Fulton County Judge Thomas A. Cox has denied a motion asking to pause construction on a controversial future police training facility in Atlanta.

Early last week, a member of a community stakeholder advisory committee overseeing development of the public safety training center in Southeast Atlanta Download this pdf file.filed a lawsuit to stop construction. Amy Taylor lives across the street from the development which would include the so-called "Cop City," and she is joined by the South River Watershed Alliance and DeKalb District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry in the legal challenge.

On Feb. 6, Taylor appealed the land disturbance permit that DeKalb County approved for the training center Jan. 31. Work began shortly after the permit was approved to begin clearing the land for development.

Taylor is being represented by attorney Jon Schwartz. She claims  Download this pdf file.in the appeal that the permit should not have been approved because the project would violate the state limits on sediment in the river, but construction has continued.

The hearing in the Fulton County Courthouse was presided over by Judge Thomas Cox. He did not allow any witnesses in the hearing.

In a call before the hearing, DeKalb Commissioner Ted Terry said his main concern centered around whether the site is the best option for the community’s environment.

“The evidence that I've seen suggests that it would be nearly impossible to do major development in this area without impacting the larger river shed," Terry said. "And that is the greatest concern, because remediating streams and rivers is an incredibly expensive project.”

Now the ball is back in DeKalb County's court. The Dekalb County Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to meet March 8, so the land disturbance permit appeal could be addressed then.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division sets the total maximum daily load, or TMDL, which explains how much sediment polluted waters can handle and places limits. The Atlanta Police Foundation said the EPD approved the permit, but opponents said based on the TMDL limits it should not have been approved.

South River Watershed Alliance Board President Jackie Echols said this all comes back to enforcement from the state agency.

"So who do you believe, EPD or EPD?" she said.