Plaintiffs in a law suit filed to halt the construction of a motorsports park across from their property in western Dawson County scored a win earlier this week when the judge ruled they could move forward with the suit.
"The citizens of Dawson County were granted a major victory in their endeavor to prevent the Atlanta Motorsports Park from destroying the peace and tranquility of this rural community," Richard Wingate, attorney for West and Helen Hamryka, said in a statement released Tuesday.
The Hamrykas, who own a home and horse farm across from the 152-acre car park site, filed suit against developer Jeremy Porter, Atlanta Motorsports Park, the city of Dawsonville, Dawsonville City Council, and EHK (Ernie Elliott) Investments in May.
Billed as a country club for sports car enthusiasts, the Atlanta Motorsports Park plan calls for nearly three miles of high performance road course for two- and four-wheel vehicles, a members-only lounge, 10,000 square foot clubhouse, pool and hiking trails.
The suit claims 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 contend the city violated zoning procedure when approving Porter’s rezoning request in April.
They are seeking an injunction to prevent construction of the motorsports park, as well as at least $3 million in damages, plus legal fees.
The city of Dawsonville, EHK (Ernie Elliott) Investments and Jeremy Porter, founder of Atlanta Motorsports Park, each filed motions to dismiss the civil suit.
Attorneys for Porter say the plaintiff’s failure to serve "the defendants with any complaint during the 30-day limitation period for appeals on zoning decisions” should dismiss the counts.
The motions to dismiss also address the Hamrykas’ nuisance complaint, which Porter said would not be determined for months, if ever.
Attorneys for Elliott, who sold the property to Porter, said their client was not a proper party in the lawsuit since he would "have no involvement in or control over any construction or development."
The defendants motions were denied.
Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin ruled the plaintiffs' complaint followed all proper filing procedures.
The order, Wingate said, "clearly demonstrates that (the) plaintiffs' lawsuit has merit."
Porter said he is not discouraged.
"We believe the lawsuit is still frivolous and abusive. We may not have won on the procedures, which is what this was about, but we still feel confident and still feel we'll have victory," he said.
Wendy Butler, Porter's attorney, said the joint-defense counsels are working together to strategize the next step.
Wingate said his clients were pleased with the ruling. He anticipates taking the case to trial next year.