Haddix on trash and Wieland rezoning

Tue, 11/18/2008 - 4:59pm
By: Letters to the ...

With so many issues in the public eye it seemed to be a good time for another letter to the editor.

Trash and recycling issues are important in the world today. So, when a mandatory Peachtree City recycling program was presented in a workshop, some of us on council began from an opposing position, but were open to new facts that could change our minds. I was vocal over problems I had with this concept.

At the council meeting, when additional information was presented from the audience and council members Doug Sturbaum and Cyndi Plunkett, I proposed making it mandatory all providers be required to offer recycling and trash as a single base service. Three other council members agreed.

That is the best answer for Peachtree City. It gets the cans out there, satisfying an argument that mandating containers encourages recycling, while preserving free market pressures to provide good, solid service or risk losing customers.

It stops the inevitable complaint calls that would end up flooding City Hall, having to manage an opt-out program, the need for trash police, forcing people on limited incomes, who were sharing services, etc., from taking on additional expenses, and more problems and issues that come with government-mandated programs.

Education is the key to recycling, not legal mandate. You cannot force people to do what they do not wish to do. You have to persuade them. Please feel free to email Al Yougel at Keep PTC Beautiful at kptcb@peachtree-city.org or contact Keep Peachtree City Beautiful, 209 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City, GA 30269. Telephone 770-632-3195; FAX 770-631-2533.

Further, the next day I added a stipulation that all trucks must have drip/leak collection pans. That will eliminate the bulk of the mess issues.

The claim a single provider would stop oil and hydraulic fluid leaks by allowing solid identification of the offender never did work for me. You cannot prove the hauler was responsible unless you see the leak happen, which would apply to any hauler, single provider or not.

As for the issue of multiple trucks being eliminated from the roads, first of all, every service requires a truck, so trash and recycling equals two trucks, not one. So trucks on the road will increase for some, even under a single provider.

For those who have multiple providers driving through, getting together with your neighborhood and agreeing on a single provider solves that issue and preserves market service quality pressures.

Further, group negotiations with providers can give reduced price. Again, pressure that if one does not give a quantity discount another will.

Market pressure works. The next morning I was contacted by a provider who said that after the meeting they went to their executives and now they will change their program for Peachtree City to provide recycling with trash at the same cost.

A final note is that the single provider system would have had an almost immediate increase in pricing. It was stated, in the plan, that if greater than a 2 percent opt-out occurred, pricing would need to go up. Far more than 2 percent would opt out due to all the homes that already combine service with neighbors or have other arrangements.

Moving on to the Wieland rezoning request: We have hundreds of homes currently for sale and probably more than the number for sale that either could not sell or could not sell for enough money that are now empty, rented or have owners trapped in them until they can sell.

Add to this, home values are down and declining, so adding more inventory would simply drive values down more.

Also, the requested density is higher than anything else in Peachtree City and I believe higher than has ever been requested before.

Even if we needed homes, I would not vote for this plan and density. Even further, Wieland has withdrawn from the Carolinas, has cut operations about 60 percent and has no intention of doing anything on the 89 acres for a good number of years to come.

This begs the question of why is Wieland pushing for this rezoning and plan approval at this time? To just get past the issue, which would not be the case since after some number of years passed, they would return to adjust the plans to new market and cost conditions.

Is it because he believes the next few councils, at least, will be less willing to grant it than this one? Looking at the last election that is a reasonable reality.

Or because he wants to sell the property to gain liquidity? Having such a rezoning, or one to retail, would make the property more marketable. But selling in this economy? Questionable. Or some other reason?

So, I oppose the rezoning request. There is no justification for this council to handcuff a future council regarding this property, and the property can remain zoned as is until it is known exactly what the best use is, by need, for this property.

If determined to get it out of industrial zoning, I might consider Office/Institution or Estate Residential, meaning 3-acre minimum size per home. Educational, technology, medical and similar usages are good for Peachtree City and residents, of Centennial and elsewhere, I have spoken with, are not opposed to such usage, but are opposed to what Wieland is proposing.

On another subject, we have been working on ordinance changes. Doug and I began the push in January and I have been lead on much of the changes. Currently I have pushed many changes for GC (General Commercial, as in retail areas) and LUC (Limited Use Commercial, as in retail areas but with extras allowed).

But on the issue of capping the height in general retail areas, some on Planning and Mayor Logsdon are in opposition to the cap. Logsdon has said we lack space for more office space and capping at 35 feet hinders getting what we need.

But the fact is an office building in Wisdom Point is virtually empty and has been since construction. Last I heard over 100,000 square feet of office space would be available in Westpark the beginning of next year. There is more construction in Westpark and there are empty buildings in the industrial park, not to mention about 125 acres of pristine land in Wilksmoor.

As for the path across the CSX railroad on Ga. Highway 54, we will have approval in about six months. But then we will probably see the grant money pulled. So we are looking into completing the path ourselves, which means spending Peachtree City money.

On the Wilshire area new retail construction, I am happy to see discussion between GDOT, Peachtree City staff and others resulting in agreements that will give us back 20 feet of buffers.

But I still remain concerned that more safeguards being built into agreements and approvals with developers to give more protection to Peachtree City has not been a standard operating procedure.

Finally, an update on the Line Creek traffic light. It is still under consideration but remains in violation of GDOT standards and thus requires an exemption. But an exemption requires minimal left turn traffic at the light, which it will never have.

Odds are good it will be denied. But that, I expect, will have CCD coming back and wanting to do a connection just to Planterra Way, not the full route to Huddleston, as in the 2001 LCI (Livable Centers Initiative).

From what I can tell from what I have heard, that would also be insufficient to deal with the additional traffic load.

That area of Hwy. 54 is rated D/F, meaning it is failing to meet minimum needs for traffic. As GDOT has noted, adding that light will make the situation even worse, not better.

GDOT has recommended closing the median and adding connections to both the MacDuff light, via the Shoppes, and Planterra Way. But even those numbers do not allow for the traffic impact of the The Shoppes when completed. Nor is a connection to MacDuff doable unless the deed restriction on the land between The Shoppes and CCD is lifted by Pathways.

As for Atlanta Christian College, all is very much up in the air at this time. We are waiting for more information from ACC.

At the same time other potential employers are being pursued or communicated with by the Peachtree and Fayette County development authorities. Anyone who has any knowledge or leads to potential new companies for Peachtree City are encouraged to contact DAPC directly, or I am willing to pass information along to them for you as well.

These are tough times and Peachtree City is not immune. But we are in far better shape than many other communities and can weather this storm is we approach things wisely.

Don Haddix

Peachtree City Council Post 1


Peachtree City, Ga.

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Submitted by Arf on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 9:39am.

I sincerely appreciate your continued communication for the citizens of Peachtree City.

Most of our local leadership seems to continue living in the “bubble” fantasy world that this entire nation has been fooled by for the last decade. The economic crash that has begun nationally has not yet filtered completely down to our area, but there are already many signs even locally that times are changing. Citizens desire and expect leaders who have foresight to prevent problems before they occur, and I am afraid that many of our leaders, both locally and nationally sadly lack such foresight.

The building, growing and developing era is at an end. I am concerned that ‘our town’ will end up with the major issues of vacant stores and office buildings, empty houses and
diminished services. What we need to do now is pull back, look at everything with a fresh and realistic perspective and make decisions that will be best for our area. In the past, Peachtree City was a virtually isolated and self contained community. This was not necessarily better in all ways, but we should now realize isolation and self containment may be forced upon us again in the near future, as many of the larger companies and developers begin experiencing difficulties and pulling out.

Many of our leaders are out of touch with the reality that many locally owned and operated businesses have already begun having problems. Businesses are closing, people are losing their jobs and others are faced with making tough economic decisions.

Your view usually seems to be the most thoughtful and intelligent approach to the matters at hand. Others on the Peachtree City council need to come down out of the clouds and join the rest of us where life really happens.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 10:41am.

I will throw in the comment, here, that Councilman Sturbuam and I agree on these things.

You don't hear from him more because it is understood by many we agree, so why repeat? Plus he is very busy, as well, trying to make the best of the ongoing issues at Panasonic, where he works.

We have been, as you say, looking to the future and working to get a realistic vision in place and trying to move forward. Thus the efforts with DAPC, which includes existing business retention and communications, in example.

We are always open to suggestions and referrals to people, entities and places that can promote the future of PTC. In fact, we have received a number of suggestions, comments and ideas that have been forwarded to DAPC, Staff and/or worked on by ourselves.

With such a skill and knowledge pool as we have in PTC it would be foolish for us to think we alone have all the answers and ideas.

We have some forward thinking ideas for the future. Someday we hope to be able to act on more of them than we have been able to do so to date.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Main Stream's picture
Submitted by Main Stream on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 8:47pm.

I saw this on ABC News tonight regarding an innovative recycling program that was implemented in a community and the citizens are offered an incentive to recycle. The "cash for trash" recycling program gives "points" to households that recycle and the points can be redeemed at local stores, plus, the city saves money by limiting their trash disposal costs. I've provided a link below that outlines the plan.

I've always thought that PTC could enact more innovative programs that are both environmentally friendly yet help to save the city money and this one looks really interesting, and one that the city may want to consider. Also, implementing innovative programs like this help to make communities more attractive to people, and companies, looking for a place to relocate. It's really a win-win for everybody:


Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 9:18pm.

I appreciate any information any one has.

I forwarded the link to Staff for research. City Hall has some resources for this kind of research I do not have at home.


Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 8:18pm.

I always love what you say. You put yourself out there to explain your views, and as always, seem to have the interest of those who elected you, above those of the developers. You make me feel that you represent those with $5.00 in their pocket, as well as those who have $5,000000. Thank you for being a good man.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 9:47pm.

I believe in explaining why, not that I was elected to do what I think and do not have to explain anything to anyone.

For sure I am not one with $5,000,000 pockets or any major fraction thereof.

As for being a good man, I try.

Thank you.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

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