The Fayette Citizen-News Page
Friday, August 21, 1998
Annexation vexation

PTC faces uneasy choices about future McIntosh Village

Staff Writer

After a discussion meeting last week about a proposed fifth village for Peachtree City, Mayor Bob Lenox says his primary concern is that the potential annexation area become a model for "managed growth."

He and several council members stressed that no annexation would take place without a really detailed and comprehensive plan, including zoning, in the area generally bounded by the city limits on the south and east, Tyrone on the north and Line Creek on the west.

Their remarks reflected the insistence of about 20 residents who spoke at the meeting, almost all of whom called for any new development or annexation to reflect Peachtree City's original efforts at planning growth so it happens a little at a time, and managing it to see that appropriate land uses come into newly-developed areas.

Citizens who spoke were concerned about trees, housing density, industrial and commercial uses, traffic congestion, railroad crossings, emergency services, protection of Line Creek, and other issues. Those who spoke their concerns did so without regard to whether those concerns fall within the purview of the city council. Another recurring concern was whether the new property would be "Peachtree City as it is, or Peachtree City as it was," as expressed by Walt Mashburn.

Mayor Bob Lenox said the city has "no interest in annexing this or any other area unless it is pre-planned and zoned down to the last piece of grass."

Total acreage of the proposed "McIntosh Village" is about 1166, with 246 acres of that already in the city, including Planterra Ridge subdivision and the proposed Cedarcroft cluster homes and apartment complex developments.

Jim Williams, director of developmental services for the city, said that discussions have been going on with property owners for several years, Williams said, "and some are prepared to make decisions" about how to develop their tracts. He said the dialogue with the owners and developers has been an effort to try to assure that there is a workable, compatible plan for fitting into Peachtree City in the event annexation takes place. There are certain basics that the city would like to see on the properties, he said.

One basic is that "we feel we should not allow or encourage any development on septic tanks, but look to a sewerage solution for new developments.

Another basic thought from city planners is the process of "step-down zoning," which would see the southern end of the now-undeveloped property be used for higher-density development, and commercial and industrial uses be located near present similar uses or along the railway on the east side of the area. Williams said there is an absolute necessity to protect the wetlands areas along Line Creek, with the creek buffered by at least 100 feet and sometimes by as much as 900 feet, depending on the size of the marshy areas.

The city will continue to work for the four-laning of Ga. Highway 54 also, both Williams and Lenox said. A "Line Creek Parkway" connector road has already been approved for construction between the Wynnmeade subdivision and the new cluster/apartment development, to relieve some of the east-west traffic now using Hwy. 54 to reach Ga. Highway 74, he added.

Williams said that Wynnmeade has been an "orphan" to Peachtree City for a long time, and the present plans for the Cedarcroft development "don't provide a good link" between the city and Wynnmeade. After his remarks, Williams said "we can always elect not to annex, and take our chances."

Lenox said the property cannot remain as it is forever. Some kind of development will come, he said, and "some government entity will control it Peachtree City, or Fayette County, or the city of Tyrone."

Some residents questioned whether any development should be done at all until traffic conditions in the area are improved by four-laning Hwy. 54 and locating at least one grade-separation crossing over the railroad. The city's plan calls for a bridge over the tracks at Kedron Drive, but there is no definite plan that includes where funds would come from for the bridge.

Lenox said the effort of Fayette governments toward a "Managed Growth Manifesto" is not aimed at "no growth," but making sure there whatever new developments occur can be serviced and fit into present communities.

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