The Fayette Citizen-News Page

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Money magazine names PTC among best U. S. places to live

CNN and Money Magazine have ranked Peachtree City among the most desirable places to live in America.

Peachtree City was named the 17th best place to live in the Eastern United States with a population under 100,000, according to a survey that started with 271 cities with the nation’s highest median household incomes.

The planned community was just one of three in Georgia to make the cut. The unincorporated community of Dunwoody in the Perimeter Center area of DeKalb County and Roswell in north Fulton County, also part of the metro Atlanta area, ranked 12th and 19th, respectively.

In addition to monitoring household income, Money looked at cities with low unemployment rates, and high population growth over the past decade. To make the cut, cities had to be within 60 miles of a major city to ensure access to cultural and entertainment amenities. Peachtree City was the smallest of the Georgia contenders, with 33,745 residents, closely comparing to Dunwoodys 34,151 population but only half the size of Roswells 78,864 residents.

The elements making Peachtree City a standout community strong enough to surpass similar towns around the country were the low student/teacher ratio in the Fayette County school system and Peachtree City’s low crime rate. Peachtree City earned a score of six on the personal crime risk index, with lower scores preferable, in comparison to the national average of 100. In contrast, Roswell had a score of 48, and Dunwoody scored 177.

Equally impressive were the property crime risk index numbers, with Peachtree City scoring a 23 in comparison to Roswell’s 101, Dunwoody’s 246, and the national average of 100. Some factors that worked against the community in comparison to the north metro communities included lower numbers of colleges and universities, medical facilities, and leisure activities within a 30-mile radius.

“While Peachtree City lost points in these categories, they illustrate some of the very factors that keep our community so attractive,” said Mayor Steve Brown. “Roswell and Dunwoody are wonderful communities, but they contain and are surrounded by very high-density development and large populations. While this makes some benefits more convenient, it also contributes to local traffic congestion and limits the amount of preserved green space, which is Peachtree City’s hallmark.”

Surprisingly, Peachtree City did not quite stack up to Roswell and Dunwoody in air quality. Peachtree City ranked equal with the national average air pollution index of 100, while Roswell and Dunwoody earned lower scores in the mid 80s.

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