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City Of Stockbridge And Lender File Lawsuit To Stop Vote On Eagle’s Landing

A lawsuit in federal court Monday filed by the city of Stockbridge to stop a referendum says de-annexing parts of Stockbridge to establish Eagle’s Landing violates the Voting Rights Act. A second one filed by Capitol One Public Funding argues Eagle's Landing would be skipping out on financial responsibility for bonds issued to the entire area of Stockbridge.
A lawsuit in federal court Monday filed by the city of Stockbridge to stop a referendum says de-annexing parts of Stockbridge to establish Eagle’s Landing violates the Voting Rights Act. A second one filed by Capitol One Public Funding argues Eagle's Landing would be skipping out on financial responsibility for bonds issued to the entire area of Stockbridge.
Credit Ross Terrell / WABE

The city of Stockbridge filed a lawsuit last month in its latest effort to keep the city together.

Some residents who live in a portion of the city called Eagle’s Landing want to break off and create their own city.

A federal district court judge will hear arguments Monday afternoon from the city of Stockbridge and the lending group Capitol One Public Funding to stop a vote that could create a new city of Eagle’s Landing.

Attorney Chris Anulewicz represents the city of Stockbridge and says de-annexing parts of Stockbridge to establish Eagle’s Landing violates the Voting Rights Act.

“We have moved to stop the referendum on a temporary basis until the court can hear the full merits of this case,” Anulewicz said.

The referendum, which is only open to people who live in the proposed new city limits of Eagle’s Landing, is set for Nov. 6.

Capitol One Public Funding has filed its lawsuit to try to stop the vote that could create a new city of Eagle’s Landing within the existing city of Stockbridge because the lending group has issued the city millions in bonds.

Capital One Public Funding says it currently owns $11.75 million of the principal amount of bonds issued in 2005 and 2006 to the city of Stockbridge.

“Once the referendum would occur, you’d have that tax base going away from the city of Stockbridge and the new city of Eagle’s Landing being formed, it’d be more difficult to unring that bell,” Anulewicz said.

Anulewicz said the bonds were issued by Capitol One Public Funding with the assumption that there would be a certain number of taxpayers.

He said if Eagle’s Landing breaks off, Stockbridge is left paying the bonds.

“I think it’s a very anomalous moment in the history of the state of Georgia where you are stealing one half of a city to create another city and that new city is not going to be responsible at all for the bonds so they end up taking all of the property away but having none of the responsibility,” Anulewicz said.

Eagle’s Landing

The group wanting to create the city of Eagle’s Landing, the Eagle’s Landing Educational Research Committee, said it would not comment directly on the two lawsuits since they are pending.

A combined hearing for the city of Stockbridge and Capitol One Public Funding will be held in front of Judge Lee Martin May in the U.S. District Court for Northern Georgia at 1 p.m. Monday.

Vikki Consiglio is chair of the Eagle’s Landing Educational Research Committee.

“There is going to be two sides to every story,” Consiglio said. “You just hope that the judge weighs both sides in all fairness and allows the citizens to vote.”

She said she could not comment on ongoing lawsuits.