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Golf course owner appeals development ruling

November 21, 2009

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- The owner of Greencastle Greens Golf Course has appealed a federal ruling preventing it from developing the course into homes.

Greencastle GIBG LLC, represented by Philadelphia-based law firm Fox Rothchild LLP, filed a motion Oct. 28 to appeal the ruling of U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane in the Third Circuit Federal Appeals Court.

Kane issued a summary judgment Sept. 28 ordering that covenants in the original deed of sale for the course restrict its owner from converting it into a housing development.

Greens at Greencastle Limited Partnership challenged a 2006 land development plan by Greencastle GIBG that proposed to develop the course into 192 single-family homes.

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The 1990 deed of sale for the course included a restriction that the property be used only for the construction, operation and maintenance of a golf course facility, Kane explained in a 2007 memorandum and order.

The deed also restricted that the property may not be further subdivided without the consent of Greens at Greencastle, the grantor, she wrote.

Farhad Memarsadeghi, owner of Admar Homes and general partner of Greens at Greencastle Limited Partnership, said he is confident his case will prevail.

However, after three years of litigation, Memarsadeghi said it is difficult to disclose to customers who thought the litigation was over that the case is continuing.

"Of course, this concerns me," he said. "We have customers that were negotiating contracts who pulled out because of the case. Some have come back since the announcement of the (summary) judgment."

Attorney Stephanie Resnick of Fox Rothchild said her firm soon will file a brief detailing the grounds on which it is appealing the judgment.

She declined to offer details Thursday.

The summary judgment enjoined, or prevented, GIBG from developing the property into something contrary to the deed restriction.

Attorney Jeff Clark, of Harrisburg, Pa.-based Wix, Wenger, Weidner LLP, previously said Kane's judgment in favor of his firm's client, Greens at Greencastle, was the right decision.

"It was a clear judgment ruling that the restrictive covenant was valid," he said. "The judge came to a decision that we think was correct."

Memarsadeghi said he plans to employ additional attorneys to fight the appeal.

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