Levitt ditches annexed PTC senior subdivision

Thu, 10/11/2007 - 6:55pm
By: The Citizen

UPDATE: Scarborough plans to bring in builder that specializes in age category; city hasn't seen building elevations, amenities yet

Levitt and Sons has abandoned its plans to build a 650-unit senior subdivision on a 403-acre tract that was annexed in May by the Peachtree City Council.

At Thursday night's comprehensive plan meeting, city officials said that property owner Brent Scarborough has submitted the same plan for the subdivision that Levitt had proposed. However it is not yet known what amenities that Scarborough will provide; Levitt had proposed a robust package including a 39,000 sq. ft. community center with a theatre and educational kitchen.

The city is in the process of reviewing Scarborough's plans, which were submitted Wednesday.

City officials noted that the building elevations and amenities were an important part of Levitt's package and would be critical to Scarborough's proposal.

City Planner David Rast said that the city has not yet met with Scarborough to discuss his detailed plans for the property.

In an e-mail to the city, Levitt attorney Kathryn Zickert said Levitt “just couldn’t make it work financially,” and she has heard developer Brent Scarborough may try to develop it himself.

The property was zoned for limited use residential, so even if Scarborough assumes the development, he will be required to follow the details listed in the special ordinance that was passed for Levitt.

One of the many conditions of the rezoning requires the developer to participate in building a bridge over the CSX railroad tracks that will allow MacDuff Parkway to be extended north to link with Old Senoia Road to access Ga. Highway 74.

It is not immediately clear as of this writing whether or not Scarborough would be required to make the entire subdivision age-restricted for people 55 and up as Levitt had pledged to do. If not, that could have a significant impact on the Fayette County School System, which had been under the assumption there would be very few and likely no students generated by the development.

The age restriction was adopted as a condition of council’s approval for the annexation and rezoning.

The plan presented by Levitt included 208 acres of open space, and of that figure 108 acres could have been used for development. The buffer to the north, which touches the Tyrone city limits, increased from 50 to 100 feet.

Prior to the annexation and rezoning, the Fayette County Commission successfully defended a lawsuit on land just to the south for a zoning with two-acre minimum lot sizes. Pathway Communities, which previously owned the parcel, had sued in Fayette County Superior Court seeking a zoning for a one-acre minimum lot size.

That land, part of the 379-acre annexed property owned by John Wieland Homes, is approved for 475 single-family homes. Wieland’s plan includes 167 acres of open space, 40 of which are developable.

Wieland also owns an 89-acre tract to the east of that property on the other side of the railroad tracks. That tract contains the Peach Pit construction landfill, and the land is currently being studied by a committee that will make recommendations to council on how the land should be developed. The 89 acres is currently zoned for office-institutional use.

A city resident, David Worley, has filed a lawsuit asking for the annexations to be overturned because the vote on the Levitt annexation was first denied by council members and voted on again, this time for approval, at the May 3 meeting. The lawsuit depends on Georgia law that requires a cooling off period after annexation denials by cities.

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