Line Creek center goes to PTC Council

Tue, 05/20/2008 - 4:30pm
By: John Munford

Despite some serious concerns about having only one road in and out, the Peachtree City Planning Commission voted unanimously Monday to recommend approval for a west side shopping center to be built larger than the city’s size threshold.

The 25,000-square-foot increase to a plan totaling 175,000 square feet can only be approved by the City Council, however, which is slated to vote on the matter at its June 5 meeting.

Commission Chairman Marty Mullin said his “biggest worry” about the shopping center is traffic, since other plans to create additional access to the site have fallen through.

The shopping center is located at the southwest corner of Ga. Highway 54 and Planterra Way, and Capital City Development is hoping to get state approval for a new traffic light on Line Creek Drive, which is in between Planterra Way and MacDuff Parkway.

“The traffic in and out is going to be a problem,” Planning Commissioner Theo Scott said.

Originally the city wanted the shopping center to have an access road linking to Planterra Way so traffic could get onto Ga. Highway 54 using the traffic light there. But that was opposed by neighbors in the Planterra Ridge and Cardiff Park subdivisions, so it was deleted from the plan, explained City Planner David Rast.

Another previous proposal would have created an access road westward toward another shopping center already under construction and a traffic light already at MacDuff Parkway.

But that was nixed because the city-owned land needed for the right of way was disallowed for that use by the entity that previously donated it: Pathway Communities.

Pathway has a deed restriction that requires it to approve any proposed development that would go on the parcel.

Several commissioners said they’d like to get Pathway at the table again now that the Line Creek shopping center’s plan is so far along, in an attempt to convince them to allow use of that needed tract for the access road.

The land needed is part of the Line Creek Nature Area land that Pathway donated to the city a number of years ago.

Resident Kathie Cheney noted that on her way to Monday night’s 6 p.m. meeting, traffic going west on Hwy. 54 was backed up past City Hall, and the Line Creek shopping center would only make it worse.

As to the cancelled access point to Planterra Way, Paul Van’t Hof of the Planterra Ridge subdivision said cut-through traffic on Planterra and Terrane Ridge is so voluminous that if the access point was approved for this shopping center, residents would have no choice but to “take it into our own hands.”

“All that’s left to do is for us to park our vehicles on both sides of the street for a week,” Van’t Hof said. “Then nobody would get through and everybody would be angry.”

Van’t Hof said he would rather the city make such an access point restricted to allow only left-hand turns leaving the shopping center, with no entrance to the shopping center coming off Planterra Way.

“I want it in blood that they can’t turn left,” Van’t Hof said, adding that the worst impact on Hwy. 54 West traffic is the proposed mega shopping center just across the county line in Coweta County: Fischer Crossing, which will include a 14-screen movie theater and a Sam’s Club wholesale store.

While resident Beth Pullias argued that the shopping center plans “weren’t special enough,” Mullin said he worried that opponents might scuttle the plan, leaving the city with a prototypical shopping center instead of a plan with the unique pedestrian and landscaping features that is currently proposed.

The plan includes several outdoor courtyard areas and fountains in addition to a raised speed table with brick pavers to help make the center more pedestrian friendly.

“Lots of things here are way above and beyond the typical shopping center,” Mullin said.

While city staff have said the site plan is compatible with the city’s comprehensive plan, resident Phyllis Aguayo noted that plan was formulated before Planterra and Cardiff Park were rezoned from industrial to residential use, much less developed with the current slate of homes.

Aguayo said she felt the 50-foot landscaped buffer along Cardiff Park was “especially inadequate.”

The buffer will feature a six-foot-tall berm that will be planted on the side facing Cardiff Park, and on top of the berm will be an eight-foot-tall screening fence.

After showing diagrams of sight angle views from lots in Cardiff Park, CCD agreed to look at lowering the elevation of the store that backed up to lowest homes in Cardiff to prevent those residents from seeing the top of the roof.

Planterra resident Karen Russell said she wants the city to work with Coweta County on getting alternate routes for its residents to reach Interstate 85 and Fayetteville, in the hopes that traffic on Hwy. 54 West would be reduced.

Mullin said he did understand the residents’ concerns and reiterated that his primary concern was traffic flow. He agreed that traffic would “back up” waiting to exit the site at the traffic light.

Mullin strongly recommended approaching Pathway Communities a second time to try and get the company’s OK to build the road through the Line Creek Nature Area parcel.

CCD representative Jim Lowe asked if the city would allow the site to be graded before the final site plan is approved because it could take three months or more for the development to get state approval for the traffic light for Line Creek Drive.

City Planner David Rast said the Planning Commission couldn’t make that commitment because that requirement is a city ordinance, so only the City Council could approve such a variance.

Lowe said allowing the grading early on would save CCD three months or more of interest payments on the parcel.

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Submitted by mthom5436 on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 12:50pm.

We don't need anymore retail buildings. We can't even fill the ones we have. If all of this unessesary building continues our town will look like Fayetteville. Full of dirty, unkept, empty buildings.

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 4:41pm.

are based on the value of the property as of Jan 1, 20XX. You are taxed in the fall based on the value of the property as of Jan 1 of the tax year.

Submitted by sageadvice on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 6:59pm.

Well, does the value go down the next year if it was empty on January 1?
What about year 2 or 3 empty?
Not much sales tax income comes from an empty one though.
If the buildings were built legally, it is none of our business anyway if empty! We need some tougher "legal" reasons not to build them!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.