Best reason not to sell streets: They are legal barrier to any new big box

Tue, 11/13/2007 - 4:57pm
By: Letters to the ...

Re: PTC Update, From the Mayor, Big boxes and other big issues, 11/2007.

“I personally think we should abandon the streets no matter what is built.”

The statute, OCGA 32-7-2-(c), reads in part as follows: “When it is determined that a section of the municipal street system has for any reason ceased to be used by the public to the extent that no substantial public purpose is served by it ...”

I submit to you, sir, that the streets do indeed continue to serve a substantial public purpose as they are acting as a legally unchallengeable impediment prohibiting a “Big Box” development. Therefore their abandonment doesn’t satisfy the requirement as it is written in the law.

Ask the city attorney if PTC can be forced into selling city-owned property. I doubt he would tell you yes.

“Why should taxpayers maintain a road serving only one landowner?”

Mr. Mayor, your statement is not entirely truthful. There are at least two landowners involved, not just one, as you claim. Therefore, we the taxpayers will still be paying for the maintenance for a portion of the road that services “only one land owner.” Please tell me what would be accomplished?

To add insult to injury, the “other landowner” has filed notice with PTC that they are NOT in favor of selling the streets.

The advantage to the city of maintaining ownership of those roads is that the city will be able to maintain “control” of what gets built and how.

“CG zoning requires a 20-foot buffer.”

I would direct you to read, completely, section (1006.5) Other requirements: “Unless otherwise specified in this Ordinance, uses permitted in GC zoning districts shall conform to the following standards:

“Subsection (e),Minimum rear setback depth: 20 feet. If adjoining a residential zoning lot, the building setback shall be 75 feet.”

As per the 2007 Comprehensive Land Use Plan, “The city’s site plan review process is used to identify areas of a site that should not be disturbed and to encourage development that will have a minimal impact on the natural environment as well as surrounding developments.”

This proposed development will not only pave almost all of this area to accommodate the “Big Box” and parking needed for it, but it will also virtually remove the entire hillside. Maintaining “control” of the roads will help to ensure that the spirit of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan is upheld.

It concerns me that you swore an oath to uphold our existing ordinances when it appears you may not know what they really say.

“90,000 sq. ft. produces the same traffic whether it is in one big box or three smaller boxes.”

Mr. Mayor, I respectfully request that you show me your proof of that statement.

Smaller stores tend to carry far fewer items and specialize in a more homogeneous product mix. You don’t go to a book-store looking for clothes any more than you would patronize a restaurant while looking for a hammer.

Three independent stores of 30,000 square feet each will require much more land for the buildings themselves as well as space for parking. That fact, along with the fact that there are very few, if any, regional draw stores that are under 32,000 square feet, will greatly reduce the “traffic” from what a single 90,000 square-foot store will generate. Additionally, three separate buildings offer an opportunity for additional landscaping in between them than one 90,000 square-foot block of concrete.

“So the question becomes, do we deny projects in PTC while development is unrestrained just outside our borders, or do we allow development that will add more local sales tax dollars but will increase traffic?”

Are you not aware that “Transportation” was specifically listed in the 2007 budget as one of the long-term goals as well as being a major part of the 2007 Comprehensive Land Use Plan?

The vast majority of PTC residents commute to other areas because there aren’t enough well-paying jobs here in PTC to support it. Adding yet another regional “Big Box,” with its minimum wage pay scale, and another traffic light to an already grossly inadequate traffic pattern only exasperates the situation.

Mr. Mayor, please tell me when did PTC lower our quality of life standards in order to emulate some other county [that] has no regard for the quality of life of its own citizens?

I can only surmise from your statement that we should build another Fayette Pavilion here in PTC because of the “sales tax potential” with total disregard to the quality of life, public safety and the drain on public services that it could cause.

The answer to your question, Mr. Mayor, is that we only allow development that is appropriate for the city that adds more local sales tax dollars without the unwarranted increase in traffic and without lowering our quality of life standards that drew us to move here in the first place.

I respectfully request that this City Council deny this request to abandon our streets as it only serves to benefit a developer who doesn’t even live in the state of Georgia.

By denying the sale of these roads you will effectually KILL any further attempts to install a “Big Box” development that the overwhelming majority of PTC citizens have told each and every one of you we don’t want.

Thank you for your time.

Brian A. Dingivan

Peachtree City, Ga.

login to post comments