Developer weighing legal options after deal with Boys & Girls Club falls through
The Boys & Girls Club no longer has a contract with a developer who wanted to buy part of the Oakhurst Dog Park adjacent to the club and turn it into single family homes.
The developer, Jay Weaver, says the contract was terminated. The Boys & Girls Club said in a statement that the contract simply expired in May.
But the deal is dead, and now the question turns to whether Weaver has any legal recourse against the Boys & Girls Club or the city of Decatur. Weaver said he discovered another way to create two lots administratively without going through the city’s Planning Commission, but the Boys & Girls Club wasn’t interested.
“We told them we had another way to administratively get the lots platted,” he said. “We had another way to get the two lots versus the subdivision route. We feel like if they gave us more time administratively we could form two lots on the property. When I went over that with them, they decided they did not want to do that.”
The city leases the Dog Park from the Boys & Girls Club, and Weaver’s plans to develop a portion of it created an uproar among residents.
The city ultimately denied Weaver’s request to subdivide the property. During the course of the debate over the park, the city restarted conversations with the Club about purchasing the entire Boys & Girls Club site, with or without the dog park property. The city’s involvement in discussions about purchasing property from the Boys & Girls Club was inappropriate, Weaver says, because at the same time the city was also mulling over his subdivision request.
He still hasn’t decided whether he will sue the city, the Boys & Girls Club, or both, or if he will do nothing. Weaver said he has offered to meet with the city in an attempt to find a way forward.
“Nobody has indicated they want to meet,” he said.
Weaver said he understands that the discussions between the city and the Boys & Girls Club are ongoing.
“They’ve been talking to the city,” he said “They have a lot more to gain by dealing with the city now, I’m sure, politically.”
The Boys & Girls Club’s statement says there haven’t been any formal negotiations with the city about purchasing the Oakhurst site.
“The City has expressed potential interest in purchasing Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club and the surrounding property,” the statement says. “We are not in negotiations, however we have had exploratory conversations. We have been in the Oakhurst/Decatur community for nearly 50 years and had the opportunity to work with thousands of kids and teens. No matter what direction we move forward, we plan to continue providing quality services to the kids and teens of this community at our current facility. We look forward to many more years here continuing to help youth reach their full potential.”
The Boys & Girls Club hasn’t received any formal notice from Weaver about a lawsuit. The Decatur City Commission officially denied the subdivision request on May 18. Mayor Jim Baskett said after the meeting he believes Weaver intends to sue the city.
So if Weaver found another way to create two lots, why continue asking the Planning Commission subdivide the property?
“I guess we felt like we were working in good faith with everyone to find a good solution,” Weaver said. “I guess by trying to play ball the right way, we’ve gotten burned here and run out of time.”