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Friday February 12th, 2016 1:16PM

Ruling could pave way for sale of riverfront land in Gwinnett

By The Associated Press
PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga. (AP) A judge has dismissed an attempt by residents in Atlanta's northeastern suburbs to block the sale of a large tract of land along the Chattahoochee River.

The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church is looking to sell the property known as Simpsonwood, a 227-acre site that's been a meeting place for church groups and a sanctuary for visitors.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Magistrate Mark Lewis' Thursday decision could clear the way for the sale of the land.

But if the ruling is appealed, any final decision on Simpsonwood's sale could be delayed.

Norcross school teacher Ludie Simpson, who died in 1975, deeded the land to the Methodist church in 1973 with the understanding that it would not be "chopped into smaller parcels or exploited or despoiled."
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