DeKalb Group Sues County Over Walmart Building Permit

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    Attorneys for Good Growth DeKalb filed suit against Dekalb County Friday, alleging that the County’s courts granted a building permit for construction of a Walmart Supercenter at Suburban Plaza in violation of its own ordinances.

    The organization is planning a press conference announcing the suit on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 10 a.m. in front of DeKalb County Courthouse, 556 N. McDonough Street, Decatur 30030.

    According to a release from the organization, Good Growth DeKalb filed an internal DeKalb County administrative appeal on January 9, contending that truck, tree and hydrology ordinances were not followed in granting the building permit to Selig Enterprises, owner of Suburban Plaza.

    Good Growth DeKalb says that appeal was directed to the county Technical Board of Appeals, as required by county law, but was then directed to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which did not have authority to hear the matter.

    In its lawsuit, Good Growth DeKalb contends that this appeal was erroneously heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals on February 13, where it was both acted on and denied. The petition filed in Superior Court on March 15 contends that the Zoning Board of Appeals should not have acted, as it had no authority to do so.

    Good Growth DeKalb describes itself as a group of DeKalb County residents “dedicated to ensuring the healthy and sustainable development of their community.” The organization began just over one year ago, when approximately 75 community members attended a DeKalb County Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on December 14, 2011, to speak out against a parking variance for the proposed Walmart. Since then, the group has garnered increasing support from DeKalb residents concerned with ensuring appropriate and sustainable development.

    “Good Growth DeKalb believes the County may view tax revenue from a Walmart Supercenter as a ‘quick fix’ to its financial woes, but that this is a short-sighted solution to the County’s problems,” said a statement from the organization. “Good Growth DeKalb asserts that the County must follow its own ordinances, listen to the vast majority of neighborhood residents who oppose this development, and develop a long-range development plan for the County that promotes truly sustainable growth– as opposed to outdated big box development which worsens traffic, destroys neighborhoods, and overtaxes infrastructure.”

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