PTC Council approves annexations

Thu, 05/03/2007 - 11:14pm
By: John Munford

Environmental questions surround recent barrel discovery at nearby Peach Pit landfill

The Peachtree City Council, after some tortuous haggling over density issues, approved two annexations to the city’s west side that would add more than 1,100 homes to the city.

But it wasn’t until the 11th hour that a deal was struck as both developers were arm-twisted into reducing the overall density of both subdivisions by a total of 69 homes.

The deciding vote was 3-2 with council members Steve Boone, Cyndi Plunkett and mayor Harold Logsdon for the Levitt and Sons annexation and rezoning and council members Stuart Kourajian and Judi-ann Rutherford against. The reason that was the deciding vote was because shortly before council approved the Wieland annexation and rezoning by a 4-1 vote with Rutherford recording the only nay vote.

The action took place in front of a standing-room only crowd in the City Council chambers at City Hall, with the audience becoming more testy as the night went on; the audience weighed heavily towards the pro-annexation viewpoint.

Opponents unsuccessfully argued that the subdivision was way too dense considering that the city land use plan requires larger sized lots on the edge of the city limits. There was also a call to put the matter on hold until more information could be received from the Fayette County Board of Education in terms of how the new students in the Wieland development would affect all schoolchildren in Peachtree City.

It was revealed prior to the meeting that the Fayette County Board of Education is asking for a combined fifty-acre site to locate a new elementary school and a new middle school. The board has indicated it is willing to give up the current 17-acre site that Wieland had provided as part of its Centennial subdivision just to the south of the proposed Connector Village subdivision.

Based on Wieland’s density, It is anticipated that Wieland’s development would add roughly 475 elementary school students and 118 students each at Fayette County’s public middle and high schools.

Council was also put on notice of a potential environmental problem that was discovered two weeks ago on land immediately to the east of the Wieland tract.

The deciding vote was struck literally several minutes before midnight. Kourajian said he’d rather see the Levitt subdivision reduced to 500 homes, and after insisting on that a second time he drew jeers from the pro-annexation crowd, who didn’t seemingly miss a chance to wave their green “vote yes” signs to try and sway council’s decision.

Ultimately John Wieland Homes shrunk its density by 20 homes to 475 single-family homes on its 379-acre site just north of the Centennial subdivision; Levitt and Sons will build 650 homes limited just to “active adults” 55 and over, a reduction of 49 homes.

Wieland reduced its plan by 20 homes after some council members initially balked over density. In the same light, Levitt was having similar problems at the outset when it initially offered to reduce its density by 20 units — but no more — as the project would become financially unworkable due to the cost of the bridge according to Levitt attorney Kathryn Zickert.

Minutes later, Levitt shrunk its density further by 12 more lots when it became apparent the annexation would likely die on a 3-2 vote.

Never mind that on top of all the drama added to the issue by both sides, council at times struggled with the interpretation of Roberts Rules of Order and several failed motions on the Levitt annexation and rezoning.

Wieland plans to extend the build-out process over 10 years at 49 units a year, which would ultimately affect how many students would enter the system at one time.

Because Levitt’s “Seasons at Peachtree City” will be restricted only to those 55 and up, it is not expected to have any impact on bringing additional students into the school system, although those homes will still pay school taxes, a Levitt representative has said.

Levitt plans to build at the rate of 100 units a year.

Local environmentalist Dennis Chase raised questions about the recent finding of a liquid-filled barrel at the Peach Pit landfill, which is located on land just east of the tract Wieland wants to annex. Chase said there was evidence the landfill had been re-opened but he didn’t think Wieland was responsible for the barrel, which was found two weeks ago.

Chase said there was no information about what liquid was in that barrel but there may be other barrels underground which ultimately will leak into a nearby stream that would go past homes Wieland wants to build as part of the annexation.

Chase suggested that the site should be cleaned up entirely as a requirement of the annexation. If not, Chase said, a less favorable option would be to cap the site with an impervious surface and make sure groundwater couldn’t move under the earth on the site to keep potential contamination from shifting off-site and into the nearby stream.

Chase said he has sampled water in more than 60 areas of streams in Peachtree City and at nearly every one he saw evidence that children have played nearby. He suggested that kids in Wieland’s new subdivision might do the same.

Dan Fields of John Wieland Homes said the site would be cleaned up “tomorrow” but it was later determined that no action could take place until the Georgia Environmental Protection Division could be notified. City Engineer David Borkowski said he had not yet been able to get ahold of anyone at EPD to report the problem.

Fields said that more than two months ago he found that the lock and chain to the gate of the Peach Pit area had been broken, and he said he was disappointed about the barrel, the presence of household trash and vandalism that has occurred on the site.

Fields also offered to have a task force established to study the 88-acre tract inside the city on which the Peach Pit is located. Previously Wieland sought a rezoning to have townhomes put on the site. Fields said if the task force was agreeable Wieland would commit to giving up to $250,000 towards adding sports fields on that site.

Although the meeting was emotional at times, there was also laughter on several occasions as folks on both sides cracked wise.

Wieland’s annexation plan includes a small “neighborhood” retail area on the northern edge of its tract; it had initially been in the center of its plan but there was a request to move it closer to the Levitt tract to make it easier for its residents to walk to the stores.

Although the council approved both annexations and rezonings for both parcels, the land plans for both subdivisions must be formally approved by the Peachtree City Planning Commission at a later date.

Fields said the extension of MacDuff would not be a cut-through for automobiles because traffic calming measures would be adopted to help slow down traffic. Opponents of the annexation have contended that many autos will use MacDuff as a shortcut to avoid the often-clogged intersection of Ga. highways 54 and 74.

Based on an average value of each home being $350,000, city staff has calculated that each home would pay $758 a year in city property tax. At full-build out that adds up to $905,000 a year in city property taxes alone.

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Submitted by John M on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 1:07pm.

After Thursday's performance of their new opera "Death to the Citizens", where failed leader Harold Logsdon falls on his sword in another vote allowing developers to win, we look back and think that our old villains weren't so bad after all.

Judi Rutherford becomes the heroine casting the only votes that favor our historical past of good planning and good judgement.

They'll hammer us next with TDK, the final blow, our city lost.

"I'm NOT John Munford"

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 6:04pm.

And what is the density there?

Just curious, since obviously, your home was fine when it was developed, but these they just approved will be the death of you.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Sun, 05/06/2007 - 7:03am.

All these density freaks overlook the obvious - that Wieland and Levitt's density is the same as the rest of Peachtree City. It is the age-old story "I got mine and now I don't want you to have yours" What morons.

Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 2:23pm.

We're getting what we, myself included, deserve. After this meeting, you've got to wonder if extortion is legal.

Sure the Centennial people thought it was all about them, but that doesn't mean the city council has to go along with such stupidity.

What about the landfill stuff? The city staff knew there was a problem for two weeks and the councilmen find out the night of the council meeting, for crying out loud!! To make it worse the idiots vote for the annexation anyway.

And when the school board says they're going to need a middle school there too, shouldn't we think there's trouble ahead and go back an rethink some things?

This will make you sick to your stomach. Good bye Peachtree City as we knew it.

Vote Republican

Xaymaca's picture
Submitted by Xaymaca on Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:17am.

Excuse my ignorance in advance, I live in the "Big F" not PTC.
Aren't the people that voted for annexation, republicans?

cmc865's picture
Submitted by cmc865 on Sun, 05/06/2007 - 6:56am.

Free country. IF you dont like what you see here then MOVE! I have lived here for nearly 20 years and I LOVE the growth and Development.

ManofGreatLogic's picture
Submitted by ManofGreatLogic on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 5:53pm.

I can't believe you still have that "vote Republican" at the bottom of your page.


Be frightened of stuff that will probably never affect you (like Muslims in the Middle East), but shoot yourself in the foot here at home by voting Republican, and now you'll get more traffic and crime.

Voting Republican is smart if you're ultra-wealthy. For the rest of us, it's like a chicken voting for Colonol Sanders.

Submitted by John M on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 1:09pm.

ManofGreatLogic, don't think for a minute that Harold Logsdon is anything but liberal Democrat. We have the scares to prove it.

"I'm NOT John Munford"

JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 2:13pm.

John, John, John! I know liberal Democrats. Some of my best friends are liberal Democrats. Harold Logsdon is no liberal Democrat! It is a constant source of amusement to me to have all y’all trashing the local politicians then end up with “Vote Republican” when every single elected position in the county is filled by a Republican. People here call Westmoreland "Westmoron" then declare “Vote Republican.” However, fear not! You have passed most people. You are beyond anger and well into denial. Next comes depression and finally acceptance. Cheers! You are half way there.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 7:49pm.

Be frightened of stuff that will probably never affect you (like Muslims in the Middle East),

Are you as stupid as that sentence makes you sound? Come on... tell us you just said that to try to "stir the pot" as some say on here. No logical person could ever come to the ridiculous conclusion you just stated.

but shoot yourself in the foot here at home by voting Republican, and now you'll get more traffic and crime.

Ok... So what you're saying is that if we vote Democrat we get to be like Clayton, Dekalb and Fulton Counties. By voting Democrat we get less traffic and less crime. Your examples make me want to vote Republican and at this junction in the life of the GOP that makes me choke on my own puke.

My drunken, filthy, thieving friend..... would you please use a little logic in your thinking. Shocked


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 3:08pm.

All this throwing obstacles in the way of these (and others to come)projects just delays them a little.
Progress can't be made if planning is done by the detail. Just look at Iraq!

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 3:19pm.

And those obstacle throwing in the way events causes Rosie O'Donnel to broker a deal between Hugo Chavez and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. This will have the effect of lunar eclipse on Easter Sunday. If that doesn't get Al Gore onto the Global Cooling Bandwagon then Hillary Clinton will never Solve the dispute between the New York Yankees and the Honolulu Hornets. I'm with you brother. I understand "Dollar Speak". And I'm pretty good at Ebonics too.... Just ask Hack.

You know what I'm saying $. Rock on dude! Eye-wink

"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Submitted by bowser on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 1:04pm.

In today's AJC report on the annexation vote:

"It's time to finish Peachtree City," said Pam Barrett (annexation proponent).

One way or another, she will get her wish.

Submitted by abaldwin on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 10:32am.

Attending last night's meeting was disappointing. The mayor's leadership of meetings is below what should be expected. Citizen response to the process has been clearly cautious to negative. The only supporters are those who feel the direct impact of poor road access to their lives. We could put a road in without this. The tax benefit was not clearly positive (some of which the city's own forecast showed though their assumptions favored their recommendation). In the end, though the mayor and council members that voted for the project are ultimately responsible and hopefully will pay at election time, the hidden disappointment is our city planning department headed by Rast. We need someone in that job that shares and understands the majority of resident's desire for a community that will not descend into congestion and suburban blight like north metro. My fellow citizens, we all lost last night - it is time to get involved before it is too late! "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves". - Edward R. Murrow

nuk's picture
Submitted by nuk on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 7:12am.

The "silent majority" of PTC that never reads The Citizen on or offline showed up at the meeting. They were in FAVOR of the annexation. Looking at the last election results and this annexation, I'd say the voters are getting some of what they want and not getting what they don't want.

For some reason, this place gets very myopic and thinks it's the opinion of the general PTC voter. It isn't anywhere close to being that. If it were, Brown would still be Mayor and Rapson wouldn't have also been defeated. This annexation wouldn't have happened. The meeting would have been heavily anti-annexation.


Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 9:11am.

Why wouldn't Wieland and Levitt employees, devolopers, and bankers and real estate people be in "favor?"
That is who was there, my friend! Paid favorers!

Submitted by mcg on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 8:36am.

Does anyone know when Wieland will begin building these homes, and when families would begin moving in? Also, previous articles in the Citizen indicated that the BOE had said that children living in these homes would attend Burch Elementary, Flat Rock Middle, and Sandy Creek High schools. Has the BOE now changed their mind on this?

Submitted by jmatute on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 7:44am.

The negative issues surrounding both annexation proposals were obvious. The positive issues were attractive to proponents. What should have been a matter of coming back with a better plan was instead hijacked with a game show agenda - deal or no deal. The governance of the city's business was resolved in a manner that can only be described as an auction on eBay. Tangible goodies (club houses, a few less homes, landscaping, glittering presentations and PR actions) win out over the non-tangible quality of life every time, it seems. Sad.

Submitted by skyspy on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 6:47am.

He hasn't sold out centenial railroad homes yet, but he thinks it would be a good idea to build more. Good one.

If wieseland isn't responsible for the peachpit dump who is?

The other thing we learned in this meeting is we should keep stuart and judy and throw away the rest.

It was good to see a full house no matter how the "vote" turned out. It was very nice to see people show up, and take an interest in our city.

Submitted by Jones on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 6:28am.

Munford was being very kind by saying they "struggled" with Roberts Rules of order. Mayor Logsdon is just inept.

Isn't truly amazing how each of the developers swore they had to have the number of houses they requested in order to build the bridge, but they later admitted they could drop 70 homes and still have a comfortable profit margin! People are starting to see through the developer smoke screens.

Logsdon and Boone proved once again that they'll vote for any development with very little resistance.

nuk's picture
Submitted by nuk on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 7:04am.

If that's so, how come Boone was so against the proposed Lowe's re-zonings By Wilshire that he didn't even want it tabled, he wanted it defeated by vote?????


Submitted by John M on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 4:46pm.

Nuk is assuming Steve Boone can think. I never heard he said he was against it, he just wanted to vote.

"I'm NOT John Munford"

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 10:54am.

There is no sin in lieing when it is ultimately for the public good.
No way you can be a leader in either group if you don't think this. (bankers, also).

pentapenguin's picture
Submitted by pentapenguin on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 10:48pm.

There is no sin in lieing [sic] when it is ultimately for the public good.

Since when do the ends justify the means? According to you and your liberal friends, Bush lied to get into the war in Iraq. He thought that the war was "for the public good." So you'll now support the war, won't you?

Hitler lied to the German public about Jews and other "undesirables" and thought that killing all of them off was "for the public good."

$, you're really a mixed up person. Shocked

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Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 6:01am.

No, I meant lieing.
Like in bed with people with money and influence!
Some never get sarcasm!

pentapenguin's picture
Submitted by pentapenguin on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 11:50pm.

$ -- if you say you were being sarcastic, I believe you but please if you want people to get the "joke" you need to at least use a spell checker at a minimum. Eye-wink

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Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 11:35pm.

Either word is spelled lying Smiling

Reading your posts is always an exercise in interpretation, but I'll try to guess sarcasm when your meaning isn't evident.

I'll have to remember to ask Git since he understands "Dollar Speak."

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sun, 05/06/2007 - 6:07am.

Denise, one lies in bed not lyes in bed. You must understand the intent!
How could I say it otherwise?
I meant that some get into bed with others for money(such as developers and councilpersons) (lies there) not lying there!
It is perfectly understandable to me.
The language has to be twisted occasionally to indicate a new light bulb turning on suddenly!

Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Sun, 05/06/2007 - 4:53pm.

Maybe you should read more.

True, "one lies in bed" but the participial and gerund forms of lie (resting) & lie (not telling the truth) are both the same -- lying.

"It is perfectly understandable to me." But the goal of communication is to make your statements understandable to the ones with whom you are communicating. Smiling

"a new light bulb" -- Definitely needed because the one that is trying to illuminate here is flickering and quite dim.


Out! Out! You demons of stupidity!

pentapenguin's picture
Submitted by pentapenguin on Sun, 05/06/2007 - 2:16pm.

$, just admit you can't make a joke (or spell) rather than keep defending yourself. You're just showing the world your intellectual level. Eye-wink

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Submitted by Concerned Citizen on Sun, 05/06/2007 - 7:13am.

Language twisting yes, bulb turning? Not you sir.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 6:00am.

Best meeting ever at city hall. Everbody turned out. Vote was predicitable except for Stuart who seems to be pandering to the crowd. Is he up for reelection this fall? Or next?

I wish more people had the guts to stand up like the gentleman in the grey shirt and point out what a bogus argument the density issue is. This annexation is no more dense than the rest of Peachtree City. All you anti-growth clowns accomplished was to lose 40 (or 50) houses depending upon how you count. That just means you'll get a cheaper bridge and less landscaping from the developers. Way to go.

The "recent discovery" of an obviously planted barrel of liquid is just a little bit too cute. Did Dennis "discover" that or someone else. That kind of stuff is way over the top.

Now we need to go through this again on TDK. Same cast of characters except the villians are in Coweta County this time. See you there.

Submitted by PTCD on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 6:45am.

Rutherford recording the only nay vote THE ONLY SMART MAN.

ManofGreatLogic's picture
Submitted by ManofGreatLogic on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 6:00pm.

You can call it Centenial Railroad homes if you like, but it's the most family-friendly neighborhood in PTC. Huge social events, a nice diversity of people, and everybody knows each other.

The rest of you might just be a little bit jealous that they have it so good.

I wouldn't mind living there myself. And, hey, they're not getting sent over to a middle school in Fayetteville. Nah, nah!

Submitted by Yo on Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:08am.

Tons of kids. Active neighborhood. The landscaping of Macduff is beautiful. The other neighborhoods are nice plus the diversity is great. The Avenue, Mcintosh Village, Planterra, Centennial, etc etc...If this is what we're to expect for the future, the west village will be the brightest light in Peachtree City.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:31am.

If you have an apartment dweller mentality.


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:48am.

But I think it's an asset to PTC.

Which neighborhood are you in?

I looked at Centennial when we moved here, but I prefered the look of the established areas and settled in Spyglass.

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