Sunday, December 24, 2006
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
LAWRENCEVILLE - Barrow County has filed suit against the city of Auburn for annexing 17 parcels of land last month.
Claiming that the Nov. 16 annexations were done in violation of open meetings laws, the county asked for an injunction on the city's annexations in a lawsuit filed in Barrow County Superior Court on Dec. 14.
County Chief of Operations Keith Lee said he could not talk about the suit and Commission Chairman Doug Garrison did not return a phone call seeking comment. But Auburn Mayor Harold Money said he does not think the city did anything wrong.
"I just feel like we was right in doing what we did," he said. "It's in the attorney's hands now."
Auburn initially intended to annex 25 parcels it claimed were islands within the city's service area, the suit says, but reduced that number to 17 after the city of Carl annexed eight of the properties.
Local residents and the county were opposed to the annexations, with the county passing a resolution denouncing the plan. Property owners were reportedly upset that they would have to pay taxes in the city of Auburn.
In the lawsuit, the county claims that Auburn violated zoning laws by not giving the county notice of its intent to annex and has been improperly annexing land since 1949.
The annexations have hampered the county's ability to provide residents with essential public services, enforce county ordinances, control zoning and land-use matters and perform governmental functions throughout Barrow's unincorporated areas, the suit said.