Parking, tree cutting among issues in Aberdeen Village

Thu, 11/15/2007 - 4:54pm
By: John Munford

Commercial, residential development also a concern, city says

While Aberdeen Village is the city’s oldest developed area, it is also changing in several ways as older homes are sold or converted into rental units, while others remain lived-in by long-time Peachtree City residents.

In some cases, the new residents haven’t bought into the older vision of Peachtree City and have flaunted city ordinances such as parking on grass, residents said last week at the comprehensive plan meeting on Aberdeen Village. There were also a number of residents concerned about the large amount of trees that new residents have been cutting down on their lots.

Tim Maret of the city’s code enforcement department was able to respond directly to all but one of the complaints raised by residents, as he is the code enforcement officer assigned to Aberdeen Village.

Maret noted that the city court judge wants to make sure the code enforcement department has tried to work with residents to correct violations before they are cited and brought to court. In one recent case about a car parking on grass, Maret said that the court found a resident guilty but had trouble deliberating the issue after a very small change was made to the resident’s yard in an attempt to comply with the ordinance.

City code requires that all automobiles be parked on paved surfaces, Maret said. But some residents are finding a way around that, he added.

The city also has ordinances against non-operative cars being parked outside. In one photo Maret showed the audience, a car had been parked in a wooded area for so long that a tree began to grow through it.

As for the tree cutting complaints, most all of the trees that have been cut by residents were done legally under the city’s tree preservation statute, officials noted. City representatives are considering further restrictions to discourage the amount of trees cut.

Resident Phyllis Aguayo said that residents who cut numerous trees on their property can dramatically change the look of the neighborhood.

There was also a resident complaint about a man who owns a landscaping company and parked his Bobcat on the street and also had multiple pallets on the property. Maret said the resident was doing landscaping work at the home and the pallets and Bobcat were moved shortly after contact was made with the homeowner about the complaints. The resident has another place his heavy equipment is normally parked, Maret noted.

As for issues of uncut grass, the city ordinance doesn’t make it illegal until the grass reaches 12 inches tall, which at that point the “grass” is actually weeds, Maret noted.

Another concern about Aberdeen Village is the potential for residential redevelopment in lots along Lake Peachtree, one of the oldest areas in the city, Rast said. Currently the city has no ordinances that would forbid someone from buying a lot, tearing down the current structure and building a new home several stories higher, he noted.

In addition to the concerns in residential neighborhoods, Aberdeen Village also has two older retail centers that could be ripe for commercial redevelopment, Rast said.

He was speaking of the Aberdeen Village retail center, located on Northlake Parkway just off Ga. Highway 54, and Willowbend retail center, on the other side of Hwy. 54. Although both are older shopping centers, they have remained relatively full with tenants.

Aberdeen Village retail center is home to Partner’s Pizza, which Rast noted is likely the largest pizza parlor on the southside of Atlanta with its expanded dining area.

Although Aberdeen’s architectural look is not modern, it was considered such when it opened in the 70s, Rast said. Fun was poked at a photo of the shopping center’s original sign, which appeared to be the size of a billboard with letters more than a foot tall.

Needless to say that sign wouldn’t meet the city code today.

The Aberdeen center is 8.25 acres large and right off the end of the golf cart bridge spanning Hwy. 54 while the Willowbend center is 3.1 acres and fronts Hwy. 54.

The other retail center in the village is Westpark Walk at the intersection of Ga. highways 54 and 74. Rast noted that Westpark has already seen some redevelopment when the movie theater was torn down and replaced with another building now housing Carrabba’s Italian restaurant.

A new development coming to the area is the community life center being built along Willowbend Road by First Baptist Church. The center is called “The Bridge,” a reference to the nearby golf cart path bridge.

The center will be a single-story building with a gym and a youth activity room in addition to 11 other meeting rooms that will be available for city recreational programs such as those for senior citizens, explained church representative Randy Daughtry.

The gym will be a plus to host youth basketball programs, which has been seen as a significant need for the city, Daughtry said.

This is also a redevelopment project as the church razed three small apartment buildings to make way for the new building.

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Submitted by TomCat on Thu, 11/15/2007 - 9:49pm.

It was exciting to hear the presentation from FBC at last week's meeting. This building should be an asset to the entire PTC community.

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Submitted by Hoosier Fan on Fri, 11/16/2007 - 1:24pm.

In an era when new development / redevelopment in PTC seems to require crisis management on a daily basis, First Baptist PTC has seemed like a poster child for cooperation and coordination. The fact that the church is talking about making their new facility available as a service to the community is a great testimony.

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