Man wants to build home on Sandy Springs cemetery property - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Man wants to build home on Sandy Springs cemetery property

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A man in Sandy Springs wants to build his home on cemetery property. (Photo by Julia Reynolds/MyFoxAtlanta) A man in Sandy Springs wants to build his home on cemetery property. (Photo by Julia Reynolds/MyFoxAtlanta)

A man in Sandy Springs wants to build his home on cemetery property. The issue is upsetting some neighbors and has the man suing the city.

The private, historic cemetery dates back to the 1800s and to founding members of the Sandy Springs area, but if an area man gets his way, it'll not only house the dearly departed but also his family home.

Gloria Taylor can't bear the thought of someone building on the private, family cemetery that sits on the end of her street.

"You can't build a house on this property, I don't care how careful you are, without destroying the ambiance and integrity of the site," said Taylor.

The cemetery primarily belonged to the Heard family and dates back to the 1840s.  It was also the spot where Union troops first crossed the Chattahoochee during the Civil War.

"There's a historical marker here that show Isom's Ferry and this whole ridge was used as a strategic point in the Civil War," said Rachel Rosner, a Sandy Springs resident.

The one-acre piece of land, listed with the Fulton Tax Office as tax exempt, was sold on the courthouse steps a few years ago for unpaid taxes.

According to court records, the current owner of this cemetery bought it in July for $1.The city of Sandy Springs won't let him build on this property, so he's filed a lawsuit.

A deed filed in 1900 shows that the original owner wanted to make sure it stayed a cemetery, something historic preservationist, Clark Otten, believes is essential.

"I think it's an extremely important site that needs preservation," said Otten.

Sandy Springs, which would not grant a building permit to the owner, could not comment on the case because of litigation. The owner, who is also his own attorney on the case, also had no comment.

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