The Fayette Citizen-News Page

Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Green light for PTC Wal-Mart?

Council to consider controversial Home Depot-Wal-Mart development on Ga. Highway 54 West after revised traffic study says project passes muster.


The status of the Wal-Mart/Home Depot retail project on Ga. Highway 54 west near the Planterra Ridge subdivision will be discussed at Thursday night's Peachtree City Council meeting.

The project has been re-evaluated by the city's traffic engineering consultants a second time after the deadline of the original assessment had passed. The latest evaluation indicates the project will still pass the muster of the city's traffic ordinance, according to a memo issued to council in advance of the council meeting.

In that memo, city engineer Troy Besseche said one new mitigation project will be added to the slate of traffic improvements RAM Development must fund to meet the traffic ordinance. That project will involve adding a right turn lane for eastbound traffic turning onto Huddleston Drive. The lane will begin 200 feet west of the entrance to Planterra Ridge, Besseche said.

Because The Avenue at Peachtree City shopping center had opened nearby since the original traffic assessment was conducted for Wal-Mart/Home Depot, there was potential for the project to fail the second assessment, Besseche noted.

Councilman Dan Tennant had requested the matter be put on the agenda, and the discussion was postponed from the previous council meeting.

The traffic ordinance requires traffic estimates to be supplied for developments in the Hwy. 54 west corridor.

Those estimates are used to determine whether the development in question would degrade the level of traffic service in the area. If so, the developer must fund traffic improvements to maintain the current level of service unless it is determined that none of the proposed improvements would keep the level of service.

Concerned about traffic in the area, council has approved a list of short-term road improvement projects in the area. Some of those projects are also on the master list of projects RAM is responsible for regarding the Wal-Mart/Home Depot site. RAM has pledged to reimburse the city for those costs in the event the city goes ahead with the projects, so long as all the permits are received for the retail center.