Residents living near the site of the proposed Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, commonly known as “Cop City,” reported contractors engaging in construction work Monday morning, despite the appeal filed on behalf of Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee member and local resident Amy Taylor last week. According to Jon Schwartz, the lawyer for the appeal, filing the appeal stays the power of the land disturbance permit (LDP) and makes any construction effort illegal while the appeal is pending. Previously, Atlanta Police Foundation (APF) CEO, Dave Wilkinson stated the foundation planned “to continue full speed ahead” with construction. In response to the continued activity, Scwartz filed for injunctive relief Monday afternoon.
While the LDP appeal battle takes place in the DeKalb County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), Schwartz filed for injunctive relief in the Fulton County Superior Court, where APF is headquartered. Joining in the injunction filing are Ted Terry, Commissioner for DeKalb County District 6 in which the site exists, and the South River Watershed Alliance, a “nonprofit aimed at protecting water quality in the South River watershed” according to the filing.
The complaint alleges that APF was notified on February 9th that the appeal “stays the land disturbance or construction activity until the zoning board of appeals issues a decision on the appeal,” and that APF claims the site a public facility and therefore “exempt from county zoning requirements altogether.”
The property on which APF is trying to build Cop City is zoned R75. There is an exemption in the zoning code that allows government facilities to be built in residentially zoned areas without needing to go through a rezoning process. That R75 zoning, however, also allows for the appeal that Taylor filed last week.
The parties filing for the injunction requested that the Court grant a temporary restraining order (TRO) to immediately halt construction at the site until the ZBA issues its decision on the appeal, and requests that the Court retain the authority to enforce the TRO throughout that period.
The 17 page filing can be found below.