• Builder wants to turn former sports legend's estate into development

    By: Jim Strickland


    ROSWELL, Ga. - An Atlanta sports legend's former home is now at the center of a controversial north Fulton land deal.

    Some neighbors oppose plans to turn acreage once owned by former Atlanta Brave Dale Murphy into a subdivision.

    "(There will be) basically postage stamp lots, with homes 10 feet away from the property lines visible from Rucker Road," said Chris Foley, listing some of the reasons he's against the plan.

    Foley also fears increased traffic on nearby Houze and Rucker roads and storm water runoff into adjacent neighborhoods.

    "It would definitely depress the value of these homes relative to the other homes in the area," Foley told Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland.

    Strickland learned the development would include three lots in the 300 block of Rucker Road, along with land behind the lots. That 10 acres makes up the former Murphy estate, now under different ownership.

    The developer wants a variance to shrink the usual lot size.

    Robyn Stephens lives next to the subdivision's would-be entrance road.

    "We certainly don't want a street behind our home either, because we would not have purchased the home seven and a half years ago if that was going to be the case," Stephens said.

    "I just want people to know I'm not an evil developer," said David Hole, who plans to develop the land with his father.

    Hole said his development will actually improve the water runoff and that additional houses will barely register on the traffic counter.

    "Forty-seven homes, it's just a blip on the radar compared to this whole entire area," Hole said.

    The planning and zoning commission takes up the issue in three weeks. The mayor and council have their say in mid-August.

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