A new judge has been assigned to hear the case against a planned motorsports park in western Dawson County.
Superior Court Judges Bonnie Oliver and Kathlene Gosselin have both recused themselves from presiding over a lawsuit filed by West and Helen Hamryka against Atlanta Motorsports Park, the city of Dawsonville and EHK Investments.
According to Richard Wingate, the Hamryka’s attorney, Oliver vacationed several years ago in a condo owned by Bill Elliott.
Elliott is the younger brother of Ernie Elliott, who owns EHK Investments and sold to developer Jeremy Porter the land that is being graded for the motorsports park.
It could not be determined why Gosselin recused herself.
Senior Judge John Girardeau is expected Monday to hear a summary judgement motion filed by attorneys for EHK.
The attorneys contend their client was not a proper party in the lawsuit since Ernie Elliott would “have no involvement in or control over any construction or development.”
Billed as a country club for sports car enthusiasts, the Atlanta Motorsports Park plan calls for about two miles of high performance road course for two- and four-wheel vehicles.
Other planned features include a members-only lounge, 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, pool and hiking trails.
The lawsuit maintains the defendants are responsible “for the unlawful interference of [the Hamrykas’] right to enjoy the possession of their property and for the disruption of their business.”
The Hamrykas, whose property and horse training business sit directly across Duck Thurmond from the motorsports park site, contend the city of Dawsonville violated zoning procedure when approving Porter’s rezoning request in April 2009.
Last month, the Hamryka’s filed a motion for partial summary judgement on their contention that the city should have required a development of regional impact study before granting approval for a “mixed-use” development.
Porter, who called the lawsuit “abusive and frivolous,” is optimistic and continuing to move forward.
“We’re trucking along,” he said. “We’re a little bit behind schedule, but if all goes as planned, the main track, the cart track and the first phase of garages will be up Dec. 15.
“That’s the goal, and we want to make sure that we meet that date.”
Porter said to appease opponents of the project, the track has been shortened and repositioned. Additional sound barriers are also planned.
“We have definitely taken a tremendous amount of steps that are very unconventional for a motorsports park,” he said.