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Former property owner released from lawsuit
Judge: Knowing intention of site does not create liability
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A judge ruled Sept. 14 that the former owner of 152 acres in western Dawson County is not a proper party for a lawsuit challenging the construction of a motorsports park on the site.


Northeastern Judicial Circuit Senior Judge John Girardeau granted a motion for summary judgement filed by EHK Investments, saying the firm’s knowledge that the property was to be used as a motorsports park does not “create liability.”


Famed NASCAR engine builder Ernie Elliott owns EHK Investments. In September 2009, he sold the property on Duck Thurmond Road, west of downtown Dawsonville, to developer Jeremy Porter, president of Atlanta Motorsports Park.


Porter’s plan calls for about two miles of high performance road course for two- and four-wheel vehicles. Other features include a members-only lounge, 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, pool and hiking trails.


Porter and the city of Dawsonville are also named in the suit, which challenges zoning regulations and argues the park will create a nuisance for the plaintiffs, West and Helen Hamryka.


Richard Wingate, an attorney for the Hamrykas, on Monday said Girardeau’s ruling “was very limited in scope and has no impact on the rest of the lawsuit.”


“We are still moving forward,” he said.


The Hamrykas own a home and horse training facility across Duck Thurmond Road from the site, where grading work has begun.


Porter said dismissing EHK from the suit will lead to a domino effect for the other defendants in the case.


Elliott could not be reached for comment.


The case was assigned to Girardeau after Superior Court Judges Bonnie Oliver and Kathlene Gosselin recused themselves.