Shopping center OK’d for Hwy. 74 S

Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:49pm
By: John Munford

PTC tract rezoned from industrial to commercial

The Peachtree City Council approved a rezoning Thursday night to put a shopping center on a 21-acre site directly across Ga. Highway 74 South from the Wilshire Pavilion shopping center.

The tract will be developed by Columbia Properties, the same developer responsible for Wilshire Pavilion. It was previously zoned for industrial use.

The shopping center is part of a larger parcel, much of which is wetlands and can’t be built upon. The developer initially proposed to put a Lowe’s home improvement store on the site, but scaled back that plan after city staff recommended against the rezoning.

The remainder of the developable portion of the site has been proposed as a 26-acre senior living area including apartments and specialized care residences. That too will require a rezoning from industrial use to a residential use.

The Wilshire Estates subdivision’s homeowner’s association reached an agreement with Columbia about what uses will and will not be allowed on the parcel.

The most recent change allows for a restaurant to have a drive-through window as long as it is attached to a building with two other units, said City Planner David Rast. A developer representative said that concession was made to prevent typical fast food restaurants from locating at the shopping center.

The conditions also allow one business to locate there “whose primary business is the sale of alcohol,” although that does not include restaurants. The proposed ordinance limits that store to no more than 3,000 square feet in size.

Among the uses that will not be allowed on the Columbia Properties site are hotels, auto repair centers, adult-oriented stores, tattoo parlors and “establishments whose primary business is the sale of gasoline or diesel.”

Laurie Farmer, president of the Wilshire Pavilion homeowner’s association, said she would like to see the proposed cart path tunnel under Hwy. 74 relocated from south of Holly Grove Road further north along 74 closer to the Publix. Doing so would keep seniors from the proposed apartment complex from having to cross Holly Grove Road, Farmer said.

But because the Georgia Department of Transportation is so far along in its right-of-way acquisition, it’s not likely the tunnel’s location can be moved, noted City Engineer David Borkowski.

Instead, the city will look at the cart path network in the area to see what changes can be made to enhance golf cart traffic in the area.

The tunnel is being paid for by an 80 percent funding grant from the DOT, with the city paying the other 20 percent of the bill.

The senior development, proposed by Dominion Partners, would have up to 350 senior apartments on 26 acres behind the proposed shopping center, along with 160-180 independent living homes, 48 assisted living units and 24 “memory care” apartment homes. The project is being called “Somerby of Peachtree City.”

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