Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dawson County News: Former property owner released from lawsuit

Judge: Knowing intention of site does not create liability

A judge ruled Sept. 14 that the former owner of 152 acres in western Dawson County is not a proper party for a lawsuit challenging the construction of a motorsports park on the site.

Northeastern Judicial Circuit Senior Judge John Girardeau granted a motion for summary judgement filed by EHK Investments, saying the firm’s knowledge that the property was to be used as a motorsports park does not “create liability.”
Famed NASCAR engine builder Ernie Elliott owns EHK Investments. In September 2009, he sold the property on Duck Thurmond Road, west of downtown Dawsonville, to developer Jeremy Porter, president of Atlanta Motorsports Park.

Porter’s plan calls for about two miles of high performance road course for two- and four-wheel vehicles. Other features include a members-only lounge, 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, pool and hiking trails.

Porter and the city of Dawsonville are also named in the suit, which challenges zoning regulations and argues the park will create a nuisance for the plaintiffs, West and Helen Hamryka.

Richard Wingate, an attorney for the Hamrykas, on Monday said Girardeau’s ruling “was very limited in scope and has no impact on the rest of the lawsuit.”

“We are still moving forward,” he said.

The Hamrykas own a home and horse training facility across Duck Thurmond Road from the site, where grading work has begun.

Porter said dismissing EHK from the suit will lead to a domino effect for the other defendants in the case.

Elliott could not be reached for comment.

The case was assigned to Girardeau after Superior Court Judges Bonnie Oliver and Kathlene Gosselin recused themselves.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dawson County News: Porter promises big at chamber event

Car park official speaks at event

The president of Atlanta Motorsports Park spoke at the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week to give members an update on the facility’s progress.

Jeremy Porter told an audience of more than 80 at the monthly gathering Sept. 9 that the new business will pump dollars into the local economy and perpetuate Dawson County’s racing culture.

Porter said small businesses will follow the park — located in the county’s west end — to Dawson County, stimulating the economy beyond its immediate impact.

“You’re going to see a lot of properties and land being taken up,” Porter said. “Businesses will move to this area, which will bring additional jobs and impact the local economy.”
Porter said that five local construction companies had already been hired to build the park, benefiting the economy.

Porter said the motor sports culture will be cultivated by the facility.

“In my opinion, this is very much a motor sports community,” he said. “The city, the county ... our hope is to continue to bring that culture into the county.”

Dawson County resident Jane Graves asked Porter about the ongoing lawsuit against the business, the city of Dawsonville and EHK Investments by West and Helen Hamryka.

“We’re still in the midst of that,” Porter said. “I’m very disappointed.”
He said construction is moving along, and that by the end of 2011, a track and garages would be complete.

The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce holds monthly luncheons, where local business and community leaders are invited to speak.