Monthly Archives: January 2009

January 7, 2009 – Waldorf Open Letter to Parents

(January 7, 2009): The Waldorf school of atlanta has begun to discuss the boundary dispute with its neighbors more openly. This is a positive move in our opinion.

We take this opportunity to continue public dialogue, using Waldorf’s January 7, 2009 communication (Waldorf has removed this content from their web site as of July 2010).

(Editor’s note: It has been suggested recently that we make every effort to emphasize the quotes we have taken from other people. Thus, we have emphasized the quotes. There is no other intention in doing this.)


The following is from this Waldorf Communication:

January 7, 2009

Dear Waldorf School of Atlanta Community,

On behalf of the Board and Core, we want to share with you a situation evolving with a few homeowners surrounding our property. Some of you may have seen yard signs describing “Bad Waldorf” posted on front lawns around our school.

Our signs have never read “Bad Waldorf.” They read (on two lines):

“Bad Karma!”


Here is a picture of one sign:

Waldorf Dispute Signs
Waldorf Dispute Signs


The following is from this Waldorf Communication:

January 7, 2009

Dear Waldorf School of Atlanta Community,

We are very concerned with this public display of disagreement with our school and know that you must be as well. We want to assure you that school administration and Board of Trustees are working diligently to resolve the underlying issues so that we can once again enjoy a positive and mutually respectful relationship with all our neighbors. 

We take issue with the choice of words.  Specifically, the word “diligently.”

June 28, 2008: Waldorf meets with neighbors, makes a verbal claim to a portion of their land using their new survey. Raises the issue of a land lot line error for the first time. Neighbors are told this is an ongoing discussion.

July 1, 2008: Waldorf attorney, Rosemarie McConnell files Board President, Philip Verre’s affidavit claiming a portion of neighboring’ lands. Affidavit states that it is given “to end the confusion about the location of the Land Lot and boundary between the Owner and owners of the Lots.” There was no confusion prior to this filing. There is no confusion today. There has been no confusion for 100 years (quite literally).

For clarity – perhaps the school is now working “diligently” to resolve the issue. However, the school allowed only 1 business day for us to dispute their claims before making a formal filing.

July 2008: Affected home owners respond in writing to Waldorf counsel Rosemarie McConnell, disputing the school’s claim. McConnell responds stating that the school’s claim is valid and that the school would not tolerate the neighbors’ “attack on the school’s title of record.”

August 20, 2008: Waldorf attorney, Rosemarie McConnell meets with neighbors’ attorney. Ms McConnell is informed that filing an affidavit is not the correct way to resolve this issue and that the school should have attempted to reconcile their 2002 survey with their new survey to discover the problem. Such reconciliation is done between the two surveyors themselves. No such action was taken by the school prior to filing the affidavit, nor since. Neighbors’ attorney indicates that it will take some time to research the matter and will be in touch with Ms. McConnell at an appropriate time.

December, 2008: Waldorf attorney, Rosemarie McConnell contacts neighbors’ attorney and inquires as to the status of the case, and states her desire that the case be settled by the end of the year. Home owners’ attorney indicates that he is in the final stages of research and will be in touch after the first of the year. Again, he states to McConnell that the Verre affidavit of July 1, was a matter of “putting the cart before the horse.”

The July 1, 2008 affidavit (this entire issue), was instigated by the Waldorf School of Atlanta. The school allowed the neighbors just three days to discuss the matter with the school before making a formal claim to their land. When that claim was filed, there could be no more open conversations without representation. Further, the cloud on each of our titles can only be removed by a judge. The school can either retract its affidavit, or they can go before a judge to resolve the matter.


The following is from this Waldorf Communication:

January 7, 2009

Dear Waldorf School of Atlanta Community,

The current disagreement arose over property boundary issues discovered during a routine survey of our property conducted last year. The survey, which was completed last June, revealed inconsistencies between the School’s property description and long established boundaries and the property descriptions of some of our neighbors living on Conway Road. We promptly notified these homeowners and invited them and the surveyor to a meeting to discuss – and hopefully resolve – the survey findings. This resolution is necessary for us to have clear title so that we may proceed with work on building a permanent campus, including obtaining loans or approval for any construction plans. 

We are not familiar with the term “routine survey.”

We understand the need to survey at sale and or purchase, but we are unfamiliar with “routine surveys.” Perhaps a larger entity such as a school or business must from time to time conduct a routine survey? We are unsure.

Waldorf’s new survey of 2008 was a survey of all adjoining lands along their boundaries (Conway Road, Kirk, Oldfield and East McKinnon) known as a “closing survey.” The school also performed title searches on the surveyed homes.

The Waldorf School of Atlanta obtained a new mortgage in February of 2008, four months prior to this survey and did not conduct a new survey at that time.

The Waldorf School of Atlanta has indicated that construction is 5-10 years away from present day and that a building fund has not even been established.

To date, the Waldorf School of Atlanta has not offered a clear and consistent explanation for an expensive and detailed survey such as they conducted. At the time of this survey the school also ran title searches on all the adjoining homes.

It is important to clarify that the western boundary for all affected homes along Conway Road (not just 1161, 1169, 1177, 1185), has been clear and consistent since 1946 when the homes were constructed.

The Land Lot Line has been clear and consistent for many decades prior to 1946 in deed history. The western boundary of our land, and the Land Lot Line running thereon, has been clearly defined by deed record since at least 1914.

The boundaries of Waldorf’s current land have not been clear, nor consistent over time. The Waldorf property has, over time, had conflicting survey’s for its boundaries (1960, 2002, 2008). Again, in our opinion Waldorf did not (evidently) perform the proper and thorough property research regarding their land and the cause of this error.


The following is from this Waldorf Communication:

January 7, 2009

Dear Waldorf School of Atlanta Community,

Over the past several months, we have continued to express our intention to resolve the matter fairly and amicably so that we may have clear title. Several of the neighbors have retained legal counsel, to whom we have provided documents and written statements concerning our desire to work through each case. Unfortunately, we had not received any response from our overtures for resolving this manner until recently when negative content was posted on the Web and the yard signs appeared. 

We gave the school six months to re-examine their affidavit before taking the matter public.

Our attorney accepted any and all documents provided by the school, all of which had been obtained prior, through public records.

Further, our attorney requested that Ms. McConnell provide a copy of the 2002 survey by which the school purchased the property. This survey is part of the school’s vesting documents.

Ms. McConnell allowed our attorney to view the survey, but would not, and will not now, provide a copy of the survey for examination.

We asked to view the 2002 survey during the June 28 meeting and were denied. Subsequent written requests for viewing this survey were ignored. Waldorf counsel forbids the 2002 surveying company from discussing the survey without attorneys present.

Full disclosure cannot be achieved until the Waldorf School of Atlanta provides their 2002 survey by which they purchased their land(s).

As for attempting to resolve the matter, consider:

Of the seven affected home owners along Conway Road (1155, 1161, 1165, 1169, 1177, 1185 and 1191), two are Waldorf community members. One family teaches at the school and has children attending. The other only has children attending but is related to Waldorf staff. To the best of our knowledge, the school has made not one overture to meet with either family prior to the formal publication of this material on January 7, 2009.


The following is from this Waldorf Communication:

January 7, 2009

Dear Waldorf School of Atlanta Community,

We can appreciate the reactions of our families to negative statements about our school posted on signs easily read while going to and from our school. We ask your help by bringing any questions, comments or insights about this situation directly to Beatrice.

Some people are masters of speaking all manner of words, but saying nothing.

History of Disputed Area

Make a cup of coffee and snuggle up with your screen.  This is a long read.

For a shorter version – see the illustrated history.

  • 1915 – Official DeKalb county map shows Edward H. Inman as owning most, if not all of the land in land lots 215 and 216. Inman is the common ancestor of all lands concerned.
  • 1922 – Edward H. Inman begins to subdivide land in lots 215 and 216, along the land lot line, described as being 400 feet from the corner of South Columbia and Kirk Road (“the corner”). DeKalb county officials have confirmed that the location of these roads (South Columbia and Kirk Road) has not changed or shifted since this time. The iron pin for this location is was present in the side walk along Kirk Road, at this intersection when Waldorf School commissioned a comprehensive survey in 2008. Inman’s land in lot 216 (to the east of the land lot line, including present day Conway Road) is sold first to John Slaughter Candler.
  • 1925 – John S. Candler now owns much of Mr. Inman’s land and donates to the Columbia Theological Seminary a tract of land which will become present day Columbia Presbyterian Church. The church property is carved from Mr. Candler’s land, the remainder of which will become the Conway Road section of Forrest Hills subdivision 20+ years later. In this deed the land lot line is clearly described as being 400 feet from the corner of South Columbia and Kirk Road. Additionally, a previously established, privately owned (and that distinction is key) dirt road on the west side of the church property, located within Land Lot 216, is formally named at this time in honor of Levi Willard – Levi Willard Avenue. (Levi Willard was a historian, schoolteacher and founder of the Decatur Union Sunday School. He was also a founder of the Decatur Presbyterian Church.) Willard Avenue remains separate from the church property and outside of the church property, but still in Mr. Candler’s possession along with the rest of his possessions in Land Lot 216. Willard Avenue is a 35 foot wide dirt road on the western edge of land lot 216, never dedicated or opened for public use (again, this distinction is key), Willard Avenue’s western most side also being the land lot line between land lots 215 and 216 (400 feet from “the corner”). The remaining land around the church, including Willard Avenue, will remain in the possession of John Slaughter Candler until 1945, unchanged and unsold. This clear and concise record is one of several which firmly established the Land Lot Line in deed history and stands today as the legal boundary between Lots 215 and 216, and thus stands in contradiction to the affidavit filed by the Waldorf School of Atlanta on July 1, 2008.
  • 1946 – March of 1946, Mr. Henry A. Ivey purchases the same exact tract of land belonging to Mr. John S. Candler from 1922 to 1945, and begins development of Forrest Hills subdivision along Conway Road. (56 years later, in 2002, this neighborhood will be Waldorf’s eastern neighbor.) Mr. Henry A. Ivey Sr.’s purchase of the property includes the 35 foot dirt road Willard Avenue, which continues to be a private road. The property is exactly the same as it was in 1925 when purchased by Mr. Candler. Mr. Henry A Ivey Sr. plats the neighborhood and maintains the position of Willard Avenue accordingly. Mr. Henry A. Ivey Sr. never dedicates the road to the county, nor develops it. Later after the homes along Conway Road’s western side are completed, Mr. Henry A. Ivey Sr. begins to deed appropriate sections of the former dirt road, Willard Avenue, to the adjoining property owners along Conway Road whose homes he has just completed.
  • 1946 – Beginning in 1946 and continuing for the next few years, sections of Willard Avenue which have been deeded to the properties along Conway Road are added to official county tax maps and residents continue to pay property taxes on this land and maintain this land on their property deeds. Some home owners fence in this area and these fence posts are still present today. This is the land which Waldorf School of Atlanta now seeks to claim.
  • 1946 through early 1950’s – Homes along Oldfield Road are constructed. Oldfield is west of the present day Waldorf School of Atlanta property and along with Conway Road, provides the book ends on each side of the Waldorf School of Atlanta property (Conway Road on the east, Oldfield Road on the west.)  Mr. Ivey begins deeding portions of Willard Avenue to Conway Road properties.
  • 1948 – Mr. Woodberry purchases 827 Kirk Road, bound by prior meets and bounds (deeds), the eastern border of the land being the same 400 foot historical land lot line as described throughout deed history.  This property is located between the already constructed homes on Conway Road and the platted development on Oldfield Road. Conway Road owners are already in possession of Willard Avenue.
  • 1960 – Mr. Woodberry is now deceased, and Mrs. Woodberry subdivides 827 Kirk Road, and possibly bases the property line on an erroneous 1960 survey which conflicts with her husbands’ purchasing deed of 1948 (Dekalb County, Georgia, Deed Book 725, page 164), and also conflicts with the transfer deed of 1953 between Mr. and Mrs. Woodberry (Dekalb County, Georgia, Deed Book 960, page 383), wherein Mrs. Woodberry came into possession of the land.  821 Kirk Road is subdivided from 827 Kirk Road. It is assumed that a carport/garage addition is made to the home of 827 Kirk at this time, placing part of the carport/garage and a driveway on adjoining property to the east (on Willard Avenue). Prior to this time, all previous deeds for this land indicate an eastern property boundary at 400 feet from the corner of Kirk and South Columbia. Even after this errant survey, the land is described and sold (to Waldorf) with the same 400 foot land lot line and eastern property boundary location. No attempt is made to discover or solve problems with the land, despite clear evidence that prior deeds for the property conflict with the location of built structures, and of 827 Kirk Road being physically outside the legal description of the property.
  • 2002 – The Waldorf School of Atlanta purchases 827 Kirk Road (Dekalb County, Georgia, Deed Book 12857, pages 57-62). Advance Survey Inc. survey of 827 Kirk Road as well as all vesting documents and historical deeds indicates that 827 Kirk Road begins at 400 feet from “the corner” of Kirk Road and South Columbia Drive and as a result, part of the home on 827 Kirk (that portion added circa 1960) now exists outside of the land described by deed. Ms. Rosemarie McConnell signs the purchasing transaction as a witness. The Waldorf School of Atlanta proceeds with the purchase despite what should be very obvious concerns. The Advance Survey inc. drawing contradicts all historical property deeds where the starting point of the land is concerned by incorrectly labeling the 400 foot point of beginning. The Claude Brown survey commissioned by Waldorf in 2008, confirms Advance Survey labeled a point 365 feet from the corner on the drawing as 400 feet. This error possibly prohibits Waldorf from discovering the Waldorf School of Atlanta property as overlapping properties of Oldfield Road and 821 Kirk Road. In short, neither the surveyor nor the Waldorf School of Atlanta acknowledge that the lands cannot fit the space as described and thus fail to discover the true error leading to the future dispute.
  • 2004. Waldorf School of Atlanta purchases 821 Kirk Road. Again Waldorf fails to discover the physical location of the house at 821 Kirk Road does not match the deed description.
  • 2/28/2008. The Waldorf School of Atlanta obtains new financing/mortgage from SunTrust Bank for the lands at 821 and 827 Kirk Road. (Dekalb County, Georgia, Deed Book 20651, page 212). As with previous transactions, the land begins at 400 feet (the land lot line). No survey is conducted for this new financing/mortgage. This minor point is important for the point in the time line of June 28, 2008.
  • Spring 2008. For reasons that are never fully disclosed, the Waldorf School of Atlanta commissions a new survey of 821 and 827 Kirk Road by Claude M. Brown. This new survey conflicts dramatically with the Waldorf School of Atlanta vesting documents and survey of 2002, and attempts to cast doubt on the location of the land lot line between lots 215 and 216, as well as the existence of Willard Avenue (the section of land the Waldorf School of Atlanta now claims as theirs). This survey conflicts with every single historical deed of record concerning 821 and 827 Kirk Road and creates a conflict with adjoining lands to the east. This survey is specifically designed to avoid displaying the true boundary line and the long standing error with 827 Kirk Road, but and is a clever attempt to rearrange old plats and boundary lines in order to maintain the size of the land which the Waldorf School of Atlanta believes it purchased in 2002, regardless of the impact on adjoining properties.
  • May-June of 2008. Before meeting with property owners along Conway Road, Waldorf School of Atlanta attorney, Ms. Rosemarie McConnell contacts Henry A. Ivey Jr., son of Forrest Hills developer Mr. Henry A. Ivey Sr. (now deceased). Ms. Rosemarie McConnell states to Mr. Henry A. Ivey Jr., that he (as the heir to his father’s estate), still owns a portion of the land (strip of land) once known as Willard Avenue, a private dirt road (never opened to the pulic nor dedicated to the county). Most of this old road was long ago deeded to Conway Road residents (1946 and forward). Ms. Rosemarie McConnell indicates that Mr. Henry A. Ivey Jr. may own a 300 x 35 foot strip which the Waldorf School of Atlanta intends to use for parking. Ms. Rosemarie McConnell indicates that the Waldorf School of Atlanta is prepared to pay a few hundred dollars to Mr. Henry A. Ivey Jr., in exchange for a quit claim to the strip of land. This attempt at obtaining dubious title to portions of Willard Avenue (an historical, factual private road which did exist) can at best be described as confused and at worse, may very well be an ethical violation. In any case, no such quit claim is ever given to Ms. Rosemarie McConnell, nor would such a claim ever be upheld.
  • 6/28/2008. The Waldorf School of Atlanta presents the Brown survey to the property owners along Conway Road. Using this survey, the Waldorf School of Atlanta claims that sections of land belonging to the home owners along Conway Road (Willard Avenue) should belong to the Waldorf School of Atlanta instead.
    • During this meeting, Ms. Rosemarie McConnell states to those home owners present that Willard Avenue never existed, that Mr. Henry A. Ivey Sr. simply drew Willard Avenue on the plat (implied to have been done without thought).
    • Ms. Rosemarie McConnell goes on to state that no one present has any claim to any land formerly known as Willard Avenue because it could never have existed. (Yet, subsequent research in later weeks proves the road did in fact physically exist as a private road.)
    • When asked why suddenly a new survey has been drawn, various reasons are provided, including the claim that a new survey is required before any financing can be obtained for the land. Yet, just 4 months prior when a new mortgage was obtained no survey was conducted.
    • The Claude Brown survey was not just any old survey or a “routine” survey. There was no impending construction or refinancing taking place (as mentioned above, the school had just refinanced four months prior to this survey without the need for a new survey) and the school claims that any building phase is at least 5 to 10 years away. This survey was a survey of all lands in the neighborhood, not just Waldorf’s land. There was great effort and expense taken in drafting this survey for the purpose of crafting an argument.
    • Casual statements were also made by Waldorf persons that Waldorf’s title insurance company is more likely to settle in Waldorf’s favor against homes on Conway Road, versus homes on the other side of Waldorf’s property (Oldfield Road) where homes are valued higher.
    • No mention is made before the start of this meeting that Ms. Rosemarie McConnell is acting as legal counsel for the Waldorf School of Atlanta, only that she is a real estate expert (again with the ethics). Only after several pointed questions to (then) acting administrator Ms. Stacey Alston, is it acknowledged that Ms. Rosemarie McConnell is on retainer for the Waldorf School of Atlanta and is acting on their behalf as legal counsel in this meeting.
    • Home owners attending the meeting were strongly encouraged to obtain new surveys of their lands. But Ms. Rosemarie McConnell could not stress enough how imporant is was for the home owners to insist that their surveyor use the new Claude Brown survey when conducting any new surveys of their homes, else their survey would be incorrect.
    • Those members of the Waldorf School of Atlanta who were present at this meeting made it clear that they were unsure as to where the true land lot line is located and that they did not consider this matter to be resolved. Yet, two days later… without informing the affected neighbors…
  • 7/1/2008. The Waldorf School of Atlanta board of trustees president, Philip Verre files affidavit placing a cloud upon the title of homes along Conway Road (1155, 1161, 1165, 1169, 1177, 1185 and 1191 Conway Road). This affidavit claims to know the true location of the land lot line and states that previous distances to the line were in error.  (Dekalb County, Georgia, Deed Book 20917, page 797)
  • 7/1/2008. hree days after the June 28, 2008 meeting, the defending group of home owners learns of Ms. Rosemarie McConnell’s prior phone call to Mr. Henry A. Ivey Jr. It is now clear that the Waldorf School of Atlanta is not being forthright in this matter. Subsequent research indicates that Mr. Henry A. Ivey Sr., was very exacting in his endeavors and additional research indicates that Mr. Henry A. Ivey Sr. was a well known developer, owning and developing hundreds of properties over many decades including public facilities such as post offices and jails.
  • 7/7/2008. Only after a stern, written demand from one of the affected home owners, Ms. Rosemarie McConnell discloses that an affidavit has been filed with the county on July 1, two days after the meeting with the school, which affects the homes along Conway Road. This action is contrary to statements made at the June 28, 2008 meeting.
  • Fall, 2008. Ms. Rosemarie McConnell meets with Mr. Henry A. Ivey Jr. again and retracts her previous offer, stating that Willard Avenue never existed and that no one has a claim to the land because the Waldorf School of Atlanta believes the land does not physically exist.
  • December 30, 2008.  After six months of waiting for the Waldorf School of Atlanta to retract their errant affidavit this web site it posted.
  • January, 2009. A total of 5 signs advertising this web site were originally posted in January of 2009 at various points in the neighborhood to make Waldorf parents aware of the school’s actions. All were either vandalized or stolen by members of the Waldorf School of Atlanta. Some were even brought to the Waldorf office. Home owners who agreed to post signs advertising this site were harassed by those associated with the Waldorf School of Atlanta. Only one sign remained posted for any length of time because it was glued and screwed onto plywood and 4×4 post which were cemented into the ground.
  • July 2013. Five Years from the filing of the July 1, 2008 affidavit, neither Waldorf School nor Mr. Verre has yet to bring proof of their claims to know the true location of the land lot line or to prove previous distances to the line were in error.