PTC considers brown bagging, ice rink, multifamily

Tue, 07/15/2008 - 3:48pm
By: John Munford

A local businessman’s plan to have Peachtree City build and lease to him an ice rink and fitness center will be considered by the City Council Thursday night.

Council will also consider a request from John Wieland Homes to allow city staff to consider rezoning an 89-acre tract for multi-family housing.

Wieland wants to build townhomes on the property as part of a combination residential and office development. The tract is located at the intersection of Ga. Highway 74 and south Kedron Drive and is currently zoned for industrial use.

The request from Wieland is to lift the city’s moratorium, which bans city staff from even discussing the rezoning of any property to a multifamily residential use.

Should the moratorium be lifted, city staff could work with Wieland and prepare a recommendation to the city’s Planning Commission and the City Council, but ultimately any decision to rezone the property rests with the council.

The proposal for the ice rink and fitness center is coming from Dar Thompson, who owns several World Gyms in the area. Thompson — a former mayoral and council candidate — wants the city to pay for the $9.73 million cost and recoup it through leasing the facilities back to his business group. The annual debt service is estimated to be $798,414 a year for 20 years.

Meanwhile the estimated annual rent from the ice rink and fitness center would be $436,000 a year, putting the city’s annual costs at $505,866 a year.

The City Council is not considering a direct funding of Thompson’s plan. Instead, Thompson is asking the city to put it on the ballot so voters can decide if the proposal should be funded by tax dollars.

The 76,000-square-foot rink and 10,000-square-foot fitness center would be located on undeveloped property at the north end of the city’s Baseball and Soccer Complex on Hwy. 74 South.

Thompson has said the ice rink will host several large tournaments a year, bringing an economic impact that would help the city increase tax revenue. He said the facility would also attract people to move to Peachtree City who might otherwise have to move elsewhere in the metro Atlanta area to be near ice rinks for their children.

Thompson’s proposal has been pared down from his initial suggestion of a $19.5 million facility that included multi-use field, basketball courts and meeting rooms in addition to the ice rink and fitness center.

In other business, the council is expected to weigh in on a citizen’s request to allow “brown bagging” so people can bring their own alcohol for consumption at bars and restaurants.

The recommendation from city staff is to leave the current ban on brown bagging. The city sought input in letters to 47 businesses allowing alcohol consumption on premises and got 10 replies. Of those six indicated they were concerned about regulating patron consumption in accordance with the city’s alcohol license regulations should brown bagging be allowed.

The city has also recently learned that Georgia regulations do not allow employees to serve “brown bag” alcohol since the establishments may only get and serve alcohol from licensed wholesale dealers.

Proponents of brown bagging say it allows them to enjoy spirits the establishments don’t offer.

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Submitted by ostarvic on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 11:26pm.

Let's work with what we get what we want!
An ice skating rink? Umm, no. Has anyone visited the girls' softball fields at Meade Park? In case you haven't...Lovejoy puts us to shame! In May Meade sponsored a large tournament for one age division (10U GOLD). Teams came from as far as Orlando, FL. If that one tournament could bring that many teams from so far to our outdated fields; imagine how much revenue an upgraded field (next to the boys and soccer fields) would bring!!!
Girl's Softball is one of the world's fastest growing sports. We are fortunate enough to have some major talent in the area that offers lessons and training facilities. Take advantage of that; don't go shooting for the moon!

Submitted by MYTMITE on Wed, 07/16/2008 - 10:32pm.

We certainly don't need brown bagging. Does the restaurant/bar pay a tax figured on each glass of alcohol served? I know they do in FL. If so, the state would lose the tax on the 'brown bags", besides it is just a bad idea all around. Are we so addicted to one brand that we couldn't substitute a similar brand?

Ice Skating Rink-- Been there done that--if Dar wants a skating rink let him put out the money. We already have a white elephant of a tennis center that has cost us dearly. We are being taxed for everything under the sun--we don't need to add a skating rink to that list.

Lifting Moratorium--No, please no. First Wieland used the ACC as a way to get his foot in the door, now he doesn't want the ACC but wants to overload us with more living space that will be vacant. Please have the guts to say no to this proposal--I feel sure Haddix and Sturbaum will--will Logsdon and his crony along with Plunkett have the guts to say no? Please surprise us Mr. Mayor and vote on the side of the people instead of the developer for once.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Wed, 07/16/2008 - 6:41pm.

And the 3 worst ideas are coming up at the same time.

The winners (meaning loser ideas) are:
Brown bagging, Are you kidding me? What can anyone say that makes this seem like a good idea??

Ice skating? Ice skating that costs us half a million per year? How quickly can we say no.

Wieland's townhones. Real bad idea, but someone at the city must have encouraged him. Kill it or approve it and let's move on. As long as they are not rentals to the low lifes that Alex Thompson and Steve Black brought into our city - let them have it.

carbonunit52's picture
Submitted by carbonunit52 on Wed, 07/16/2008 - 6:51pm.

Brown bagging: I had a lot of fun with this subject when it was being discussed here the first time. Both of the people that want it will probably be at the meeting.

Ice skating rink paid by taxpayers: DOA. But how about a world class bicycle racing track?

Wieland's townhomes: Properly done, townhomes are much more efficient when it comes to resources, and the future does belong to the efficient.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Wed, 07/16/2008 - 6:56pm.

Carbonunit, the problem with increasing the density for multi-family in that area is that there is absolutely no room in the elementary schools to house the onslaught of kids.

The BOE will have to haul in some trailers, which should be known as "Logsdon Lodges" so that our Mayor's sad legacy of shame is remembered long after he retires to the comfort of the Y-Knot.

carbonunit52's picture
Submitted by carbonunit52 on Wed, 07/16/2008 - 7:03pm.

Good point. Zone it for over 55 years of age with no basketball hoops allowed.

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