Pfeifer: Don’t annex unless it’s low density

Tue, 02/06/2007 - 5:16pm
By: Letters to the ...

I believe that I should express my opinion of the potential annexation, by Peachtree City, of the so-called “West Village.”

Annexation is not a right. The property owner can apply but the answer does not have to be “Yes,” unless there is a clear benefit to the city.

If I were a member of the Peachtree City Council, I would not vote to annex this property unless the conditions listed below were met.

It would have to be annexed at the current zoning, which is one unit per two acres. Or, a yield of one unit per two acres. I don’t think that the city currently has a zoning category that would fit this, but they can design one.

The developers would have to agree to put in sufficient access, including a bridge over the railroad tracks, from Senoia Road or from Ga. Highway 74. Access from MacDuff Parkway should no wider than it is now so that it provides an alternate access for those who live off MacDuff and does not become a bypass for those coming down Hwy. 74 and going west on Ga. Highway 54 or those coming from the west on 54 to go out 74.

This land is expensive. All land in Fayette County is expensive, and can be even more so in Peachtree City. No one can afford to buy it, and develop it, unless they are going to get a substantial amount for the housing or buildings they put on it.

I don’t believe that this property can be developed at any density, and be sold to the type of people who would consider such a substantial investment unless it has much better access it than it does now.

This is not our problem; it is the developer’s problem. Let’s let them fix it and finance the fix.

Some of the proposed land uses I have seen, or heard about, are high-density housing, schools, recreation and commercial. This will make current traffic and service issues worse, not better, than they are now, even if MacDuff is extended.

Unless these conditions were met, I don’t see any reason to annex this property into Peachtree City. The short-term surge in income (taxes and fees) into the city will be outweighed, over time, if this area needs substantial service provision due to high density housing or commercial.

The type of dwelling, for older people or for younger families, simply will determine the type of services, not the volume of services. All people need services.

Peter Pfeifer
Fayette County Commission, Post 3
Peachtree City, Ga.

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mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Mon, 02/12/2007 - 8:20pm.

Annex at the current zoning? 1 unit on 2 acres? And then expect the developer to build a bridge?

I don't know what business you are in, but the developer needs about $100,000 per acre to justfy building the bridge. Do you know anyone who wants to buy 2 acres (no, nobody) for $200,000 (still no)and then build a $800,000 house next to the Peach Pit? On a septic tank? Are you nuts?

No drinking while blogging. Get back to me Peter.

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 02/12/2007 - 8:57pm.

The same about you.....are you drunk????

Hmmmm, lets see......hands up everyone who needs a box of kleenex.....the developer can't justify(means he can't pocket several mill for himself) building the bridge if he has to build homes on 2 acres.

WHAAAAAAA! Someone call a whaaaammmmbulance hurry.

Everyone wants a home on 2 acres unless they like listening to the neighbors cat dig in the trash.

mudcat a little less y-nots get drunk...a little more....hobbies....night class....friends......anything....maybe work on a painting or drawing....gardening...(oooppsss I forgot you hate nature....sssoooorrrry)

Maybe there won't be a bridge....maybe we will find a reputable developer to build nice homes on 2 acre lots....I can dream can't I?!

Maybe we will find a developer whose subdivisions won't be nicknamed "leakmont", because the roof wasn't built right....maybe we could find a developer whose windows are sealed correctly the first time.....maybe we could find a developer who has not made several contractors because they have to keep repairing all of his homes after he jacks the people around until said home is out of warranty??

It's not good advertising when every handyman or home repair guy a person talks to says they love a particular developer(with a big smile) and they go on to explain his sloppiness, and shortcuts have made them very rich.

Just a little dream of an honest developer.

Submitted by dkinser on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 11:35am.

Commissioner Pfeifer,

I have followed with great interest the debate over whether to annex or not annex this land. I have heard nearly every excuse to annex and likewise, nearly every excuse not to annex.

One thing that most involved in the debate have agreed to, is this land will develop. As a resident of Peachtree City, I would like that land controlled by Peachtree City and it's wonderful Planning Commission.

Quite honestly, I do not like what I see as I drive through areas of Fayette County where your standards are applied. I don't trust Tyrone, who is likely to attempt to annex the exact same property; to adhere to a higher standard either.

What we have here are two well known builders wanting to put in quality products with a public that is sure to buy these products. These new residents to Peachtree City will add to the tax coffers of Peachtree City and Fayette County. They will shop, dine, possibly work here, and most certainly pay additional sales taxes to which the County is a benefactor via the S.P.L.O.S.T.

Will this result in an increase in traffic, most certainly. How much more has yet to be fully determined, but at a traffic study presentation to the Peachtree City Council, this was factored in and the impact to the Hwy 74/Hwy 54 intersection was minimal. That intersection is past due for improvements, yet I don't see the county championing any cause with the state to help out with it.

At least two of the current council have expressed their lack of desire for an at-grade crossing. That issue now appears dead with CSX's decision to close the crossing at the Comcast location, but they did get their wish in that the builders will now pay for a bridge that crosses the railroad tracks. So, the City gets the MacDuff Parkway extension and a bridge at no cost to the taxpayer. Hmm...that sounds pretty advantageous to me. That is unless you would rather spend tax dollars to do what a for profit organization is willing to do.

The bid "D" word, density; gets thrown around frequently in this discussion. Taking into consideration other subdivisions that are on or near the city limits, the Wieland property is below those in density, thereby adhereing to step down density of the city's zoning. But without a certain level of density, these builders cannot afford to build the MacDuff Parkway extension and the bridge. So, would the county be willing to foot the cost of the bridge for the builders to lower their density? Oh yeah, lets spend more tax dollars when we don't need to.

I have heard about the much vaunted lawsuit that the county won against PCDC. The dynamics and circumstances have changed since then, and you know, as your former companions on the commission knew; there is little if anything that you can do avoid the annexation if the city desires to annex. Filing another lawsuit would simply amount to throwing away more tax dollars.

I sat in the workshop last night between City Council and the Peachtree City Planning Commission. I saw what both developers are putting forth. While I may not be a land planner myself, what they are proposing are excellent developments. The Planning Commission has worked with them and tweaked them from what they were to something that both the developers and the Planning Commission appear to be able to live with. Will the City Council be able to live with it remains to be seen. I can only hope they vote Yes and let this move on.

And as for your short term surge in income, unless you are planning on removing property taxes, I don't see how this is a short term income. It is income that will be generated year after year. The only short term income from it is the impact fees, and their sole purpose is to provide the city with the money needed to provide the services that you speak of. Former Commissioner Van Landigham once told me that for a residential property to be cash flow positive, the value needed to be in excess of $220,000.00. All of the houses that both developers are proposing far exceed that, meaning these developments will actually generate tax revenue for both the city and the county.

But one item that we do appear to agree with is that I also do not want to see MacDuff Parkway become a bypass. The proposal I saw last night does not create the bypass effect, but instead creates a residential connector. Now that is good land use planning.

Dana Kinser

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