The Georgia Court of Appeals has upheld a key part of a lawsuit filed by a group of homeowners against WS CE Resort Owner, a part of Wheelock Street Capital which owns Chateau Elan.
The court upheld a lower court ruling that said homeowners in the Manor Homes of Chateau Elan had an "implied easement" to a neighboring Par 3 golf course. The appeals court did, however, overturn the lower court on the awarding of attorney's fees to the plaintiffs.
The issue began in 2019 when the company went before the Braselton Town Council to get a rezoning to convert its Par 3 golf course into residential townhomes, saying the golf course was losing money.
But several homeowners living in The Manor Homes of Chateau Elan opposed the move, saying they paid a premium price for their lots because of the view of the golf course.
In June of 2020, Senior Superior Court Judge David Motes ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, Thomas and Connie Holland and Evelyn McCarthy.
Both homeowners paid a lot premium of $15,000 for their property because of its view of the golf course. Chateau Elan's owners argued that the golf course was not a special benefit to the homeowners and that they had not paid a premium for their lots.
Chateau Elan argued that it is losing money on the Par 3 course and wanted to sell that property to develop townhomes.
"We affirm the trial court’s order determining that the Plaintiffs acquired an implied easement in the golf course," said the appeals court.