Friday, March 19, 1999
The Peachtree City Council was expected to table a variance request from Photocircuits at last night's meeting, pending the outcome of discussions of a "mediation committee."
The committee is a result of a meeting held Monday between Planterra Ridge residents and city officials about possible Photocircuits expansion if the requested parking variance were granted at the company's 320 Dividend Drive property.
Members of the Planterra Homeowners Association had prepared a thick binder of information about the company's potential hazards to the community as a result of using dangerous chemicals in the manufacture of printed circuit boards. The company previously reported that it has multiple layers of protective systems and that no condition exists which could cause a community evacuation because of chemical gasses.
Eric Snell, Rob Rothley and Steve Brown challenged Mayor Robert Lenox to "hold Photocircuits to the highest standards" in any request for variance, expansion or addition. Rothley pointed out that industries are required to conform their operations and buildings to the size and shape of their property, and said he felt that the 320 property is not adequate for an addition shown on a preliminary site plan by Photocircuits. Mark Bunker, superintendent at the local plant, says there are no plans for expansion in the near future.
The Planterra residents charged that they had not received cooperation nor "clear answers" from Photocircuits about their concerns. In a discussion last year when the current variance request was first proposed, the company agreed to drop its request for another curb cut onto Kelly Drive.
Lenox said he felt that the variance discussion included a number of "negotiating tools" whereby the residents, the city and the company could arrive at an agreement on problems perceived with light, noise, odors, chlorine containment and traffic. He also asserted that Peachtree City was "never meant to be a bedroom community" but a planned city.
"It's not Fulton Industrial, either, and that's where plants like Photocircuits should be," one resident said. Snell said he believed that most people in Planterra would not be upset if Photocircuits decided to move out of Peachtree City. Residents also challenged the company's use of large quantities of water, its reported request to raise the limits of allowable chemicals in its wastewater discharges into the sewer system, and its "track record" in Glen Cove, N.Y., location of the privately-held company's first facility.