Kohl’s OK would weaken PTC’s big box ordinance

Tue, 11/13/2007 - 4:56pm
By: Letters to the ...

In September when the Central Park at Line Creek commercial project was presented with a Kohl’s department store as its anchor, I said that there were things I liked about the proposal. There were improvements over what had been proposed there previously, especially the large buffers, reforestation, shade trees, landscape and architectural features, etc.

I went on to express my concerns: 1. This would set a precedent that would weaken our big box ordinance. 2. Once zoned for a big box, any big box store could go there and we would have no recourse. 3. A big box anchor would attract more traffic from outside the city to an already congested area. 4. Who would be responsible for maintaining the promised trees landscaping and features, and what guarantees are there that they would even be installed, considering the broken promises elsewhere? 5. The plan does not address what else will be there and the view from Hwy. 54.

My praise of the promised trees, buffers, vegetation and features was taken by the newspaper reporter as an approval on my part of the entire plan, including the big box Kohl’s. He reported that I liked it, but he did not report my concerns.

I commend Kohl’s for offering architectural enhancements and canopies, but that does not change the fact that it is a big box store. I cannot emphasize enough what a risk it would be for PTC to approve a big box.

The city is being sued by another developer who was turned down for a Lowe’s. This is just the beginning.

To approve the Kohl’s would undermine the big box ordinance and open the door to redevelopment with big boxes throughout the city. That would undermine our village shopping centers, cause the demise of the smaller, locally owned businesses around town, and change the aesthetics of Peachtree City.

This has nothing to do with whether or not you like Kohl’s. This is a question of what impact the shopping centers in Peachtree City will have on your quality of life.

I liked the buffers, trees, landscaping and features that were presented that night; it was in keeping with what we had come to expect in Peachtree City. But it should not be necessary to approve something that we don’t want in order to get what we should be requiring anyway.

This commercial area is at the entrance to Planterra Ridge and is in front of Cardiff Park. There have to be strict buffer requirements between commercial and residential uses in any case.

The proximity to the Line Creek Nature Area and aesthetic considerations for the view from Hwy. 54 mandate that Council set high standards. The trees, buffers, architectural controls and special features are no more than what should be our minimum expectation, no matter what is proposed there.

Just before the election, the developer withdrew his request for the city to provide him with the roads that would make putting a big box there possible.

His request is back already and is on the agenda for Thursday night’s City Council meeting. What a horrendous precedent it would set for council to vote to abandon city-owned streets to facilitate a developer against the wishes of the majority of the citizens who they are supposed to represent.

Phyllis Aguayo

Peachtree City, Ga.

login to post comments