PTC planners OK change of industrial zone to stores

Tue, 07/24/2007 - 4:32pm
By: John Munford

Separately, council lifts moratorium on apartments

PTC planners OK change of industrial zone to stores

A proposal to rezone a 21-acre tract for a shopping center directly across Ga. Highway 74 South from the Wilshire Pavilion won over the Peachtree City Planning Commission Monday night.

Meanwhile, the City Council approved last week the lifting of the city’s multi-family housing moratorium to look at a proposal for a “continuing care” facility just behind the shopping center. That proposal would include up to 350 senior apartments on 26 acres of land currently zoned Industrial as part of the city’s industrial park.

The lifting of the moratorium only allows the developer to work with city staff on the project to prepare a rezoning plan to bring before the planning commission and ultimately the city council, which has the final say on rezoning matters.

The commission’s unanimous vote to recommend approval of the shopping center’s commercial rezoning came with a caveat. The rezoning to general commercial must include a condition disallowing certain uses on the property such as an adult bookstore and perhaps even gas stations. The commission agreed to allow city staff to negotiate the specifics of what types of stores would be banned from the property.

Several commissioners were worried about whether that was even possible without a limited use commercial zoning, and the city will solicit the advice of City Attorney Ted Meeker on the matter.

Andy Campbell of Columbia Properties said the limited use commercial zoning wouldn’t fit in this case because the company doesn’t have any leases signed yet, so it can’t figure out how to meet the other limited use commercial parameters such as setbacks and the like.

The parcel is currently zoned for industrial use.

Columbia Properties had previously proposed building two big box stores on the property including a Lowe’s Home Improvement. But that plan was withdrawn by the company after City Planner David Rast recommended to the City Council that only the area along the highway be rezoned.

The president of the Wilshire Estates homeowner’s association said the group is not opposed to the shopping center, but would like to see a planned golf cart tunnel under Hwy. 74 be relocated further north from its current location south of Holly Grove Road. If the tunnel remains in its current location, residents in the proposed senior complex would have to cross a busy Rockaway Road and then cross Holly Grove Road to reach the current Wilshire Pavilion shopping center.

Resident Phyllis Aguayo said she was concerned about the city setting a precedent by rezoning industrial land for commercial use.

Although the site is 21 acres currently, it would be cut down to 17 acres roughly if the Georgia Department of Transportation acquires land to realign Rockaway Road with the intersection of Holly Grove Road, Rast said.

Dominion Partners is proposing to build the 350 senior apartment units on 26 acres, with between 160-180 independent living homes, 48 assisted living units and 24 “memory care” apartment homes. Another 77 acres on the parcel will remain undisturbed and provide a nature reserve for residents, according to John Gorecki of Dominion Partners.

The project is being called “Somerby of Peachtree City.”

According to Dominion representatives, most of the community will be a combination of for-sale and for-rent detached buildings of two, three, four and six residences each. The company will provide “premier senior housing and healthcare related services to adults 55 and up,” according to information Dominion supplied the city.

There will be planned activities, exercise programs and wellness opportunities for Somerby residents and a host of amenities planned.

The company will offer scheduled transportation for residents, taking them to medical appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores and other shopping necessities in addition to other recreational outings.

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cowtipn's picture
Submitted by cowtipn on Thu, 07/26/2007 - 11:55am.

I'm shocked nobody has anyhting to say here.

Submitted by frosty on Sat, 07/28/2007 - 12:32pm.

Amazing! Shelf/withdraw your proposal and then sneak it in while everyone is on vacation. Sounds like previous blogs on this topic called this one spot on! "Overwhelming approval" by the council on the rezoning. Hmmm?

Agreed, the senior center would make a fine addition. However, I have serious questions about the shopping center directly across the street from Wilshire Pavilion. There's already empty stores at Wilshire, and more empty ones at Crosstown. Do you really need another shopping center when you can't fill the one directly across the street? Of course, Columbia will say their "study" shows there is a real need for yet another shopping center. Now there's an objective source.

I'm not saying it's the end of the world when this shopping center goes in, and make no mistake it will, but it makes you wonder just how much value your input has with your leaders. Maybe not having the big box stores in the plan is the difference maker?

Still, I'm also shocked there's not more comments about this story.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sat, 07/28/2007 - 1:07pm.

I have explained before this phenom of building more and more shopping centers where there are several half empty ones, and the logic of it.
It goes something like this: It is easy to borrow money to build a shopping center due to the value of LAND---not the buildings so much. If one can come by some land (good ways or bad ways) and builds a shopping center, you can keep the place going at a break even for years on 60-70% capacity!
Then when you have depreciated it, it will have doubled in value and you can sell it at a large capital gain, and someone else can start again depreciating it!
All it takes is some money fund, like a bunch of dentists or doctors, and you are in business.

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Thu, 07/26/2007 - 12:32pm.

I've been reading this myself, I am also surprised at lack of opinion. I do think the "Senior Center" is a good idea, and have said as much elsewhere in these blogs.

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