PTC to vote on doubling council salaries

Tue, 08/14/2007 - 4:43pm
By: John Munford

Rezoning would cut size of industrial park

Thursday night the Peachtree City Council may vote on a proposed pay raise that could double the salaries for the mayor and council members.

Residents have one more chance to have their say on the matter during the meeting at City Hall, which starts at 7 p.m.

Council is also slated to consider rezoning a 21-acre site on the southern end of Ga. Highway 74 from general industrial to general commercial to make way for a shopping center.

The land is currently part of the city’s (and county’s) only industrial park.

There has been some talk that the salary increases for mayor and council members, if approved, would be phased in over more than one year. If the proposed raises were enacted in one year, it would cost the city $33,000.

Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett said she wants the salaries increased because it would encourage a more diverse group of people to run for office. Currently the salary is so low that only independently wealthy and retired people can afford to run for office, Plunkett has said.

Plunkett has also said that the mayor’s role is more like a full-time job, whereas the council seats are clearly part-time positions.

The last raise for mayor and council salaries was approved in 1985, and the current salary is $9,000 for mayor and $6,000 for council members.

The 21-acre site up for the rezoning is part of a 123-acre parcel across Hwy. 74 from the Wilshire Pavilion shopping center, and developers initially wanted to build a Lowe’s Home Improvement Store and another big box retailer on the site.

The proposed rezoning has been recommended for approval by the city’s planning commission, and city staff is recommending approval with several conditions. City staff has also proposed a list of commercial uses that will not be allowed on the property, including:

• Convenience stores;

• Any business whose primary business is the sale of alcohol (though alcohol may be sold);

• Adult novelty stores, book stores, entertainment centers, theaters and amusement facilities also including peep shows and massage parlors, although a “day spa” can be located on the property;

• Auto repair, auto parts sales, auto sales and leasing and auto washing facilities;

• Establishments whose primary business is the sale of gasoline or diesel fuel;

• Animal hospitals or veterinary clinics with outdoor kennel facilities;

• Pawn shops, secondhand stores, closeout or liquidation stores, flea markets;

• Tattoo parlors;

• Transportation facilities or terminals;

• Self-service storage facilities;

• Open yard for the sale, rental and/or storage of materials or equipment including junk or salvage materials;

The list of use restrictions has been written into the proposed zoning ordinance for the parcel.

If approved, developer Columbia Properties would build eight outparcel stores along the highway, including a pharmacy, a bank and a hardware store.

The developer estimates the property will generate about $107,000 a year in property taxes.

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