published Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Fort Oglethorpe gets time on polo field lawsuit


by Beverly Carroll

A Catoosa County judge has given Fort Oglethorpe four more months to answer a lawsuit seeking removal of a concrete cricket pitch on the polo field at Barnhardt Circle.

City attorney Robert Stultz asked for more time to respond to Sharon Anderson’s January lawsuit.

“There were close to 300 individual responses that the city had 30 days to answer,” Mr. Stultz said. “I’ve never seen that many questions about a 10-feet by 30-feet concrete pad.”

The lawsuit seeks information about the case for use in court, Mr. Stultz said. It asks for specifics such as: “Do you deny or admit that you work for the city of Fort Oglethorpe,” and “Please give us a copy of the construction contract for the cricket pitch.”

Ms. Anderson claims that the cricket pitch, a 22-yard-long slab built in 2007, violates the city charter’s ban against any construction on the polo field that is not education- or recreation-related. She argues that the slab, used to play a baseball-like game, sets a precedent for more building.

“The city has been doing what it wants to for a long time,” Ms. Anderson said. “And no one has stood up to the city.”

Meanwhile, city resident Ed Parrish last week filed a legal notice objecting to fences on the polo field, saying they prevent public access. The city has 30 days to respond to Mr. Parrish and if he is not satisfied, the next step could be a lawsuit, Mr. Stultz said.

“We will end up litigating that,” Mr. Goulart said. “We are responsible for that property, and we have to control it. We are not going to have our hands tied, unless a court says we have to have our hands tied.”

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