Justia Zoning, Planning & Land Use Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Georgia Supreme Court
Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County v. Stiles Apartment, Inc.
Stiles Apartment filed suit asserting ownership over a parking area and sought interlocutory and permanent injunctive relief to prohibit ACC from exercising any control over the parking area. ACC counterclaimed for declaratory judgment, ejectment, and breach of contract. The trial court issued an order granting the request for injunctive relief against ACC's efforts to assert ownership or control over the parking area but denied a request to enjoin ACC from arresting Mr. Stiles for towing vehicles from the parking area. ACC appealed from the order. The court held that there was evidence authorizing the grant of interlocutory injunctive relief and the trial court did not abuse its discretion. The court rejected ACC's defenses of laches, waiver, and the statute of limitations. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County v. Stiles Apartment, Inc." on Justia Law
The Scarbrough Group, et al. v. Worley; John Wieland Homes v. Worley
These appeals arose from annexations by the City of parcels of unincorporated real property in Fayette County. At issue was whether appellee, the City resident seeking to enjoin the City from providing services to the area annexed in 2007, had standing as a citizen-taxpayer to do so; whether the appeal was moot; and whether a subsequent annexation by the City cured the flaw the Court of Appeals found in the first annexation. The court concluded that the appeal was moot when it was docketed in the Court of Appeals, and the Court of Appeals should have dismissed it as such. In light of this decision, there was no need to address the issue of appellee's standing as a citizen-taxpayer. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "The Scarbrough Group, et al. v. Worley; John Wieland Homes v. Worley" on Justia Law
Oglethorpe Power Corp., et al. v. Forrister, et al.
Appellant owned and operated the Sewell Creek Energy Facility, a "peaking" power plant that began operating in 2000. Appellees, neighbors of the power plant, filed suit in 2007 alleging that the power plant constituted a nuisance. At issue was whether appellants were entitled to summary judgment where the power plant was either a permanent nuisance or continuing nuisance that could be abated. The court found that the power plant's exhaust silencing system, which was an integral part of the gas turbines that generated power, was an enduring feature of the power plant's plan of construction and the noise emanating from the exhaust stacks resulted from the essential method of the plant's operation. Consequently, the exhaust stacks were a permanent nuisance. Thus, the court held that the Court of Appeals erred when it omitted any consideration of whether the nuisance resulted from an enduring feature of the power plant's plan of construction or an essential method of its operation and grappled only with whether the nuisance could be abated at "slight expense." The court held that appellees' action was barred under the statute of limitation for permanent nuisances because they did not file their lawsuit until almost seven years after the plant became operational, unless some new harm that was not previously observable occurred within the four years preceding the filing of their cause of action. The court also held that, to the extent the trial court found that a factual issue remained concerning whether there was an "adverse change in the nature" of the noises and vibrations coming from the plant after the start of the 2004 operating season, the denial of summary judgment was appropriate. By contrast, to the extent that the trial court found that a factual issue remained concerning whether there was an "adverse change in the... extent and amount" of the noises and vibrations after the 2004 operating season, the denial of summary judgment was inappropriate. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part and reversed in part.