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Golf course suit might be played through to federal court

September 06, 2006|by DON AINES and JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With a fast-approaching deadline to do so, a Connecticut-based developer on Tuesday responded to a complaint for an injunction filed early last month by opponents of the construction of 192 houses on the Greencastle Greens Golf Course.

Greencastle GIBG LLC has filed a notice for removal, asking that the petition for an injunction by Greens at Greencastle LP be transferred from the Court of Common Pleas in Franklin County, Pa., to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The complaint filed Aug. 4 by Greens at Greencastle sought to stop the planning stages of the single-family houses on 212.5 acres.

Greencastle GIBG asked in the response that the matter be transferred to federal court based on the number of states involved. The notice of removal claimed a "complete diversity of citizenship" by the two parties. Greens at Greencastle, the notice stated, "is organized under the laws of the State of Maryland" and its place of business is in Frederick, Md.

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Greencastle GIBG, according to the notice, is a limited liability company "organized under the laws of the State of Delaware" and is based in Norwalk, Conn. The partners of Greens at Greencastle, it stated "are not citizens of Delaware or Connecticut."

The development is proposed through GIBG Golf's Baltimore office, and the homes surrounding the course were built by a Maryland company. A Philadelphia attorney is representing GIBG Golf, while the Greens at Greencastle paperwork was filed by a Franklin County law firm.

Attorneys from both sides did not return phone calls Tuesday.

The golf course, two miles north of the intersection of Pa. 16 and U.S. 11, is already surrounded by upscale houses, whose owners say they were told the course would be in existence perpetually. The Greens at Greencastle complaint includes deed restrictions that prohibit subdivision of the land.

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