Coweta wants PTC, Fayette to pay TDK costs while it reaps tax bonanza

Tue, 03/20/2007 - 4:06pm
By: Letters to the ...

The March 14 headline, “TDK is key to getting OK for big Coweta project,” says all we really need to know. That simple banner paints an image in our minds which confirms the worst thoughts we were able to conjure up about the cursed developments proposed in East Coweta and the umbilical cord that gives them life — TDK.

Yes, indeed, Coweta County confirmed TDK will truly enable bad things to happen to the residents of Peachtree City, Tyrone, Fayette County and eastern Coweta.

A clear-cut outbreak of greed infected the local developers, and then it spread to Coweta commissioners Tim Higgins and Paul Poole. Now we have an epidemic on our hands with a host of Fayette County developers pulled into the frenzy like sharks drawn to blood. TDK means dollar signs for the few and nightmares for the rest of us.

This cunning group of Fayette Countians, the twinkle of money in their eye, never pondered the thorny questions about schools (for those in East Coweta), traffic congestion, crime, our natural environment and our general quality of life. Bringing our lives to a grueling halt was an insignificant consequence of their ability to yield outrageous profits.

Mayor Logsdon has fabricated story after story regarding why the citizens of Peachtree City should place their collective heads on the chopping block for the sake of a developmental windfall. Those stories have been pushed aside, and the focus is now on Coweta County’s unwillingness to approve the massive rezoning for the McIntosh Village unless TDK is built.

We were treated like flunkies and expected to settle, just like the 2004 SPLOST package, for the short end of the stick.

Coweta County commissioners wanted to reap a $1 billion harvest at the expense of Peachtree City, Tyrone, Fayette County and their own citizens in eastern Coweta.

But now they say if Peachtree City is unwilling to swallow the TDK suicide pill, Coweta, running for cover, would reduce the number of residential units by 67 percent (minus 2000 units) and retail space by 85 percent (minus 850,000 square feet), or perhaps not approve the development at all! The Logsdon bucket no longer holds water.

Coweta Development Review Coordinator Ben Sewell suggested to the Coweta Board of Commissioners that “the development be postponed until the highway improvements are imminent.”

It appears they are saying the massive city-sized developments were okay as long as Peachtree City, Tyrone and Fayette County were going to take on the catastrophic costs; otherwise, they want to scrap the whole thing because there is no way their constituents would take the kind of beating they want us to bear.

Mayor Logsdon is still obligated to press on with TDK because of the financial contributions and connections he retains. However, with the latest revelation from Coweta County, I would expect to see Councilman Boone and Councilwoman Rutherford withdraw their support from this road project designed to send our quality of life crashing to the ground. (Tell them how you feel:

On another subject, I had a couple of people, well-meaning people, I assume, who chided me for writing bad comments about Joel Cowan. Cowan was the first mayor of Peachtree City and also a local developer.

To be honest, I could not even remember what I said about Joel Cowan. After going through past letters to the editor, the only statement I could find was, “Hopefully, former Mayor Joel Cowan will remove his property from sale to the big box developer until he agrees to build the site in accordance with our development plans,” (Citizen, Jan 31, 2007).

I offer no apologies for the preceding statement as it was honest, truthful and sincere. Joel Cowan is, in fact, selling his property to the corporation that wants to build the big box store on Ga. Highway 54 West.

Joel Cowan was well aware of what the developer wanted to do with his land. He was also well aware of the overwhelming public sentiment against “big box” type development from the local citizenry or his neighbors. He had even expressed to me some years ago that he opposed the local big boxes. I guess this is one of those actions versus words dilemmas.

Although Cowan had a very hard urban feel in mind for Peachtree City almost 50 years ago, I believe he appreciates the “village concept” design of his successors. Big box stores systematically destroy the village centers because of their size, and they cause more traffic congestion and crime.

There are a host of profitable projects that can go on that particular Hwy. 54 site. I truly hope Joel Cowan decides to withdraw his property from a project which will detract from the foundational elements of our unique village community.

We need to protect our city from the homogenous sprawl-type development ruining the character of cities across the country.

Steve Brown

Peachtree City, Ga.

[Brown served as mayor of Peachtree City 2001-2005.]

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