Dunwoody will have to pay $850,000 in a lawsuit settlement with a company that is opening a home treatment facility on Manget Way.
Of the total, the city’s insurance will pay $600,000 and the remaining $250,000 will come out of the city’s budgetary reserves. According to an open records request, the city paid just over $35,500 in legal fees on this suit, from July 2014 to this month.
The City Council voted July 10 to a approve a settlement agreement with the Center for Discovery, a California-based company that has leased a house on Manget Way to treat teenage girls with eating disorders.
However, the final figure for the settlement wasn’t determined until the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled on the city’s challenge of a DeKalb Superior Court judge’s decision. The Court of Appeals ruled against the city July 14.
The settlement agreement ends two lawsuits the city is facing by the Center for Discovery — the Court of Appeals case a federal lawsuit that was seeking $5 million.
In the Court of Appeals case, the city was appealing a decision last year by DeKalb Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger. The judge reversed the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals decision to prohibit the Center for Discovery from opening a home treatment center on Manget Way.
The Center for Discovery also filed a federal lawsuit last year claiming the city, among other things, violated the federal Fair Housing Act by discriminating against its patients.
“The ZBA erroneously construed the ordinance despite its plain language and the superior court, in accordance with its obligation to construe correctly ruled so,” states the July 14 Court of Appeals ruling.
“In the instant case, the appeals provisions of the zoning ordinance were not clearly invalid, and the superior court’s reversal of the ZBA’s contrary interpretation is correct and must be affirmed,” the ruling states.
Last year, the City Council voted to require a special land-use permit for operators of personal care homes housing less than four people in single-family residential areas.