Cherokee County has filed suit against the city of Woodstock over its recent annexation of three tax parcels with a combined 148 acres that includes land planned for an Inline Communities subdivision.

In the suit, filed in the Superior Court of Cherokee County on Tuesday against the mayor, council members and the owners of the annexed properties, the county alleges that the annexation does not meet the state's legal requirements.

The suit states that an initial land survey conducted by Martin Land Surveying, P.C. in 2016 shows the common boundary of the two smaller parcels, owned by David Porter and Greater North Georgia Charities, as 47.15 feet contiguous to the existing city border, falling short of the required 50 feet for legal annexation or "one-eighth of the aggregate external boundary," whichever is less. A later survey indicated that the boundary was exactly 50 feet. The county also claims that because no "occupiable structure" can be built on the Greater North Georgia Charities tract, annexing it is in violation of state law, and that annexing a portion, rather than all, of the Porter tract fails to meet state contiguity requirements.

The largest parcel consists of 132.38 acres owned by Alan Goldberg and Havgol, LLC, where Inline plans to build 242 homes. The parcel owned by the charity, 10.11 acres, includes a part that is to be donated to the city for a trail connection. The last parcel is the Porter property, 5.48 acres. Inline agreed to donate least 2.5 acres of the Goldberg property to the city for a fire station site. Portions of the properties are in the floodplain and along Little River.

The annexation is set to go into effect July 1.

The suit includes a request to the court to issue an injunction against the defendants to prevent them from taking action based on the annexation, saying if they do, confusion over the law could result in "irreparable injury to Cherokee County with respect to an unlawful change in the County's jurisdictional boundaries, an erosion of the County's unincorporated tax base, risks to public health and safety, and imminent destruction of natural resources on the Subject Property, as well as the clearing, grading and construction on property that will be in violation of the County's zoning and development regulations and future land use plan."

A spokeswoman for the city declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing a policy of not publicly discussing litigation.

Shannon is a reporter covering education, city governments, crime, features, religion and other local news. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and currently lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

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