Friday, March 19, 1999
A preliminary proposal for development at Walt Banks Road and Ga. Highway 54 is a scaled-down version of John Callaway's "Mews" project, buffered by step-down office and residential areas. But some of the same objections that killed The Mews project in February are still around.
At Tuesday's task force meeting, member Chuck Lehman outlined a proposal calling for a concentration of upscale stores at the corner, backed by office-institutional uses and a 100-home "empty nester" development closest to existing residential areas on the north and east sides of the 73-acre combined tract.
Task force members Carol Fritz (a City Council member) and Norm Moore said that the traffic generated by what they termed "a regional shopping mall" would preclude their support for the draft proposal.
"It may be smaller (than the original Mews proposal), but it's still a regional shopping area," Fritz said. "Peachtree City alone could not provide enough shoppers to sustain it."
The original Mews proposal included about 345,000 square feet of retail space, plus five outparcels. The current design, formulated by a subgroup of the task force, has about 155,000 square feet of shops, plus outparcels and a two-story Parisian department store of about 120,000 to 140,000 square feet, said Callaway, who served with the subgroup on the revised plan. The new plan reduces by 10 acres the commercial area, and square footage is 33 percent less than the original Mews plan.
Fritz said that while she is not serving on the task force "to tell you what to put there," she feels that the area would be better left "as is." Zoning established in a lawsuit settlement several years ago allots 15 acres for commercial and slightly more for office-institutional uses at the corner, with tracts to the east zoned in large-lot residential categories. The OI zoning is across from McIntosh High School and adjacent to Southern Trace subdivision.
In the new proposed plan, greenbelts and the residential development would be nearest the established homes, which Moore said "buffers Southern Trace." He said, however, that from his Internet research he had determined that about 4,000 cars daily would visit the site as configured, with 75 percent of them coming between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. He noted that even if the smaller version reduces the traffic, all of the necessary road improvements and other infrastructure would still have to be done. Crime also "would follow a shopping center like this," he said.
Fritz commented that she was "ecstatic" when she heard that a bowling alley could be built at the site under present zoning: "I like to bowl, and I wish there was something closer than Fayetteville or Newnan." She said also that the city or county could lose road funds if the development is found to contribute to air pollution because of the The next task force meeting is set for Tuesday, March 30, at 6 p.m. at the Peachtree City Library. Traffic information from professional analyzers will be presented.
Parisian, Restoration Hardware, Barnes & Noble, Joseph A. Banks, Petite Sophisticates, Casual Corner, The Gap, Banana Republic, Limited Express, Bath and Body Works, Victoria's Secret, Ann Taylor, Williams Sonoma, Eddie Bauer and Pottery Barn.