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Mountain Park Life :: Forums :: City Issues
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Lake Litigation Press Updates

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Keith
Thu Oct 14 2010, 02:05PM
Registered Member #46
Joined: Fri Jul 29 2005, 02:20PM
{LOCATION}Posts: 158
City of Mountain Park Participates in The Clean Water Act Violations Trial

The Mountain Park Watershed Preservation Society, Inc. (MPWPS), a non-profit organization incorporated in July 2004, pursues a mission to restore, preserve and protect the streams, wetlands and lakes in the City of Mountain Park, Georgia -- a natural oasis caught in the urban sprawl of metropolitan Atlanta. The Society is encouraging local citizens to attend The Clean Water Act violations trial in downtown Atlanta over the next two weeks.

The Clean Water Act violations trial against upstream developers has begun and is expected to last two weeks. All interested parties are encouraged to attend and show support for the City of Mountain Park. The address is- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia-Atlanta Division Spring Street SW, Atlanta GA;Room 2307 (formerly Rm. 1860) Starting at 9 am

The Mountain Park Watershed Preservation Society, Inc. (MPWPS), a non-profit organization incorporated in July 2004, pursues a mission to restore, preserve and protect the streams, wetlands and lakes in the City of Mountain Park, Georgia -- a natural oasis caught in the urban sprawl of metropolitan Atlanta.

Objectives Include to:

Protect the Mountain Park watershed from further degradation.

Support watershed efforts whose primary purpose is to restore the natural beauty and health of a unique water and wildlife habitats for the ongoing enjoyment of the greater community.

Preserve the valuable legacies of our natural treasures for future generations by ensuring a clean, pristine and beautiful watershed.

Raise the public’s appreciation and support of the natural waters and wildlife of Mountain Park by keeping the community informed about the watershed ecosystem and organizing volunteer projects on behalf of the watershed.


Email:
-email-
Website:
link
Location:
Mountain Park, GA
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Yuck Obama
Thu Oct 14 2010, 02:37PM
Registered Member #405
Joined: Mon Mar 08 2010, 04:13PM
{LOCATION}Posts: 36
So this whole thing has been about Julia's bragging rights?!? It is no wonder we never settled. It must be fun spending other people's money in pursuit of fame. And don't forget, she also controls the $200k greenspace across the lake from her home. That too was bought with other people's money.



Karl
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Keith
Tue Oct 26 2010, 03:38PM
Registered Member #46
Joined: Fri Jul 29 2005, 02:20PM
{LOCATION}Posts: 158
North Fulton County News 5:30 p.m. Monday, October 25, 2010

Mountain Park lake trial goes to jury

By Ralph Ellis

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A federal jury will begin deliberating Tuesday whether developers are responsible for silt in two Mountain Park lakes.

In closing arguments in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on Monday, Kevin Ward, a lawyer for the little North Fulton town, said work at the 159-lot Lakeside at Ansley subdivision and the 66-lot Huntington Park and Estates sent almost 40,000 cubic yards of silt downstream into the lakes during the early part of the decade.

“Their stuff flows down into our lakes,” Ward said. “It’s science. It’s gravity.”

But Patrick Moore, a lawyer for one of the developers, said the lakes had silt problems for decades, partly because the city didn’t maintain them. He and other defense lawyers said the developments created only normal amounts of silt runoff.

“Their claim that the lakes have changed dramatically in the last few years because of the defendants, it’s just not true,” Moore said.

In 2005, the town of about 550 people sued nine business entities that built the subdivisions and renovated the Brookfield West Country Club in Roswell. A long series of pre-trial motions prevented the case from coming to trial until now.

A few companies settled out of court, leaving Lakeside at Ansley, Chatham Holdings Corp., Day Investments II and Peachtree Residential Properties Inc. as defendants.

Ward showed photo after photo of the lakes that had turned muddy brown or orange because, he said, silt from the work sites discolored the water. And he quoted several government inspection reports saying work site runoff got into the lakes.

"They turned our lake into land and blamed us for it," Ward said.

But Moore quoted decades-old letters from Mountain Park officials and citizens complaining about the silt problem. He cited an out-of-state expert who testified that “the bottom of that lake is virtually the same” as it was about 15 years ago.

Ward asked the jury to award nominal damages, offering formulas that would range from $1.3 million to $3.8 million. He also asked the jury to award attorney fees of about $1.5 million and unspecified punitive damages.

The trial started two weeks ago and featured testimony from a mixture of townspeople and experts. Color of soil and water became an issue.

Mark LaRue, who ran an environmental consulting company, took bore samples from the lake that he said showed new soil had flowed into far reaches of the lake. He testified he thought it came from the subdivisions, because new soil is lighter in color than old, deeper soil.

"Both those subdivisions contributed sediment into Lake Garrett," he testified.

But Moore said the lake was drained in the early part of this decade so Fulton County could lay a sewer line. Plants grew and work vehicles turned over the soil, causing it to lighten in color, he said.

Tim Tanner, representing Lakeside at Ansley, said the EPA did fine Lakeside at Ashley $8,500 for several work site problems related to sediment that got into the lakes. That figure is far below the millions the city is asking for, Tanner said.

He ended by referring to his young son, whom he fully expects to throw a baseball through a neighbor's window one day.

"I'll replace the window," Tanner said, "but I do not have to buy them a house."

link
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Yuck Obama
Thu Oct 28 2010, 07:31PM
Registered Member #405
Joined: Mon Mar 08 2010, 04:13PM
{LOCATION}Posts: 36
$45,000...

Karl
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Keith
Thu Oct 28 2010, 08:57PM
Registered Member #46
Joined: Fri Jul 29 2005, 02:20PM
{LOCATION}Posts: 158
Unbelievable...somebody's already updated Wikipedia... :-(

link
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HelenAnn
Thu Oct 28 2010, 11:53PM
Registered Member #282
Joined: Mon Jan 28 2008, 03:47AM
{LOCATION}Posts: 20
re: the judge has yet to rule on the jury's conviction of the clean water act; does anybody have any idea how much money could be awarded to us for this?
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GeorgeM
Fri Oct 29 2010, 10:31AM
Registered Member #390
Joined: Wed Jun 10 2009, 10:29PM
{LOCATION}Posts: 26
Be realistic when holding out hope that the Judge will salvage this mess. The Jury decided that Mountain Park was more than 80% responsible for the silt in Lake Garrett. Anything the Judge does will take this Jury determination into account. Also, BTW, the jury ruled that there should be no attorney fee reimbursement, so that door is already closed. The Judge criticized Mr. Shelton in open court for the inefficient way he conducted the lawsuit. (There are still motions pending that would require Mountain Park - or Mr. Shelton's firm - to pay legal fees and costs of the defendants as a result of Mr. Shelton's bad behavior during discovery - and the requested number exceeds the $45,000 jury award!)

Isn't it a shame the City is not entitled to a refund of more than 80% of the legal fees it has paid? Attorney Shelton was engaged (and, of course, paid) in 2004 and 2005 to evaluate the City's case before the lawsuit was filed. Why didn't he advise that the mountain of evidence in the City's possession regarding the silt accumulation in Lake Garrett which occurred during the 1950-2000 period (which was obviously not caused by the developer defendants) would be a significant negative factor in the City's case?

Why didn't the City consider this damning evidence before filing the suit, and during the two settlement conferences when less than $2 million had been incurred in legal fees?
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JH
Fri Oct 29 2010, 01:32PM
Registered Member #256
Joined: Thu Nov 01 2007, 08:41PM
{LOCATION}Posts: 40
The thought of Martin Shelton and his brother-in-law, Kevin Ward, working on the case any further conjures up an image in my mind of two goats riding a cash cow into a ditch.
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Big Jon
Fri Oct 29 2010, 03:08PM
Registered Member #50
Joined: Sun Jul 31 2005, 11:42AM
{LOCATION}Posts: 20
One of our citizens was quoted in the AJC today on the lake litigation results, and I believe I understood them to say that MP " was used to running on little or no money, and that we would have to see what happens next". Does that mean that the Hard Working Citizens of Mountain are to also run on little or no money, because all there income has been taken by goverment force at the point of a gun to pay for the results of CONTINUED BAD LEADERSHIP DECISIONS. The hard working silent majority of this City( WHO MAY NOT ALWAYS BE ABLE TO ATTEND A CITY COUNCIL MEETING AND WHO DO NOT BARK VERY LOUD, WHICH IS NOT A SIN,LAST TIME I CHECKED,THAT IS WHY ELECT PEOPLE WE THINK WHO WILL REPRESENT US) continue to go unheard and continued to be the victims of taxation w/o representation. Citizens I was taught that if you continue the same behavior, your will always get the same result-if we keep on doing what where doing , we will always be broke and miserable- lets stop making decisions that will make us a broken, divided, and miserable place to live. A HOUSE DIVIDED WILL NOT STAND. MOUNTAIN PARK CONTINUES TO WRITE CHECKS THE TAX BASE IS NOT CAPABLE OF CASHING...Thank you to the editor for letting me voice my views..Have a Great Day Everybody.

Jon Wesley Braswell
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JH
Fri Oct 29 2010, 05:01PM
Registered Member #256
Joined: Thu Nov 01 2007, 08:41PM
{LOCATION}Posts: 40
It should be noted that the city used to maintain enviable cash reserves as noted by many outside audits. Don't forget the sewer tap sales proceeds which were sizable as well. All gone now! Don't be shocked if the knuckleheads get convinced, by the attorneys of Julia Neal, to appeal and keep pouring money into this rat hole.
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