Big box stores slated for Hwy. 74 south

Tue, 12/26/2006 - 3:53pm
By: John Munford

140,000 sq. ft. ‘home improvement’ planned off Rockaway Road

A developer is seeking a commercial rezoning for a 51-acre tract off Ga. Highway 74 south in Peachtree City that would feature a 140,000 square foot “home improvement” store and a 65,000 “soft goods” store among others.

The development would be directly across Hwy. 74 from the Chick-fil-A restaurant at the Wilshire Pavilion shopping center.

Because the development is larger than 150,000 square feet, it would require a waiver from the City Council under the city’s new “big box” ordinance. Although no such waivers have been requested, the ordinance was written so council can deny a request even if the developer agrees to put in enough infrastructure and landscaping to minimize the impact of the store, city officials have said.

The city’s previous big box ordinance, which banned stores larger than 32,000 sq. ft. or developments of more than 150,000 sq. ft., was more susceptible to a legal challenge, City Attorney Ted Meeker has said previously.

Including outparcels listed on the concept plan, a total of 290,000 sq. ft. of development is proposed along with 1,351 parking spaces.

The parcel also contains the right-of-way necessary for realigning Rockaway Road with the existing traffic light at Holly Grove Road; the Georgia Department of Transportation plans to realign the road as part of the Hwy. 74 widening project.

A concept plan for the parcel has been submitted by Columbia Properties of Marietta. The land is currently zoned for general industrial use but the city’s future land use plan calls for it to be used for medium density housing, said City Planner David Rast.

The rezoning will be the subject of a workshop at the Jan. 8 meeting of the Planning Commission and the commission is expected to vote on a recommendation for the project at its Jan. 22 meeting, Rast said.

The final decision on the rezoning petition rests with the City Council.

If the developer seeks a big box waiver, the company must file a detailed application with the city that must include:

• The traffic impact of the development and proposed improvements to transportation infrastructure;

• A traffic impact analysis, the boundaries of which would be determined by the city engineer and the city’s traffic consultant;

• How open space — and natural vegetation along roads and property boundaries — could be preserved;

• How crime prevention concepts are incorporated into the site and building designs;

• Proposed use and impact on public facilities;

• Mitigation of impacts on neighboring properties, including landscaping and screening and

• Building architecture, signs, landscaping and lighting.

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Submitted by IMNSHO on Wed, 12/27/2006 - 8:32am.

Please, PTC Council, just say no to this development. There are so many reasons to say no. Given the past history of the current Mayor and Council, I don't hold out much hope that this will be turned down. Sad

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