The historic Atlanta golf club, founded by Bobby Jones and with a golf course co-designed with Robert Trent Jones, is battling with the city of Brookhaven over who controls the property on which the path will be constructed. The club was formed more than six decades before the city was incorporated.
The city of Brookhaven, Ga. is entangled in a legal dispute with Atlanta’s Peachtree Golf Club over plans to install a 10-foot-wide path for walkers and cyclists along the edge of the private club’s property, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The golf club and city sued each other this month due to a disagreement over who controls the land, The Journal-Constitution reported. The club says it should be compensated in exchange for the pedestrian and bicycle path being built on its property, according to court filings in DeKalb County Superior Court. Brookhaven’s lawsuit seeks a court ruling declaring that the city has rights to the land.
The dispute puts the government at odds with the city’s largest property owner: Peachtree Golf Club is an Atlanta institution formed more than six decades before Brookhaven was incorporated, The Journal-Constitution reported. The club has filed for a temporary restraining order against the city to bar them from continuing construction work on the new trail.
Brookhaven’s City Council approved a study in 2017 that calls for several improvements, including a series of paths, The Journal-Constitution reported. Currently, there is no sidewalk along the eastern side of the road that borders the golf club and runs for roughly 1 mile. City officials say the path would increase connectivity and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The city started construction May 4 on the northern end of the proposed path next to the golf club, The Journal-Constitution reported. Several days later, on May 8, Brookhaven sought intervention from the court because it is “unsure of its rights and obligations” over who controls the land next to the road, according to the lawsuit. It alleges the golf club has acted “in bad faith” and has constantly changed its position over who owns the land, which is outside the chain-link fence bordering the golf courses.
City Manager Christian Sigman said some of the property records for the land are old, making it unclear whether the 10 feet of land east of the road are in the public right of way and, therefore, under the control of the city government, The Journal-Constitution reported. The golf club’s lawsuit, filed on May 11, states that the land is clearly the club’s property. It calls on the city to pay the golf club if it wants to use the land and build the public path.
The organization’s deed to the land stretches back to 1947, when the golf club was founded by legendary golfer Bobby Jones, The Journal-Constitution reported. He designed the sprawling fairways and greens with the famous golf course architect Robert Trent Jones.
“Safe to say they have a very special asset that they have a vested interest in maintaining and protecting,” Sigman said. “They may not understand what we’re trying to do. We’ll be able to work this out.”
Through its lawyer, Scott Peters, representatives for the golf club declined to comment, The Journal-Constitution reported.
Sigman said he is confident the city will be able to work out the dispute and eventually install the path, The Journal-Constitution reported. He said it is important for the city to maintain good relationships with its large, historic institutions, including the golf club.
“The path will get built,” he said. “That’s something that needs to be understood.”
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