Backers of Eagle’s Landing cityhood granted permission to be part of defense in lawsuit aimed stopping the creation of Henry County’s fifth municipality. LEON STAFFORD/AJC

Backers of Eagle’s Landing cityhood to be part of defense in lawsuit

A Henry County Superior Court judge on Tuesday granted three residents’ motion to intervene in a lawsuit aimed at stopping a vote on whether Eagle’s Landing becomes a city.

Judge Arch McGarity granted the motion that allows Judy Smith, Vikki Consiglio and Kathryn Gilbert to weigh in on litigation brought by the city of Stockbridge to keep cityhood for Eagle’s Landing off the ballot this November. They say that Stockbridge is trying to override the will of the General Assembly.

VIDEO: Previous coverage of this issue

The city of Stockbridge is fighting the formation of Eagles Landing, which it says is unconstitutional.

Attorneys for the trio argued that the lawsuit — which has been filed against the Henry County Commission and the Henry County Board of Elections — did not allow residents of the potential new city representation in the matter. Motions to intervene are filed by parties who are not defendants in a lawsuit, but do have a vested interest.

“We expected this to take place,” Thompson Kurrie, attorney for trio, said after the ruling. “There was not adequate representation for the citizens that had an interest in this.”

Wednesday, McGarity will hear arguments on an injunction to stop the November referendum.

The city calls plans to de-annex as much as half of its territory to create the city of Eagle’s landing unconstitutional.

Stockbridge leaders and residents of Eagle’s Landing — a well-heeled community in Stockbridge that includes one of Henry’s top golf courses — have been at odds for the past two years over the creation of the new city. Eagle’s Landing residents said taking charge of their own city would give them better control over services and to attract more jobs while Stockbridge leaders argue that it’s easier to meet those goals as one community.

McGarity, in his ruling, said he was granting the motion to intervene because the issue is of great importance to Henry County.

“This way we make sure that everybody that’s got a voice to be heard is heard,” he said.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.