344 homes on 88 acres?

Tue, 09/09/2008 - 3:00pm
By: John Munford

PTC planners worry quarter-acre lots make Wieland parcel too dense; what about a school, resident asks

In addition to 344 homes on an 88-acre tract, John Wieland Homes is proposing to include “pocket parks” and three recreation fields as part of its rezoning proposal for a Peachtree City West Village subdivision.

The parcel is located off Ga. Highway 74 across from south Kedron Drive, but hopes of connecting the subdivision to the highway have been scuttled by CSX railroad, which likely will close the at-grade crossing located at the former cable company building on the site.

Instead, the subdivision will be accessed via three road entrances that will lead to MacDuff Parkway and the adjacent planned “Connector Village” subdivision. MacDuff Parkway is being extended northward from its current terminus to Senoia Road to provide a link with Hwy. 74. The road extension features a bridge over the railroad tracks that will also feature a golf cart lane, Fields said.

That road extension must be completed before any certificates of occupancy are allowed by the city for Connector Village, city staff noted.

The parcel is currently zoned for industrial use but the city’s land use plan notes it should be developed as office space.

Commission Chairman Marty Mullin said he didn’t think the property is suitable for office usage because it’s “too far off the beaten path.”

The rezoning includes 58 condominium units, but those can be removed from the plan if the city wishes, Wieland Vice President Dan Fields told the planning commission Monday night. Several city council members previously have remarked that the council is unlikely to approve any new condominium projects.

The site plan also includes 161 single-family attached homes, otherwise known as townhomes, and Fields showed visual images of three-story townhomes, one of which had five units side-by-side. There is a demand in the real estate market for that maintenance-free type of lifestyle, Fields said.

The townhome areas would be surrounded by single family detached homes, he added.

Resident Beth Pullias said as dense as the subdivision is proposed that Wieland has a responsibility to make sure an elementary school is built in the area.

A nearby site in Wieland’s Centennial subdivision off MacDuff Parkway has currently been offered to the Fayette County Board of Education by Wieland but the offer expires next year. Should the site not be developed as a school in the future, Wieland is required to deed it to the city to be preserved as open space.

Currently the land is zoned for students to attend Kedron Elementary School, Flat Rock Middle School and Sandy Creek High School. Kedron Elementary, Pullias noted, is on the other side of Ga. Hwy. 74, unlike Crabapple Lane Elementary, which is on the same side of Hwy. 74 but further north.

“That’s a huge issue,” Pullias said. “You shouldn’t dismiss it.”

The development will be phased in over a 10-year period, Wieland has indicated, suggesting that the attached housing will add “fewer than one student per home based on the applicant’s experience in similar neighborhoods.”

Fields noted that the subdivision would be limited to having no more than 10 percent of its units on the rental market via restrictive covenants. But one Peachtree City resident noted that another local condo complex has residents “get around” such language due to alleged hardship cases that are allowed.

The site plan includes a 150-foot buffer along the CSX railroad track and also a pool, exercise facility and tennis courts. All of those, plus landscaping of the pocket parks, will be paid for by the homeowner’s association, Fields said.

Fields said the company has sold all its homes along the railroad tracks in the Centennial subdivision.

Commissioner Patrick Staples said he was concerned about the proposed density of the site.

“My gut tells me it’s too many,” Staples said, noting that he understands the demand for the townhome product.

Staples said he was also concerned about monotony in the project, as the plan featured five similarly-designed “pods.”

Mullin said the architecture of the site will be key to preventing the repetition that Staples is concerned about.

“You’re still lacking in integration,” said Commissioner Theo Scott. “It’s still not there.”

City Planner David Rast said the city may not have the need for the additional sports fields proposed, but perhaps a passive park along the lines of Drake Field would be welcomed.

The sports fields would have to be accessed by driving through the subdivision, creating a potential traffic concern, Rast noted.

Mullin suggested to make the parks larger and decrease the density of the site.

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ftp's picture
Submitted by ftp on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 9:16am.

I live off Mac Duff and have for 5 years now. During my entire stay in the city, there has been non-stop construction of some sort between my home and my office. My 3 mile commute takes 30 minutes or more at the end of a work-day. That is absurd! The widening of 54 was supposed to alleviate this and has not made a change at all. We get tired of dump trucks going 20 MPH in rush hour, dropping rocks, pipes, mud, and debris all over. We get tired of unskilled construction workers cutting trunk lines and wiping out phone service to entire neighborhoods. We get tired of being blocked from our neighborhoods because some genius has cut gas line. We get tired of getting 12 MPG in a car that normally gets 25+ MPG because I just sit in traffic non-stop. I get tired of construction workers whistling at my wife on her afternoon walk. I get tired of seeing those same “skilled” workers sleeping in the woods at the end of the day. We get tired of driving to the car was in heavy traffic to wash our cars (because of watering ban), then to have it covered with mud and debris from the ride home. We get tired of seeing a tire store being built, 1000 feet from another one that is failing. We only need the tire stores because the construction of them drops nails all over the roads. We get tired of seeing new strip malls going 12-24 months with no tenants, yet more get built. If I want to go to Kohls, I’ll drive to Newnan. The city allowed a Best Buy to be built 5 feet from the graves of loved ones, which is pretty disrespectful in my opinion.

Get it together folks. This is senseless growth, opposite of the sales pitch we were given when re-locating here. Tell Ram Development: No more Strip Malls until you successfully lease the others. Tell Wieland Homes: No more homes until you can build one that doesn’t fall apart in a few years and hire workers who don’t need to sleep in the woods. It gets old. Nobody wants to deal with this existing traffic mess after a long day at the office, it makes people angry. This is not the plan that was pitched to so many that bought homes here many years ago. This is why people are moving “away” and not “to”. More homes to choose from drives the prices down. Driving the prices down lowers the quality of the clients. Lower quality clients spend less money at lower quality stores. It is a vicious downward cycle that has already started. The profit center has strayed from the city and its quality businesses, to the builders and their suppliers who live elsewhere. Less income for the city means less police, fire, rescue, and education.

Just my $.02 from a transplant who will soon be moving to Newnan, Sharpsburg, or Senoia to get away from this mess.

Submitted by Arf on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:16am.

FTP, I couldn’t agree with you more. I also live off of MacDuff and I basically love the area. However, I’ve only been there a short while and I guess I’m naïve in thinking that it will be nice and peaceful ‘once all this construction mess is done with.’ I guess you are right that the ‘construction mess’ has been going on for more than the 5 years you have lived there. The Wieland proposal and the rezoning and annexation will just drag all of that out for another 10 years. I do like the area for the most part, but…if I had thought about all of the construction and traffic problems, I would have rethought. Right now, I would not choose Wilksmoor to live in and I would not recommend it to anyone else either. All the talk of living closer to where you work? I work right outside of Fayetteville, 12 miles from home. Most days it takes me 15 minutes to get the first ten miles toward home. Then, it takes another 20 or 25 minutes to get from the Wyndham to MacDuff, waiting in a line of cars through light after light after light. My commute and my gas mileage was better when I drove from PTC to Roswell Road every day.

Several times a day, I am reminded of the incredibly dumb retail development going on in the area as I notice all of the VACANT and FOR LEASE signs right across the street from more and more going up. I still cannot understand why all of this has been allowed.

Do we need more cars trying to get from Highway 54 in to and out of Wilksmoor by building more and more homes? Absolutely not. And how does anyone, including Wieland, think that there is any demand for homes in PTC anyway, much less demand for homes on an island that will be stuck from coming and going? And do we need more retail stores where those that are leased bring in more traffic from workers and customers? And do we need more dark parking lots near our homes where criminals can meet and plan their dirty deeds? I attended Wieland planning meetings about this project. They did a nice sales job, and everything sounded pretty good. I even liked the idea of the Wieland project at one time. But…not now, now here and maybe not anywhere close by ever. Things are definitely changing.

As a long time PTC resident, I used to say that the quality of life was as good for my 14 year old daughter in 1999 as it was for my oldest at 14 in 1986. The entire city has changed so drastically for the worse that I don’t think I could make that comment today.

I’ve written before and it hasn’t done any good, but one more time…


cowtipn's picture
Submitted by cowtipn on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 9:48am.

Congrats on having a hot wife. Pictures?

ftp's picture
Submitted by ftp on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:18am.

You want rated G or R? (wink wink, nudge nudge)

It's not just my wife. It's the wifes others, school girls, and anything that walks. It kinda reminds me of Brooklyn, except they spoke English in Brooklyn.

All Smiles's picture
Submitted by All Smiles on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 5:26am.

Wait a minute! The plan sounds beautiful! But let me see if I get this right. Peachtree City residents will ride a bus, passing other bus stops with children waiting to go to JC Booth Middle School and McIntosh High School and ride further onto Flat Rock Middle School and Sandy Creek High School? While Sandy Creek has so much more to offer, not just in academics, but more useful tools for real life than does McIntosh I don't see this ever flying with most the residents of Peachtree City.
Before planning something like this, let's make sure our infrastructure is built first. Don't put the horse before the cart!

Submitted by mcg on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 8:19am.

All Smiles, I have a question about your comments. Are you suggesting that we need to build another middle school and high school before we allow the building of these homes, or are you suggesting that the children who will move into this development should displace the children that are already attending Booth and McIntosh? I know that McIntosh is already full, so we can't send these new students there. I definitely do not want my children displaced to Sandy Creek to make room for the new students. If the parents who buy homes in this new development don't want their children being bussed to Flat Rock and Sandy Creek, then they shouldn't buy homes there. When we bought our home, one of the most important considerations was where our children would attend school. We cannot and should not displace present students to accommodate children in these new homes.

I do know that the BOE was stating a couple of weeks ago that there were no available "seats" in our county's high schools, so I do agree that we need to build our infrastructure before adding new homes and students. I don't think this development should be approved. But if it is, I don't want to hear the parents who buy homes in this new development complaining about their children being bussed to Flat Rock and Sandy Creek.

Submitted by Y oh Y on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 2:37pm.

Weiland is going to make ( and has made ) hundreds of millions on his PTC projects. When the Annexation was going on John himself came to council and said that he was looking to make the connector village and such his lasting legacy.

Ok John we agree Donate John Weiland High and Dan Fields middle School on top of Centennial Elem. and I think you will find that all of PTC can agree on that. If not....

We supported the annexation for the road, what have you done for us lately?

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 09/09/2008 - 9:13pm.

I thought the previous zonings on the westside were much too dense. This request for 344 units on 88 acres is insanity.

It is getting tougher to point at Coweta County's reckless growth as a source of our future traffic/school/quality of life problems when we consider absurd plans like this one.

Submitted by dkinser on Tue, 09/09/2008 - 10:21pm.


I find it ironic that roughly 4 years ago you called me, emailed me, and recommended that I get copies of council minutes to be used to support this annexation (specifically Judi Rutherford's votes). At that time it was your "baby" and you were all for it, or so it seemed on the surface.

After the voters removed you as Mayor of Peachtree City, your tone changed, in fact, the classic political reversal happened. Now you cry it is too dense, not appropriate, not needed. I'm sure you are rallying your "troops" that are currently on your email list to support this cause of yours.

Let's keep things in perspective. You approached the developer about annexing this property. You helped push this agenda. Now you push against it. And in all of the discussions that were held, with me, with Centennial HOA, you were 110% for this.

Can you please explain which side of the tracks your on?

Dana Kinser

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 11:28am.

Classic Brown flip flop.

But I agree, if they want this many homes on the 88 acres, just leave it industrial and let it sit.

rzz's picture
Submitted by rzz on Tue, 09/09/2008 - 7:35pm.

Doesn't give a crap about our town. What about 80 single family homes? Think ole'Johnny boy would go for that? Heck no! I say hell no to John Wieland.

Submitted by dkinser on Tue, 09/09/2008 - 10:55pm.

Since you hide behind 3 initials, I can't address you by name. But I will ask these questions:

1. If you were a businessman/woman, and I assume you are not due to your topic here; would you be in business long if you ran it giving away things as many here seem to feel Wieland should?

2. Do you even attend City Council meetings regarding any of these issues?

3. Did you attend any of the 89 acre Task Force Committee meetings where all of this was discussed for months (this one I can answer as I was on the committee and attendance was small. Typically the committee itself)?

While not agreeing with Ms. Pullias on many topics, I do respect her for taking the time to attend these meetings, educating herself on the issues at hand, and not just throwing a random rant out about a businessman trying to make money.

Last I checked, most businesses in the US today are FOR profit businesses.

Dana Kinser

ftp's picture
Submitted by ftp on Fri, 09/12/2008 - 1:22am.

1) Please do not make assumptions, everything is not as it seems. Yes, I do run a portion of a large business and understand profit on that level and well beyond. I do not have a problem with profit, it's the American way. However, I do have a problem with the builders who sold folks (not I) here homes 10 years ago with the main concept of "limited growth" and "the best schools with great teacher to student ratios". They charged a premium for this concept, and that is what their customers expected. But, 10 years later they are contributing to the clogging of the schools, painful traffic (this coming from a former LA/NYC/Detroit driver), and generally driving the scenery into the ground. Who wants to be stuck behind cement trucks every time you go somewhere? I can hardly wait until the sound walls go up on MacDuff. My favorite part is the pickup bed load of “workers” spitting all over the place when I am taking business guests to dinner. It just gets old. It's not what was promised to so many not too many moons ago.

2) Not everyone who is irritated by things complains. Some people run themselves into the ground to accomplish nothing. At the end of the day, the city will have to come up with the tax revenue to support the already existing school problems, growing crime, traffic congestion, and all the other nuances that will come along with the growth. I do not have the time to attend council meetings, and honestly do not think it’s going to help. The city is going to do what will generate the funds they need. I do not think there is anything you, I, or any of our fellow gripe-a-thon members can do. In my opinion, it’s a lost cause already. I’ll buy new tires when I get drywall screws in them. I’ll continue to patronize businesses that I can get to easier (not in PTC). I’ll leave earlier and earlier for work and the airport. And when our growing company re-locates other executives here, I’ll share my opinion when asked. Eventually, I will get tired of all that. At that time, I’ll buy a house elsewhere and be done with it. Two or three weekends of house shopping is much easier than sitting in meetings debating topics than minion citizens as we are cannot derail.

3) Please refer to #2. No, I did not attend those meetings. I read the Cliffs Notes and move on. For every upset voice you DO hear, there are dozens that pack up and move on in silence and go enjoy their life. It’s wasted energy to me.


Submitted by MYTMITE on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 1:53pm.

Weilamd should have the right to make money. We as a community should have the right to keep him from ruining our community. His not getting his way only means he will either have to change his plans and make less money or sell the property and go on to another endeavor. For us, if he gets his way, it will mean congestion, overcrowded schools, empty buildings, possibilty of more accidents and too many more to enumerate. Who's rights should prevail?

Submitted by PTC Avenger on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 7:43pm.

What a wreckless and destructive sentiment. You're the personification of a "filthy capitalist pig."

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 10:28am.

I don't want unfettered growth either, but your last statement is a doozie. There is absolutely nothing wrong with for profit capitalism. There is plenty wrong with socialism and its creeping totalitarianism. The government, whether local, state, or federal, gets corrupted by monied influence and makes bad decisions for personal gain. There is nothing capitalistic about corruption. Most socialistic governments are more corrupt. We should fight the pervasive corruption, not the ability to make a profit.

Submitted by jackyldo on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 10:33am.

Capitalism and Socialism and every major industrial nation in Europe has a higher standard of living than American does. I don't think you can say Governments in England, Holland, France, Germany or Scandanavia are more corrupt and they provide far more for their people the we do.

cowtipn's picture
Submitted by cowtipn on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 1:46pm.

They also get taxed at 50-75% to pay for it.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 11:37am.

Eurpoe is the birthplace of socialism and creeping more so into totalitarianism every day. How so...? Liberties are chipped away from individuals in the name of the public good. Their corruption is in the name of the public good, regulators and bureaucrats make more and more decisions, and options become more and more limited.

Don't use Europe as a model. They are a generation or two from being completely subsumed by another culture. One that they are increasing reluctant to confront. Bread and circuses will not last forever. Eventually, they (and we as we copy them)will not be able to finance it.

Fred Garvin's picture
Submitted by Fred Garvin on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 11:07am.

There's that socialistic "government provides" thinking that is invading American thought with every Obama speech.

Government doesn't "provide" anything. They take by force from the productive and redistribute to the unproductive.

Compare the unemployment rate in Europe to the U.S. and get back to us.

Submitted by mgarlow on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 2:41pm.

Tell you what. You check out how much of our t-bills China owns? Who is the biggest provider for floating our national debt. Why did the Feds bail out Freddie and Fanny - I'll tell you. The government of China said that the US better square up those outfits because they want their money (they own most of the paper). The Chinese get paid, while the US investors don't. So, who is in charge? Tell me who we are in hock to, for how much, and if they sold all of their holdings in US institutions, what would become of us? Go ahead and rant and rave, but we are no longer in control of our own destiny. Who got us into this mess anyway? W and his boys.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 3:04pm.

The govt taking over Freddie and Fannie made their estimated 375billion investments almost worthless. Now, if you are suggesting that maybe the USA is still going to slip the Chinese some of the 375+ they originally had at one time invested in these two giant losers, maybe so. Details aren't really known yet as to how the US is going to handle the unsecured bonds that China, Japan and others hold worth around 1.5 trillion bucks. What is known is that before the govt takeover, china was dumping Fannie Mae as fast as possible and at extremely low prices. That suggests that the Chinese aren't expecting a big bailout of their unsecured investments since they were trying to sell them off ASAP.

To China, the US is already "too big to fail." If they dumped all of their US investments, the world economy would be almost immediately destroyed, which doesn't help the Chinese at all either. This is also the same reason why China buys oil with US dollars instead of the Euro. China is so deep into the US that they cannot have the US completely fail.

I agree it's a sorry state of affairs for Americans, being a debtor nation beholden to whoever will buy our inflated paper. Now, these others have been switching into more tangible investments like land and buildings because they have reached their threshold for American paper investments.

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