Council nixes proposed halt to PTC commercial projects

Tue, 01/08/2008 - 4:58pm
By: John Munford

The Peachtree City Council decided last week to avoid a moratorium on all retail development to allow an update of city ordinances.

The 3-2 vote to sink the moratorium was opposed by the two new councilmen: Doug Sturbaum and Don Haddix, who initially proposed the idea.

Haddix said the three-month moratorium was needed to take the city’s comprehensive plan and adopt ordinances to strengthen development requirements. Mayor Harold Logsdon pointed out that the comprehensive plan has not been adopted yet, though a vote could be possible as early as March.

Logsdon said he’d prefer to have the ordinances adopted after the comprehensive plan is approved by council.

Haddix said while the comprehensive plan is good, it doesn’t explain specifically what documents retail developers are required to submit to the city in terms of economic, environmental and traffic studies, or, he said, “what the penalty is” if the information isn’t provided.

Logsdon said he wasn’t in favor of the moratorium, as he didn’t want to see a negative impact on the city’s sales tax collections which might require a property tax increase.

Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett said the city instead could vote on several issues in the next two to four weeks that would address some of Haddix’s concerns. Among those issues is a court decision that allows large-scale retail shopping centers to be built on land currently zoned for industrial use.

The city has just over 78 acres left of undeveloped property zoned for commercial/retail use. But Haddix said the moratorium would allow the city to address redevelopment of existing retail sites, too.

Because several large commercial projects have already submitted site plans, they would be exempt from the moratorium as worded anyway, officials said. Those exempt projects include the McIntosh Village south shopping center on Ga. Highway 54 West at Planterra Way and also the Columbia Properties shopping center on Ga. Highway 74 north across from the Wilshire Pavilion shopping center.

Logsdon said he has seen the plan submitted for McIntosh Village, adding that he did not like it at all.

Councilman Steve Boone said the moratorium would have sent the wrong message to the business community.

Sturbaum said he disagreed that the moratorium was “sending the wrong message.” He said he supported the moratorium as a way to step back and create “a playbook for the future.”

Resident Juan Matute told the council he thought the election of Haddix and Sturbaum was a mandate from voters to reign in developers.

“We are real citizens. We have concerns,” Matute said.

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mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Tue, 01/08/2008 - 8:29pm.

Good input. Very insightful. Keep up the good work.

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