PTC may add height restrictions

Thu, 09/27/2007 - 3:17pm
By: John Munford

Peachtree City may soon be further restricting the maximum height of buildings in residential, office and commercial zoning districts.

Although in most residential districts the current limit is either 35 feet or three stories depending on the zoning, the general residential category allows buildings up to 10 stories if the units are attached, noted City Planner David Rast. Also, in the agricultural-residential zoning district, there is no height limit to buildings, Rast noted.

But in both the GR and AR categories the building height must be approved by the fire department, according to the current city ordinance.

In a discussion Monday night, the planning commission suggested applying the 35-foot limit to all residential zoning districts. The commission also suggested limiting building height in office-institutional and general commercial zoning districts to a max of 60 feet, but if the building were to be larger than 35 feet tall it must meet architectural review standards.

Rast noted that he thinks the city needs to have firm guidelines on the books because when the city is interacting with developers, many of whom who are new to the city, they are demanding to see where in the city ordinance they are required to do as asked by city staff.

It was discussed that if the ordinance referred to a maximum number of stories, some developers might solely seek to max out their project. By tying the limit to the size of the building in feet, it might encourage more creative designs, said Commissioner Marty Mullin.

“Anything above 35 feet to me is a concern,” Mullin said.

There was also some discussion about regulating the placement of signs for general commercial buildings, as Commissioner Patrick Staples pointed out the height of the Home Depot sign.

“Maybe if the logo is the only thing that puts you over (the height limit), it’s a no-go,” Staples said. He also suggested the city could perhaps tie the maximum building height to the tree canopy on the site.

Staples said he hoped the height restrictions wouldn’t serve as an unintended restriction on redevelopment opportunities such as the city’s older commercial areas.

Rast said city staff will be preparing a proposed ordinance for the commission to review which will ultimately be considered by the City Council.

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