A hearing for a civil suit by Cherokee County against the city of Woodstock and property owners over a recent annexation has been rescheduled and will be heard by a new judge.

In the suit, the county alleges that Woodstock broke state law when it annexed three adjoining properties on Arnold Mill Road, including land planned for a conservation subdivision by Inline Communities.

The hearing, which will determine whether the county’s case will be heard at a later date, is now scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 4 in Courtroom 2C in the Cherokee County Justice Center, 90 North St. in Canton. The presiding judge is listed as Judge Tony Baker, though court documents said the case was first reassigned to a different judge. A hearing scheduled earlier this month was canceled when Judge Ellen McElyea recused herself from the case. McElyea did not offer an explanation to attorneys, and her office has not answered requests for comment.

In May, the city council approved an annexation of 146 acres along Arnold Mill Road, which includes a large tract planned for a 242-home conservation subdivision and two other tracts that connect to the rest of city limits. Any action based on the annexation, including developing the property, is on hold pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

The largest parcel consists of 132.38 acres owned by Alan Goldberg and Havgol, LLC, where Inline plans to build the 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.

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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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