PTC Council retreats to talk about senior center, rec field expansions

Tue, 02/27/2007 - 5:33pm
By: John Munford

The possibility of resurrecting plans to expand The Gathering Place senior citizen’s center will be among the many topics the Peachtree City Council will discuss at its retreat starting 8 a.m. Friday at the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center.

Council will also hear about plans to expand the city’s Ga. Highway 74 baseball and soccer complex with additional multi-purpose fields that can be used to move the city’s youth football program from the Riley Field complex.

In recent years, the program has drawn some noise complaints from Riley Field neighbors although the football association has worked to correct the problems, including banning noisemaking devices and changing the PA system to better control the sound. The field is adjacent to Peachtree City Elementary School on Wisdom Road.

In addition to being used for football, the fields could also be used for soccer and lacrosse, and the use of artificial turf would allow it to withstand heavy use and eliminate drainage problems.

There is no funding set aside yet for construction of the project, according to city staff, but $30,000 has been spent on design for two multi-purpose fields and associated concession and parking areas, and the preliminary design is complete.

The Gathering Place expansion is expected to cost about $650,000 and as of now city staff plan to have that amount funded with long-term financing in the 2009 fiscal year, with $50,000 for design in the 2008 fiscal year.

The design will include an expansion in two phases, adding just over 11,000 square feet of space with an estimated total cost of $2 million. The Peachtree City Senior Adult Council, which is backing the expansion, has committed to fund-raising for the project.

The expansion was put on hold last year while the city works out arrangements with First Baptist Church, which has offered to provide available space to host some city leisure programs at its newly expanded community center when it is built.

But some senior citizens say they’d prefer to have all programs remain at the Gathering Place.

Council will also hear a presentation on the city’s current process for handling noise complaints.

The city uses its nuisance ordinance, which allows citizens to file a complaint with the municipal court which would be followed up with a court hearing, according to a memo from City Attorney Ted Meeker.

By doing so, this keeps the city from having to determine which noises are nuisances and which aren’t, which can lead to “inconsistent enforcement,” Meeker explained.

“By inconsistent enforcement I am referring to the fact that a barking dog in one situation may be a ‘nuisance’ to another neighbor. The same dog, in another subdivision, may not be a ‘nuisance’ to another neighbor.”

A state law is also on the books to regulate noise coming from motor vehicles, requiring that the sound coming from any vehicle can’t be “plainly audible” more than 100 feet away.

Meeker is recommending to council that the city stick with its current procedure for handling noise complaints.

The retreat agenda is available online at by clicking on the link for “Mayor and Council” and then clicking on the “city council retreat” link on the calendar.

The retreat runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and from 8 a.m. to 11:30 on Saturday.

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