Linda Holmes-Rubin said Monday that — as she told the Canton City Council in a meeting last week — she wants her 5.88 acres of land formally returned and about $16,000 in legal fees which she incurred in the fight to get the land back.
The acreage, obtained by Canton and CCMWA through a condemnation, is more than a third of the 15 acres she owns at her home on Fincher Road, just outside Canton, Holmes-Rubin said.
It’s also the only portion of her property that gives her access to Highway 108 and, in effect, the ability to drive off her land without crossing somebody else’s, she said.
But Canton City Attorney Bobby Dyer and Daniel White, an attorney representing CCWMA, said Friday that Holmes-Rubin’s land has been returned and they’re discussing options to resolve the legal fees issue, though they can’t say when that will happen.
Holmes-Rubin said her issues with Canton and CCMWA began in 2009 when she first heard that the two were attempting to obtain easements for land near her home along Shoal Creek.
She attended a meeting with CCMWA and other nearby homeowners and communicated that she wasn’t interested in granting an easement to use part of her property as replacement land for acreage displaced by the reservoir.
Things were then quiet until about April 2010, she said, when she received a check as a “good-faith deposit” from the two entities trying to purchase the land.
She still wasn’t interested; she sent the check back, she said.
Everything went quiet again, until she was served with papers condemning the land on Nov. 2, 2010, she said, and the nearly two-year-long legal battle began.
It made it as high as the Georgia Court of Appeals, where, in March 2012, she won a dispute over an improperly scheduled, and thus dismissed, trial fighting the condemnation.
She requested her roughly $16,000 in legal fees be paid by the city of Canton and CCMWA, but has still not been paid and wants her land back, formally, in writing.
Attorneys Dyer and White said Friday they are in the process of resolving the situation.
They say the Fincher Road resident’s land was in fact returned, when they canceled the condemnation after purchasing other land in lieu of hers.
White said this method of returning the land is “legally binding” and
But Holmes-Rubin would like something in writing.
“We don’t have anything in our hand that specifically says that (the land is hers),” she said.
As for when the issue of her legal fees will
be resolved, Dyer said, “Shortly.”
It’s that response, Dyer said, that likely led Holmes-Rubin to address the Canton City Council last week to bring their attention to the matter.
“That’s her frustration,” he said. “It’s always been ‘shortly’ ... but it is getting worked out.”