show that he's a "True" Blue Dog, he might do quite well against Westmoreland.

And as far Newt, I knew him when he lived in some apartments off of Upper Riverdale Road near the hospital. He was basically too smart for his own good. The American folks can't handle his intelligence, not today.

That said, I don't what they call the old 6th district anymore, they've change every 10 years anyways. I'll say this, a Republican has NO SHOT at being elected anytime soon if much of his district includes Clayton County. They are lucky to have someone as decent as David Scott. That electorate has lost its mind.

is his "likeability" with the public, his staff, and just about everybody he comes in contactwith. He's just not personable. I do believe he's a brilliant "futurist" but hey, if he's a guy you wouldn't want to have a beer with, would you vote for him? When he was my Rep from 78-83, I wrote to him quite a lot--and nver failed to get an answer. He had an unusual technique. Of course the basic reply would either be boiler plate or a composition by his staff, but at the end, he would handwrite a comment SPECIFICALLY addressing a point in your letter and then sign it personally. That way, at least you had the feeling that-unlike most congresspeople-he actually read your letter. Anyway, he's making some pretty serious noises about running in 2012. Personally, I'd favor Jon Huntsman, Amb. to China, or the current Gov. of Indiana.

He has a hard time with whom he marries. They get sick and he has to find another one. There is a difference in "smart" and basic intelligence.

You lost me!
Are you for or against the Wieland annexation?
My understanding of what Worley wanted was one acre lots?
I don't understand the ignorance of the small Industrial in the middle! If that was all that was wrong, why didn't the judge just say: "change that and go with it?
I know that would have knocked some lawyers out of work....but......

Commissioner-elect Brown, does the rezoning of the land near the intersection of Hwy 74 and Redwine to light industrial comply with Peachtree City's Comprehensive Land Use Plan?

Mike King's picture

Surely, it was in compliance with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan when you discussed the very same area with John Wieland Homes during your stint as mayor. Tell me please, now that you've inserted yourself again into the politics of Peachtree City, how adherrence to the plan is correct on the north side of town and not so on the south.

Surely, a manufacturing facility whose location is to be annexed should Mayor Haddix have his way does not meet the 'estate residential' criteria. Further, have you driven through there on school mornings when traffic is backed up at the light at Redwine and 74S?

You do realize that you now represent those county residents dropping their kids at school, don't you?

By the way, congratulations on your win.

mudcat's picture

Good question Mike. Citizen Brown took on that task of negotiatng with Wieland. Talk about a mismatch! If Direct PAC and his council member hadn't stopped those negotiations, Wieland would have wound up owning the entire city.

abeautifulday4us's picture

We were wondering how long you could contain your "Fatal Attraction" for Steve Brown, considering how all your friends have politically imploded.

Steve Brown is the only Mayor we have ever had that has stood up to developers and said NO and was willing to negotiate with Wieland. Perhaps Haddix will follow the same course.

You and Mike King make a wonderful sour grapes pair.

that area is going to be a nightmare when school starts back up. I pity the folks who must deal with it on a daily basis. I've got two words...SCHOOL BUS.

went against everything in the comprehensive land use plan for PTC. That said, the time is not right now for a development of this size. I would like to see McDuff road extended to help with access in the area.

Now what are in your plans to help with traffic in certain areas of Fayette County? You should know where the trouble spots are.

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