LEE CO., GA (WALB) - The Grand Island Homeowners Association has threatened to sue the Lee County Commission to stop development of a hospital.
The President of the association, Dr. John Ricketson, sent a letter of notice to the Lee County Commissioners that the association plans to file suit against the board because commissioners are totally disregarding its property rights.
The lawsuit has not been filed yet, but Ricketson said the association contends the development of the new hospital will violate its Covenant and Easement Agreement.
The letter to commissioners said their homeowners easements in their sale contracts said they are granted for perpetuity that "no natural or artificial barriers will block their view or sight of the golf course."
Commissioner Billy Mathis said they have studied that easement statute and say it does not bind the golf course or the county and they "feel comfortable with its legal position."
Commission Chairman Rick Muggridge agrees.
"We think we're doing the right thing, as I said, for all the people of Lee County, including the people who live in the Grand Island Subdivision," said Muggridge.
Ricketson said commissioners are totally disregarding their easement and want an injunction to stop the development.
Commissioners said they want to go to court as soon as possible to answer the issue, and not delay the hospital development.
Commissioner Muggridge said the hospital will help health care costs for all South Georgians, as well as Lee County's economy.
"They'll pay north of one million dollars every year in property tax. Not to mention all of the other jobs they will create," said Muggridge.
Ricketson said in his letter that the Homeowners Association has no opinion on the building of the hospital, but want the board of commissioners held to the property owner's legal rights.
Ricketson said he and his attorney are still drafting the final lawsuit, and that it should be filed Tuesday in Lee County Superior Court.