Friday, December 17, 1999
Line Creek Pkwy. variance denied

Staff Writer


Line Creek Parkway will be built according to city standards, despite a request by the builder to deviate from the norm just a bit.

Michael Rossetti asked the City Council at its Dec. 2 meeting for a variance to the paving standard for the road. He wanted to increase the thickness of the gravel base by two inches and reduce the thickness of the asphalt by about an inch and a half.

Rossetti's proposed specifications were in compliance with state Department of Transportation requirements.

The overall paving section would be increased by a half-inch under Rossetti's proposal, but the increase would be in less expensive base material, according to city staff.

Rossetti had indicated that he would invest the savings in a landscaped buffer between the parkway and the homes in Wynnmeade, and without the variance he would be unable to do much, if any, landscaping, city staff said.

At the council meeting, Rossetti said that the city's standards are “a little heavy,” and that the foundation is most important, like in a house. Therefore, the increased base is the key, he reasoned.

Doug McMurrain of RAM Development, who said his company is paying for about 75 percent of the road project, told the council that the variance boils down to a cost issue and a practical issue.

The road work was budgeted according to old standards, after litigation involving property for the parkway was settled, McMurrain said. The current paving standards for Peachtree City were adopted in 1997.

Approving the variance would allow the developer to save $50,000 on the road and still meet state standards, McMurrain said. The extra money would go into landscaping.

If the variance is denied, McMurrain asked that city staff at least be given the authority to make decisions of this nature regarding future projects, which they were unable to do in this case.

Robert Brown, a Planterra Ridge resident and soon-to-be alternate on the Planning Commission, said that the city needs to be sure it has a good road, because the city will be responsible for its upkeep long after it is completed.

Councilman Jim Pace said that he considered the state's standards to be good, but he felt a variance was not appropriate in this case. He did express the opinion that city staff could have a bit more flexibility in this area.

The rest of the council agreed, as Robert Brooks moved to deny the variance and send the matter back to staff for further review. The motion passed unanimously.

In other business, the City Council approved a resolution entering into an installment sale agreement with the Georgia Municipal Association concerning the acquisition and construction of the new police station.

Financing for the $2.27 million project is being provided by First Union Bank at a 5.27-percent interest rate over 15 years, according to city staff records. The agreement and accompanying resolution are required for the GMA's participation in the project.

The agreement was approved unanimously.

Michael Harman was named to begin a five-year term on the Water and Sewerage Authority beginning Jan. 1. Councilwoman Annie McMenamin, who served on the selection committee with Pace and city manager Jim Basinger, said the qualifications of all five applicants were impressive, and her motion to appoint Harman passed unanimously.

Two current members of the Recreation Commission, John Connolly and Jan Shannon-Zink, were reappointed for three-year terms, with Tammy Pakulski named as an alternate. A committee consisting of Basinger, McMenamin and Councilwoman Carol Fritz recommended the three applicants.

McMenamin said Connolly and Zink had proven themselves “assets” to the city, and noted that Pakulski was qualified to step in at anytime if necessary.

Her motion to approve all three positions passed unanimously.

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