Is PTC facing a literal sell-out by its own Council?

Cal Beverly's picture

On the agenda for this Thursday night’s meeting of the Peachtree City Council are several remarkable items in a row: A rezoning of 25 acres of the city’s industrial park land for a 367-unit apartment complex; a request to annex and rezone 13.5 acres on Redwine Road for a 48-bed assisted living facility and multiple office complexes; and a request for the city to sell a developer two city streets to allow the developer the land required to build a Kohl’s department store big box.

We’ll take the last first.

“• Consider request for abandonment of Line Creek Circle and a portion of Line Creek Drive.” (“Capital City Development Peachtree City LLC has submitted a Petition for the city to abandon Line Creek Circle and Line Creek Drive. The petitioner subsequently made an oral modification and is now requesting that only a portion of Line Creek Drive be abandoned. This is due in large part to the fact that Capital City does not own both sides of Line Creek Drive and therefore withdrew its request for that portion. As a point of reference the portion to remain as a city street is that portion extending from Highway 54 South to the property line of the Flexxon Development, the old Peachy Clean property.“

Now, who wants this city-owned property? Here’s the developer’s “Certification of Intent — I, Doug McMurrain, the manager of CCD PTC LLC, the only owner having property abutting the above rights of way, do hereby certify that CCD PTC LLC does intend to acquire the abandoned street at fair market value as a condition of consideration of abandonment.”

Whatever you’ll be paying the city for those two streets, Doug, it ain’t nearly enough.

The council in effect would become an enabling partner in the construction of a big box development that could not otherwise be built without the city’s explicit facilitation.

In view of the public’s overwhelming aversion to another such development on Hwy. 54 West, the council’s approval would amount to a a complete and total sell-out to the developer who is most responsible for the wretched look and mounting problems of the city’s west side.

Whoever votes for this perverted city-developer partnership will become a synonym for the sell-out of the Peachtree City vision.

Here’s some research on this project provided to me.

“McMurrain has been deceiving people when he states that he cannot make his development look Avenue-like without the Kohl’s. The fact is that he is required to do so under Ord. No. 825, Sec. 1015, which was enacted 1-15-2004. It applies specifically to the Ga. Highway 54 West Overlay district, which includes the McMurrain property.

“Paragraph 1 references the ‘GA 54 West Design Guidelines’ which is 31-page document. ... I have a copy of this document, which is an official ordinance of the city and is required to be followed in the Hwy. 54 West Overlay District. This document proves that McMurrain has known about the Hwy. 54 West Design Guidelines all along — his name is the second one listed on the document as being a member of the ‘GA 54 West Advisory Board.’ It includes specific requirements such as:

“’• Parking areas must be screened from view ... the design of parking areas shall be accomplished by locating parking around public courtyards and to the side and rear of buildings.’ (p. 9)

“’• Outdoor seating shall be provided throughout the development.’ (p. 10)

“’• Public open spaces should be partially enclosed by building or freestanding wall, landscaping or raised planters.’

“’• Whenever pedestrian access points traverse internal roadways, driveways or curb cuts, a highly visible or raised crosswalk should be provided. This crosswalk should contrast with the vehicular surface (e.g. concrete in asphalt, stamped asphalt, until pavers in concrete, etc.’ (p.11)

“• Architectural Guidelines are on pages 13-17 and are very specific with allowing only certain types of building design, styles, colors, exterior materials, roofing materials, architectural features, canopies and awnings.

“• Landscaping guidelines are on pages 18-20 and are very specific with regard to median plantings, density spacing, public courtyards, and specific vegetation is listed.

“• Lighting is thoroughly addressed on pp. 21-24 and includes pictures of acceptable types of lighting fixtures.

“• Signage is also particular in what it will accept and is addressed on pp. 25-31.

“Another fact the public has not considered: ‘At a minimum, no less than 4 spaces per 1,000 [square feet] of gross floor area.’(p. 9) McMurrain’s proposal is 185,130 [square feet] and therefore would require a sea of asphalt of 740 parking spaces.”

Now, legally, can the council moon the rest of the city and bungle ahead with this sell-out?

A 1952 court case spells out the following: “Neither [the] General Assembly nor subordinate public corporation [like Peachtree City] can lawfully vacate public street or highway for benefit of private individual nor unless such action is for public benefit by either relieving public from maintenance of street or highway no longer useful or convenient to public or by laying out new street or road which will be more useful and convenient to public in general. Dunlap v Tift 1952, 209 Ga 201, 71 S.E.2d.”

Sell-out council members, please specify how selling two viable public streets — a move opposed by most residents of the city — can possibly meet the “useful or convenient to the public in general” requirement of that court case?

The other two items on the same agenda are these:

• Request by Dominion Partners LLC to rezone a 25.4 acre portion of the Stephens tract from GI General Industrial to LUC Limited Use Commercial for a 367-unit campus-style continued-care facility [for seniors].

• Public hearing — Consider request to lift multifamily moratorium [for] Outer Market Properties on Redwine Road.

• Public hearing — Consider Step 1 Annexation [for] Outer Market properties on Redwine Road. (“Outer Marker Properties LLC submitted a letter to city staff on Sept. 10, 2007, requesting that City Council consider lifting the moratorium on multi family housing for a 3.06 acre tract of land on Redwine Road currently located within unincorporated Fayette County The purpose of lifting the moratorium would be to allow staff to work with the applicant on a 48-bed assisted living facility being proposed for the property. The applicant has also requested under separate application that council consider annexing a 13.57 acre tract of land into the city limits of Peachtree City which includes the subject 3.07-acre tract. The remainder of the property would be designated for office use. Council must first agree to lift the moratorium on multi-family housing as well as accepting the annexation application in order for staff to work with the applicant.”)

Has the Peachtree City Council become city residents’ worst nightmare by abandoning the vision of village-centric communities and by selling out to every developer who wants a piece of the Peachtree City pie?

The votes Thursday night will tell you who is your friend or who is the developers’ friend. In these cases, the politicians cannot be friends to both the citizens and the developers.

A choice will have to be made.

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Submitted by Jones on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 8:27pm.

I'm going with the guys who said "NO!" to the Kohl's from the start. Councilman Harman had to conduct a poll to see whether the city's ordinances were worth protecting.

Thank God this one seems over. I appreciate bad_ptc's points on the issue and maybe he/she should consider a run for office in the future.

Krystalcove's picture
Submitted by Krystalcove on Wed, 10/17/2007 - 6:28pm.

The property has been zoned commercial since 70s.
Everyone knew this before residential came in.If the adjacent
residents think it is O.K., here is my question --What's the beef?

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Wed, 10/17/2007 - 7:12pm.

Why don't you start with answering my questions?

I answered yours.

Do you have any answers or did you just drink the developers Kool-Aid?

Please tell us what you know about the Kohl's plan. I'm sure it will be a short post.

Krystalcove's picture
Submitted by Krystalcove on Wed, 10/17/2007 - 5:24pm.

Why should PTC retain Line Creek Dr./Cir., streets that go nowhere, now that businesses are no longer located there? Let's sell or trade and eliminate the upkeep and save the city money. It actually has no purpose for the city any longer, and will only have maintenence costs for the taxpayers. Some people don't want to see any changes, even if they are miles away from where the proposed development is located. Let's take each parcel on an individual basis and use some common sense.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Wed, 10/17/2007 - 6:02pm.

So that the city maintains control of what gets developed within the city limits. Any other questions?

Why even deal with a developer that starts negotiations off with a threat?

Why sell "part" of a street? We'll still have to pay for the maintenance for the other part. What sense does that make?

Why work with a developer that has done nothing but mislead the citizens that were attempting to work with him?

Why go through all of this nonsense for the benefit of 7 homes in Cardiff Park? Yes, it's just seven homes. The west side of the development will still have to look at what ever the developer decides to build.

They'll also have the added advantage of a stagnate retention pond within 50 feet of there back yards. Have you ever heard of something called "West Nile Virus"?

What's wrong with demanding that the developer work within the ordnance's, codes and overall plan for that part of the city.

By the way this same developer helped write the plan in 2004.

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Wed, 10/17/2007 - 5:37pm.

I have no problem with the owner developing the property to CURRENT PTC Standards. I do have a problem with our Council granting an exception for another big box we don't need. It's just makes no sense, there are Kohl's stores with 10 miles or so in two different directions from this site.

The West Village looks bad enough as it is, the the HomeDepot/Walmart nightmare. Why add to the problem?

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 10/17/2007 - 7:27pm.

Why so negative. The westside big box mess was here when you moved here why complain now??

It wasn't here when I moved here, but I think if memory serves you only moved here a year or 2 ago? Why complain? You sound so miserable. I think I hear henry county calling you back.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Wed, 10/17/2007 - 5:30am.

Good God Cal, you need an editor. You had good thoughts, but you could say it with half as many words.

Anyhow, it looks like Thursday night is Mr. Harman's audition to see if he's ready for prime time. None of the things Cal describes deserves to be approved, but the Kohl's project with the city making it easier by selling the roads is by far the worst.

If Harman sides with Stuart and Cindy and votes to kill off that idiotic project I will vote for him, campaign for him and donate as much as I can to his campaign because he will have shown himself to be a stabilizing force on council.

If he votes for Kohl's - same thing with my support except it would be for either the professor or the new guy. I have concerns about the professor because he started trashing his opponents in today's paper (so did Smola, bad example to follow). Even if we get the new guy, it would be better than someone who sides with the Logsdon/Boone pact and turns it into a majority voting bloc - that would truly be horrible.

I really think those who share the view that Thursday is an audition for Harman e-mail or call him with their thoughts - which are hopefully "Kill Kohl's"

Submitted by new2ptc on Wed, 10/17/2007 - 7:05pm.

I will take bets on the vote for the Kohl’s will be put off until after the election. The Mayor and Steve Boone don’t want to lose their guy just yet. However, I can’t wait for this Thursday’s night meeting to watch how they are going to dodge this bullet.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 5:10am.

To me, a vote to delay the vote on Kohl's would be worse than actually approving it. A delay vote would show that Logsdon and Boone are providing cover for Harman and they wouldn't do that unless they were sure he was on board with them all the way.

A delay vote gets me actively working against Harman and for the new guy. I've eliminated the professor based on his own writings and argumentative style.

New guy needs to drop that "encourage developers to exceed our standards" line. Illegal as Jim Webb and Rick Lindsey (the real city attorneys) could tell you. But he'll learn and will bring a fresh voice to the city council.

On the other hand if Harman shows some courage and votes against Kohl's or a delay - I'm with him.

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