West Village annexing: Council, why did you not demand best for PTC?

Tue, 05/29/2007 - 4:29pm
By: Letters to the ...

In hopes of getting some response and explanation for the vote to annex the West Village May 3, 2007, I wrote the following letter to Peachtree City Council on May 8, 2007.

To date, with the exception of Judi-ann Rutherford and Stuart Kourajian, who were in the minority that night, I have heard no response from council.

I believe that the citizens of PTC deserve to know the answers to the questions below. Perhaps, they could be addressed at the town hall meeting June 19?

One last thought: Any member of council on the prevailing side (i.e., Mayor Logsdon, Cyndi Plunkett or Steve Boone) could make a motion to reconsider the West Village annexation.

I believe that they should. PTC deserves a better plan, and the developers will give them one, if they have the courage to demand it.

I have waited almost a week to mull over the events before writing to you. I felt that would give me enough time to settle down and not be so upset about the outcome of the vote to annex the West Village as proposed. I am still upset.

I feel like the council has sold out PTC and its greatness for the price of a road.

You failed to address any of the concerns brought up by the PTCCA (who spent many hours on its letter, by the way) or any of the citizens that opposed the plan as proposed.

You had questions. You felt a better plan was out there. You did not want to wait for it. You did something permanent, and there is no going back, and you know this plan could be better.

You sold us out. You can sugar-coat it all you want, but that is what you did.

We were under no obligation to “graciously accept” (to borrow the words of the mayor) anything. This is our city we are talking about. The developers are in it for the money; you are supposed to be in it for US.

I know this process has been in the works for years, and that the developers have been working hard, that David Rast and the planning commission have been working hard. There is no question about that.

But PTC is better than this plan. The developers have no obligation to improve upon it either because you approved it.

Now this is the other question I have: What exactly did you approve? We have 49 fewer homes in the plan, but where are they? Where will they be taken from, how will this impact us financially? What if they are removed from the exact centers of each tract? How does that help them fit the comprehensive plan?

What about the 50 acres requested by FCBOE for a new school, or the request for rec space, or a public senior facility?

The builders do not have to do a darn thing about these ideas, because the plan you approved does not require them.

I am not sure you even know what you finally agreed to. I certainly don’t.

I think the vote in and of itself was questionable due to the fact you in effect voted “no” to the plan as proposed; and while I was sitting there, were never presented with another one to vote “yes” to.

I won’t write anymore, but to say, you had the power to do what was RIGHT, and you chose to do what was EASY.

This is an inner conflict I discuss with my children everyday. Why did you not hold out for the BEST? PTC deserves nothing less.

Beth Pullias

Peachtree City, Ga.

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Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Fri, 06/01/2007 - 5:45am.

Most people in PTC support the annexation and still do. They are smart enough to know that the right decision has been made and have moved on to other things.

You may have been reading too many Free Speech submissions to arrive at the conclusion that the citizens of PTC were overruled or ignored on the annexation decision. Get over it and run for office if you are convinced you know better than most of our leaders and most of our citizens - of course it is difficult to get elected with that attitude, but good luck.

Submitted by TDK Foe on Fri, 06/01/2007 - 4:12pm.

Beth Pullias would crush every single developer lackey that sits on our current council - -any of them, but especially the telephone lineman. She is a homeowner association president in a big neighborhood. I hope she does run. You developer jock sniffers are gonna get put in your place this next round of elections. The city is about 80% against the terrible West Annexation, as a poll showed. Just because the Centennial people wanted it does not mean the rest of our city does. Those people bought homes backing up to RR tracks(!!!), so their judgement on development is sure suspect.

Why don't you go back and study your MLS book for a while.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Fri, 06/01/2007 - 7:27pm.

Well then TDK foe, if what you say is true Beth should run for Mayor and beat "the lineman" which is the left's new nickname for Harold Logsdon.

80% against West Village annexation cites the wrong % and the wrong poll question. Nevertheless, that vote is done. If Beth or you or Dan Tennant or anyone else wants to run for office - please do - and please be prepared to tell us (the stupid uneducated and uninvolved voters) what you would have done if faced with the same challenges.

One could question the judgement of anyone buying a house on the westside. Railroad tracks are only part of it - but Centennial people did and so did those in Planterra, Wynnmeade and Cedar Croft.

By the way, what is an MLS book?

Submitted by TDK Foe on Fri, 06/01/2007 - 9:45pm.

...at a minimum: a massive PUBLIC park, complete with a state-of-the-art pool (with competition and recreation sides) for ALL city residents, a huge senior center, a recreation center for kids (with BB courts and volleyball courts), and then give the City the left over 90 acres near the tracks as permanent open space (with trails, of course). All would have been dedicated for public use for city residents and turned over to the city. They could pass this cost along in their $400 BILLION development!!

What did those developer shysters have to give us to get PEACHTREE CITY (pure gold for real estate) as their mailing address? Basically nothing. Don't tell me about the bridge - - they had to do that to sell their houses.

the_assassin's picture
Submitted by the_assassin on Sat, 06/02/2007 - 12:36pm.

Sounds real nice, but sure hope you don't run for mayor TDK Foe.

The resulting tax increase would result in a new echelon of sticker shock. Don't you remember last year PTC considered CLOSING DOWN a pool (Clover Reach).

You want a fatcat park with recreation et. al. go see Kenwood Park in north Fayette when they're done. Hope the new commissioners dial that project back to something more reasonable in scope.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Fri, 06/01/2007 - 10:27pm.

Please tell me what, in Fayette County, costs $400 BILLION.

I don't think all of Atlanta is worth $400 BILLION.

Submitted by TDK Foe on Sat, 06/02/2007 - 4:42am.

My bad, Mr. Bad, you are correct: I was thinking about the $0.4 billion value when I typed that!! The homes at $350k each will total $400 million. I don't think that includes the senior village, though, so it might be more.

My point still stands...we should have gotten more from the developers for their right to annex in to our fantastic city!
I am actually not against annexing the land over there, as Tyrone would have done so eventually, but as Ms. Pullis basically said, we could have done much better.

The developers are trying to make money - -fine, this is what the free enterprise system is all about - -but we just should have gotten some more nice things for our city. We do need developers (and these companies will probably build some beautiful homes - -I do like the classic look of the other houses that have been built over there in the past). Most of us all live in homes built by some developer at some time, but we need ever vigiliant council members looking out for us so as to negotiate the best deal possible for the rest of the city. I hope Beth or someone like her eventually represents PTC.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Sat, 06/02/2007 - 6:27am.

However, in this case it is the staff - not council that negotiates this. When Jim Williams left no one picked up the role of extracting favors and contributions from developers. Sure, mayor and council are ultimately responsible, but they need to have a strong staff in place that gets these contributions done before the public hearings. They do not have that now.

They probably don't need the recreation since both Levitt and Wieland will build their own, but they sure could have gotten more than just the bridge - which is significant, but certainly a requirement to sell the homes. Maybe the city could have asked for a performing arts center that would serve everyone in the city.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Sat, 06/02/2007 - 2:26pm.

If you read the posts, news articles and the meeting minutes on this particular CC meeting. You will see that the City Council renegotiated this deal right there on the spot rather send it back to the planning commission.

As per Citizen article:

“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.

I agree with you as far as it "should" have been staffs responsibility to do this before a vote was taken but for some reason City Council took it upon themselves to negotiate this.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Fri, 06/01/2007 - 10:27pm.


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