Development Authority of Cobb County v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
The Development Authority of Cobb County passed a resolution in May 2018 to issue $35 million in revenue bonds under OCGA 36-62-2 (6)(N) to finance a retail development in east Cobb County, namely, a grocery store. The Development Authority planned to lease the facility to the Kroger Company, which would relocate a nearby grocery store to the newly constructed facility. Cobb County resident Larry Savage objected to the bonds, and the Superior Court of Cobb County denied validation of the bonds, concluding that OCGA 36-62-2 (6)(N) does not authorize the bonds and that paragraph (6)(N) was unconstitutional in any event. The Development Authority and Kroger appealed. The Georgia Supreme Court found the superior court reasoned that additional employment opportunities were not enough to show that the new grocery store was “essential” to “the development of trade, commerce, industry, and employment opportunities.” Further, the superior court said that the additional employment opportunities at the new grocery store in any event were not the sort of “employment opportunities” with which paragraph (6) (N) was concerned. The Supreme Court determined the superior court misunderstood the statute and the controlling caselaw. Furthermore, the Supreme Court determined the trial court was mistaken in thinking paragraph (6)(N) was unconstitutional. The supreme Court, therefore, reversed the superior court and remanded for further proceedings.