The Foundation that is working with the state of Georgia to reconfigure the historic 86-year-old course in Atlanta’s Buckhead section will continue to pursue plans to create a new nine-hole, reversible layout, despite the plaintiffs’ claims that the project should be subject to city ordinances, especially where tree removal and environmental impacts are concerned.
Though a lawsuit has been filed against it, the organization behind the project to redevelop the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta, Ga.’s Buckhead section is moving forward with its plans and expects to complete them on schedule, reported the Northside Neighbor.
In May, six residents living near the course filed a lawsuit against the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation, which is behind the course’s redesign, reported the Neighbor.
The plaintiffs claim the course property should be subject to city of Atlanta ordinances, especially where tree removal and environmental impact are concerned. The state bought the course from the city in 2016 as part of a plan to reconfigure it from 18 holes to a nine-hole. reversible layout, and the Foundation and the state signed a 50-year lease with the city that year, reported the Neighbor.
The 144-acre course, located within Atlanta Memorial Park, was built in 1932 as a tribute to golf legend Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones Jr. Since November, the Foundation has embarked on a year-long project to convert the course to nine holes, reported the Neighbor.
Shortly after beginning construction and removing many trees, residents living nearby and the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, an environmental advocacy organization, complained about the project, reported the Neighbor. C&RB reported on the environmental group’s objection in May of this year.
“The golf course developer has the property under a 50-year lease that allows the developer almost total control of the property,” said Bruce Brown, the attorney representing the plaintiffs. “We believe the law is clear that the golf course should be subject to city law, just like anybody else.”
Chuck Palmer, the Foundation’s chair, said that group, and the state, disagree with the plaintiffs’ argument, reported the Neighbor.
“We respectfully disagree with their position,” said Palmer. “The state owns the property. The state owns all the improvements, including all the buildings. And the state issues approvals or permits for anything that is done on this site.”
The plaintiffs filed motions for both a temporary restraining order to stop construction of a cellphone tower and a maintenance building that are part of the project and an interlocutory injunction. But in May and June hearings, two Fulton County Superior Court judges denied those requests, reported the Neighbor.
Though those motions were denied, the overall lawsuit is still pending, reported the Neighbor.