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Appeal filed in dispute
Motorsports case to Supreme Court
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Dawsonville officials say they are not fazed that the battle over construction of a motorsports park in western Dawson County has shifted to the Georgia Supreme Court.

"We're sticking to our guns," Mayor Joe Lane Cox said of the appeal filed Oct. 26. "Judge [John] Girardeau ruled in our favor before and I think that will happen with this one, too."

Girardeau, senior Superior Court Judge for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit, ruled in March that the city had not violated zoning laws when rezoning the site in April 2009.

Plaintiffs West and Helen Hamryka, whose home and horse farm sit adjacent to the park site on Duck Thurmond Road, have challenged that ruling.

Attorney Richard Wingate, who represents the Hamrykas, filed the civil action appeal in Supreme Court last week.

"We still believe in the same position we had in the beginning, but now we're finally taking this to the Georgia Supreme Court to hopefully have that court show we were right the whole time," Wingate said Tuesday.

The Hamrykas, who filed suit against the city and Atlanta Motorsports Park in 2009, have maintained that the park will create a nuisance by disturbing their way of life.

The couple also claims that zoning law was violated when the mayor and city council approved the project without a development of regional impact study.

Girardeau ruled in the city's favor and released the mayor and council members from the lawsuit.

According to his March ruling, "There are no allegations of any conduct of the city council members or mayor that do not relate to their vote on the zoning map amendment or the procedural issues surrounding it."

In the meantime, Atlanta Motorsports Park continues to push closer to opening.

"We'll be 90 percent paved by the end of this week," said Jeremy Porter, founder and CEO of the facility.

Billed as a motorsports country club for the entire family, the park will feature two miles of track designed for both four- and two-wheel vehicles, a fast straightaway, rental garages and clubhouse.

"The first phase of 56 garages are completely finished and leased out, and we've got a waiting list for the next phase of garages that we'll start in the next 45 to 60 days," Porter said.

Hiking trails, a fitness center, pool, tennis courts and a small restaurant are also in the plans.

According to Porter, more than $3 million in memberships have been sold as of Tuesday.