I'm tired...

Can we please stop the following?

- Stop calling city officials drunks. It's a cop-out to any rational argument based on facts. Nanny nanny boo boo....find something better to type.

- Stop promoting the "conspiracy theory" that government officials are inherently in the pockets of the developers. Yeah, I'll sign up for this abuse in exchange for a few bucks...sure, sign me up for THAT tour.

- Stop the tired argument that developers are just out for the quick buck. Yes, it is a business based on making money, but isn't that what you do when you go to work? At the same time, you try to make sure that you can keep getting paid down the road by doing that "right thing" by playing by the rules? If a developer is so dang bad, how do they keep staying in business....oh, must be that conspiracy again. SPARE ME.

I think the "Kohl's" debate is much ado about nothing...the land is, has been, and will continue to be commercial property. As long as the property owner builds based on the laws and ordinances of the City, he can do what he wants to do, same as you and I can do what we want to do with our properties....unless you are in one of those "covenant" communities...then you made a decision to play by those rules when you bought your house.

If the developer is willing to give the City ANY money for the consideration of abandoning roads that will ONLY serve the needs of that development, then why fight it, when the alternative is going to give you whatever the owner can do to make his money (which won't be what you want anyway).

Where in Peachtree City are there City funded and maintained roads that ONLY serve a single, private commercial concern? Please let me know...

Did you even know there were roads back off of Line Creek Drive if you didn't have to do business with the Cowan family??? I would bet if I asked the average citizen to tell me where Line Creek Court is, they wouldn't have a clue.

Oh, the MANDATE of the people is "I don't really care." When your election totals are less than 50% of the electorate, it says quite simply that most people want to be LEFT ALONE.

It's funny - I was actually told by someone at the meeting that Logsdon said he'd rather the property not be developed at all, but he lamented that just won't happen.

Is traffic bad on the west side? It is...wanna know why? Traffic lights don't let traffic just go on 54....people are too dang selfish to slow down and let one car in before they go...everyone thinks they are the most important thing in the world.

Focus on some other things - take care of your house, do your part to keep your hometown clean and quiet, and if you don't like what's going on, be a part of the solution by helping to find the best "plan" - stop saying "no more no more"!

Get a life, Peachtree City gadflies.

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Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 11:25am.

his points are valid and, and let's face it, the property is privately owned and zoned commercial. Surely, Mr McMurrain knew about the road issue, and will have to deal with in the light of day unlike perhaps previously.

Having reviewed the three proposals, if you call the last two proposals, the original Kohls plan suits our town far better than any others, in my opinion. The major obstacle to the development is now, and has been, Mr McMurrain's inability to demonstrate to the residents of Peachtree City that what he is proposing is in their best interests.

While an avid opponent of any "big box", I must say that I would prefer the Kohls project much more than a gas station or Hooters. This property will be developed, it is simply too expensive to remain vacant.

Could it be time for our Council to stop the bickering and useless banter, show that they have backbone, and make a decision that we elected them to do? Not all of us will be happy, some may become very vocal in print, and some may decide to reside elsewhere, but that's life. It may not be fair, but deal with it!

Submitted by sageadvice on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 6:16am.

I kinda like your solution! Just work with everybody to develop whatever they want---after all they bought the land and own it!
Like the zillion dollar bridge in Alaska that we pay for----heck build it.

yardman5508's picture
Submitted by yardman5508 on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 10:23pm.

but what if the best plan IS "no more, no more"? Keep the faith.

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Submitted by PTC_factchecker on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 10:29pm.

Well, I will harken back to an old Bob Lenox statement.

"I have a check right now for $xxx.xxx, and I will buy this property from you right now".

If people care so much, put your collective money where your mouths are - take up a collection, make an offer on the property, buy it and donate it to the City.

See, here's the rub - everyone wants everything, but doesn't want to pay for it. We could theoretically raise taxes if the property was so bad that we didn't want anything on it. Would the 35K residents want their taxes to go up because a minority said developing would be ugly/bad/negative?

In the United States, lamentably as it might seem, it comes down to who has the money to buy the land to do with it what they will. It is the American Dream, after all, even if it's been perverted after all these years - give me my piece of land, let me do with it what I will, and leave me alone.

So, I would say that if the TRUE majority (more than 50% of those eligible to vote) say "we don't want it", then we do something about it. Anything else is whining.

yardman5508's picture
Submitted by yardman5508 on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 10:35pm.

we can assume, then, that you are opposed to zoning laws on principle? Keep the faith.

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Submitted by PTC_factchecker on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 10:58pm.

Zoning laws have a purpose. They create areas to allow for the survival of the species.

Let's get philosophical.

While I believe there is a Creator (whom I call God) that started this whole thing, I also believe that there is an unwritten social contract that allows humans to live together on the fine line of killing each other. This contract basically allows that for the most part, everybody should be left alone. Understandably, there are requirements for humans to survive (food, shelter, clothing). Over time, those necessities have spawned the creation of technologies, the rise of governing agencies and the laws that we follow. If we didn't have the laws, it would truly be survival of the fittest. At some point, humans said, "look, i'm tired of having to fight every day to keep from getting killed...what can we agree on?" And that, with some significant embellishment, is the essence of what I see as our systems of justice and commerce.

If you look at societies over time, at some point they all fall back to a variation of the simple social contract - in exchange for you not killing me, I'll give you XYZ. At some point, arbiters had to be put in place (that's democracy) to say, well, since most of us want XYZ, let's make sure we can get XYZ.

What does this have to do with a shopping center? Well, quite simply, in the 1950s, when Bessemer/Garden Cities/whatever brought in the overall concept of Peachtree City, the land from the Huddlestons and Cowans, was classified as we're going to put XYZ here. Hugh Huddleston was one of the first council members, and Joel Cowan was the first mayor, so I'm going to guess that they probably had a hand in some of that.

XYZ, in this case, is commercial. Over time, the owners of that land continued to say "yes, this is for XYZ, but we don't need to do anything with it yet." They got old, decided to move onto greener pastures, and they said, "let's sell this land so we can get some money to do what we want to do". Developer comes in, buys property. He can put in XYZ. He thinks it should still be XYZ. It's 2007, he wants to put something on it so he can make money and go live his life the way he wants to. He has that right.

Now, we look at two roads, that for decades did nothing but give folks a way to get to the Cowan properties. Those properties are gone. Why should we continue, as taxpayers, to pay for those roads if all that's going to happen is a single private concern (the "development") is the only thing on them? Let the developer do that - let the market drive it.

Is it a shame buildings sit vacant? Yes, but no one can MANDATE you must put your store in that building if there are other areas that you are allowed to put in your store. Developers aren't stupid - they go where they know they can make money.

So, we cry about vacant buildings, but shouldn't we be saying, "hey City, do what you can to tell businesses about these places and encourage them to go here"? There's only a little bit of this commercial land left, so anything "new" is going to be scarce in a few years anyway. A developer, which is what this is, does exactly what his name says - develops land that is vacant into viable spaces for commerce. If there is nowhere else in the City that developer thinks will work, that's why he bought the property he bought.

I'm okay with the roads going away, a Kohl's going there, or hell, even a Goodwill regional center...the market can and will decide how the tale is told. What CAN be done is to make that property look and feel "good", and that's what PTC does every day.

Too many people are second-guessing what's worked for so long - let the developers work in the framework and do what they need to do.

Submitted by beenthere on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 11:20pm.

When McBully the developer bought the property - did he think his property included streets that really belonged to PTC. Did he know but think he could build in the middle of the city owned streets? He knew what he had when he bought it. He may have had hopes to improve his property by getting the city to ignore the big box ban or abandon the streets. He is entitled to his hopes and dreams just like the rest of us. But he should not be entitled to cram this plan down our throats. He should develop his property according the the zoning, the ordinances and the lay of the land. If the space isn't viable then I guess he got a pig in a poke. Or he is stuck with it till he finds another buyer with a better vision.

Every exception granted by the city council is grounds for the next exception. Stick by the rules or abandon the rules. I would like to have a second driveway entrance onto the street and my neighbor has some great plans for a pond in his front yard ... Why can't we do exactly as we want with our property- we paid for the privledge! Too bad it violates the rules, we want to fulfill our dreams too!

Submitted by PTC_factchecker on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 11:50pm.

..it's called a variance. What CCD is doing is exactly what they are supposed to do - ask the council to make a decision.

And I'm sorry, but the "if you do it once, you always have to do it" is a true load. That's why there are criteria formed and procedures set - and when you voted in the representatives for you, they get to make the decision.

And in this case, the majority of the representatives of the majority of the people who voted them in may very well believe that this plan is the best thing given the circumstances. And they are within their right. The next property owner will not have identical circumstances...I ask again to name me a public road in Peachtree City solely serving one single commercial property and nothing else. I'm waiting....

If I were McMurrain, I would've probably sued long ago - he's an extraordinarily patient man, with all you nimbys around.

Submitted by beenthere on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 12:29am.

Captain - you failed to address the question. Did McMurrain know what the circumstances were when he bought the property?

If someone asks for a variance to put an awning over the deck so a family member suffering from skin cancer can enjoy the outdoors without the sun but the city turns it down because they don't want to set a precedence. They have refused many citizen's variance requests over the years for that exact reason - no matter how compelling the reason. They all had unique situations - identical circumstances are rare!

I never said "if you do it once, you always have to do it" - you did! But with nearly 20 years of attending local government meetings, I've heard many attorneys warnings. Approve a variance and you have to give consideration to the precedence issue. And even if it isn't truly precedence, it is often the appearance of one, leaving yourself wide open to the other issue of future lawsuits.

What makes you define McMurrain as extraordinarily patient - he previously withdrew his submission from the city council before they got the chance to vote on it. He's only conviently patient - when it suits his own needs, like waiting for different council members after new elections.

I don't care if he puts a gas station with Hooters on his property, if it fits the existing zoning. After he spends all the money of developing this center I hope he'll consider a lower rent for the likes of nice Goodwill center. I wonder how many other tenents he'll get with a Goodwill anchor? Maybe someone will put in a Christian Bookstore next to Hooters - we don't have either of those!

Sounds like McBully's got a captain in his pocket - or just Cardiff Park!

Submitted by PTC_factchecker on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 8:37am.

Well, yes, I fully believe he did. He probably was also advised by the previous property owner that the roads that were put in were put in by him (Cowan), not the City and probably didn't think there would be an issue.

I don't know - let's ask Joel Cowan. He sold the property to CCD.

Remember, the city doesn't own "full" title to the roads - they have common law title based on the fact they maintained them for years.

Is it entirely possible these roads were private all along, and because of neglect (or sloth, or convenience) they "became" City roads? Purely speculation on my part, but I'm afraid that its immaterial.

Please tell me - AGAIN - where is there a publicly funded street in Peachtree City that serves one commercial property solely????

I'm still waiting for an answer....

Submitted by beenthere on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 9:08am.

Don't see how your question is particularly relevant. I don't care if it is the only publicly funded street in PTC that serves one commercial property. I don't know which "entrances" into commercial areas are owned or maintained by the city. The streets in Planterra were not originally owned or built by the city- but the city has them now.

The entrance into Walmart comes to mind. Who owns the property under that "street". At one time it belonged to a private entity, but I don't know who fills the potholes now.

McMurrain knew what part of that property was buildable when he bought it. Deal with it!

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