Residents seek closing of cart path

Fri, 11/21/2008 - 4:52pm
By: John Munford

Council: cost of new path is developer’s problem

The Peachtree City Council Thursday night resisted a request to close a cart path that runs through the middle of the Cedarcroft subdivision.

Residents complained the path is used at all hours of the night and has led to vandals damaging residents’ cars, damaging windshield wipers and antennas. The path leads to the nearby Wal-Mart, which is open 24 hours a day.

Two weeks ago a golf cart veered off the path and went through a home’s garage door, said Roch DeGolian, representing Ravin Homes, the developer of Cedarcroft. On a Saturday in the summer there are more than 500 carts using the path, which has impacted the neighborhood, DeGolian said.

Ravin Homes has agreed to remove the path, DeGolian said, with carts being rerouted to the neighborhood’s streets, but council members threw the brakes on that idea.

Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett noted that when the subdivision was first under construction, city officials suggested the path be around the homes but Ravin officials insisted on putting the path through the homes.

“And now you’re here because they’re inconvenient, and I don’t disagree that they’re inconvenient,” Plunkett said. “But the very fact that you’re talking about 500 people using them means they’re using them.”

Plunkett said the residents who are upset with the path problems “should be screaming at the developer.”

“They should be yelling at you all about that. But the fact of the matter is those golf cart paths are part of our community golf cart path system and they’re used,” Plunkett said.

City Engineer David Borkowski said the city would have to make improvements to a nearby tunnel under MacDuff Parkway in order to solve the problem and still get cart traffic to the Wal-Mart.

It would take several hundred feet of new path to make the necessary connection, and it would have to be routed around a detention pond, said City Planner David Rast.

“It’s no simple task,” Rast said.

A resident suggested to allow carts to drive on MacDuff Parkway instead. Rast indicated there would be safety concerns as there are already complaints to the police department about vehicles speeding on MacDuff Parkway.

“My question on this is who would pay for it?” said Councilman Don Haddix. “That’s the issue. If you’re asking the city to pay for it, no. If the developer wants to pay for it, talk to us.”

Plunkett said she understood the problems the Cedarcroft residents were having, but said its the developer’s responsibility to fix.

“Because he did the wrong thing that doesn’t mean the rest of the taxpayers of Peachtree City get to fix it,” Plunkett said. “... Let him fork over the money and fix it. That’s the ultimate accountability isn’t it?”

Mayor Harold Logsdon suggested that Ravin Homes prepare a proposal for the city to consider.

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 123PTCStreet on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 4:26pm.

The finger pointing for Cedarcroft’s problems is at everyone except those who are truly to blame. It’s not the golf cart paths, the number of people using them, or a house’s proximity to them that are the problem, it’s the disrespectful, mostly teen, golf cart drivers of PTC that are the problem. Therefore this is the CITY’S problem, and more directly a law enforcement issue that fails to be recognized for what it is.

I’ve lived in three major cities in my lifetime, and never have I incurred the blatant disrespect from teens as I have here in PTC. They seem to have been given carte blanche by negligent parents and oblivious law enforcement to terrorize the city. While I don’t live in the Cedarcroft subdivision, I have an easement directly through my property for a high-traffic golf cart path, and I consider my neighborhood to be somewhat upscale. I too have been the victim of vandalism on three occasions in the past two years. Golf carts trampling my lawn are an almost daily occurrence. Why wait for the approaching cart to clear the path when you can just drive right over my sod? Littering on my property is a regular occurrence. Privacy fences are not the solution. They only become blank canvases for the trigger-happy teen spray painters. Why are boom boxes even allowed on golf carts? Why aren’t the speed limits enforced on the paths? I have received obscenities when asking speeding teens to slow down. Why isn’t there a curfew in place for underage golf cart drivers?

If it weren’t for these troublemakers, a property’s value would probably increase instead of decrease if it were adjacent to a cart path. What has this city become when blame for crimes committed on the golf cart paths are placed on developers and homeowners “who didn’t know any better” when they bought their houses? Stop blaming the victims and let’s start working on some real solutions!

Submitted by madprof on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 6:45pm.

The builders at Cedarcroft seem to have gotten together with John Weiland to come up with a plan to make their little corner of PTC as profitable as possible by clear-cutting every tree in sight and jamming as many homes as possible into tiny spaces--thereby making a mockery of the landscaping standards of Peachtree City. When they put homes nearly on top of cart paths--with no buffer whatsoever--some of us wondered who would be foolish enough to purchase such residences. Now we know. And I don't want to pay one dime to make this nice for them.

Submitted by McCartneys Dad on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 9:22am.

You keep your dimes "madprof", you'll need them for your anger-management meds. What part of "NO COST" is hard for you to understand? The builder has offered to remove the connectors at HIS expense!!!

Submitted by over it on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 1:37pm.

Again, I live in Cedarcroft and my house sits on this cart path. And I too was at the council meeting and heard all parties sides. I think everyone has made some very good points. I believe this is a problem that both Ravin Homes, the city, and Wieland share together. I acknowledge that Ravin Homes is at fault for putting the cart paths "through" the neighborhood and not "around" like the city initially suggested. Also that Wieland has left a major project unfinished. But I also believe the city is at fault for not enforcing the Wieland tunnel project to be completed. Therefore, leaving these "interior" paths the only legal route for all of Peachtree City to get to the McIntosh Village shopping center. Ravin Homes has stepped up and said that they will fix there problem by removing the neighborhood paths themselves at no cost to the city and the tax payers. Most of us who live on the cart path have agreed to fund the landscape where the paths will be removed. Now all we would like is for the city to step up and enforce Wieland to finish the project they started years ago. Everyone has acknowledged that this is a big problem and needs to be corrected. We all need to acknowledge our mistakes and do what we can to work together to correct it. The city, Ravin and Wieland. As A Cedarcroft resident on the cart path, all we are doing is pleading for a little help and support on getting this done.

Submitted by McCartneys Dad on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 1:33pm.

There are two issues here: Routing the path around CedarCroft sub-division & Closing two small sections that cut through lots within the sub-division.
The first issue is the larger, costly but necessary solution. This need is the result of poor planning and forward-thinking by both the builders and council/planners. The redundant bridge and tunnel are a joke and an embarrassment and should have been completed/connected years ago. These both effect ALL PTC residents/voters (yes, I said VOTERS).
At this particular council meeting the main request was not to address the larger issue, but to first consider the removal of two small stretches of path that cut between properties within the development. Cindy Plunkett was quite animated in her refusal to consider this request, even though the builder offered to pay for it! One of these cut-throughs has been closed off for the past 2 months, due to path/new construction conflicts. It has been nice to be able to sleep during this period and not hear the rivet-shaking boom boxes playing as gas-powered carts whiz by my bedroom window, less than 10 feet from this cut-through at 2am on a Sunday morning. It has been nice to be able to walk my dog on my own lawn, without unruly teenagers trying to drive on my grass, rather than wait for a cart coming the other way to pass, almost hitting my dog in the process. Last year a teenager dropped a firecracker as he passed by my mailbox and set light to the entire piece of grass between the sidewalk and road. If an alert neighbor had not put it out, it could have skipped to my main lawn and my house would have been a gonna. It has been nice not to get an earful of obscenities when we ask that some of these carts slow down as they hit our curbside loudly, entering our “what should be” quiet Cul-de-Sac.
With these small sections closed, there is almost no inconvenience to drive around the block instead (maybe 45 seconds longer). Has the council REALLY had so many complaints about this? These roads are very slow by car (25MPH) and are not dangerous to drive on with a golf cart, so what's the big deal?
We are fed up being treated as a garbage can for litter, and we DO have six-foot privacy fences, but they do not keep out that kind of noise and do not wrap around the front part of our houses.
Living next to Wal-Mart did not used to be so bad, but as more and more carts learn of the short-cut through our houses, the worse this gets.

Submitted by ptcmom45 on Sun, 11/23/2008 - 7:47pm.

I live in the Cedarcroft subdivision and it is a wonderful neighborhood. We do not have an issue with the majority of the golf paths in the subdivision, only one, the one that leads to Wal-Mart. I think the city should have some responsibility for an alternate route. There should have been from the get go, more than one way on the golf path to get to Wal-mart. While the golf path to Wal-mart is great for us living in Cedarcroft, I would rather see it rerouted around the neighborhood. My personal opinion - the City should have the bulk of the responsibility for an alternate path. They should have seen this coming, its WAL-MART and thats where the majority of people shop. For the people that are commenting about building homes next to the golf path, HELLO all the subdivision in PTC have homes next to golf paths.

Submitted by Arf on Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:41pm.

The developer may have made some mistakes in wanting a cart path through the subdivision, but it seems that the future plans for the area concerning golf carts was different when the subdivision was put in.

I've traveled by golf cart from both Kedron in the north and Braelinn in the south and from another subdivision in the Cedar Croft area as well. Coming from all directions and going to Walmart and Home Depot, you almost have to go on the Cedar Croft path. There is a bridge that just sits there, and a tunnel elsewhere than also just sits. Both of these path projects would have alleviated the need for everyone going to Walmart to go through Cedar Croft.

Even though I think the Cedar Croft developer could have used better judgment - maybe to the point of insuring that the paths circumvented and went behind homes - but it also seems that this path wasn't supposed to be the only way to get to our great big boxes. I think that the city also has some responsibility for this situation of poor planning.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sun, 11/23/2008 - 7:07pm.

The access across CSX/54 was delayed due to errors mainly by GDOT. The final permits are due in about 4 or 5 months. Since it looks like the State grant money will not be there, due to cut backs, we will probably have to pay for completing it.

Other accesses across 74 cannot be added until the widening is finished.

The tunnel issue on McDuff was created when another developer began a project and backed out. We invite Raven to finish it.

Simply put, there is no way for PTC to add more access at this time. And even adding these other paths will not cure all the issues Cedarcroft is now upset about.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by UrKidding on Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:05pm.

Will add to this problem as this development include a large number of homes on small acreage. It also connects residents that it's a long ride to Wal-Mart now so likely are taking their cars today. I agree this is not a tax payer dollar problem but something the residents and Ravin need to get a solution to and fast.

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Sun, 11/23/2008 - 1:16pm.

According to this, on a Saturday this last summer, 500 carts used this path. If that is true, how many of them came from south of Hwy 54 to GET to WalMart and Home Depot? There is only one legal way to get there, folks, from south of 54. And that is over the Hwy 74 bridge just south of Wisdom Rd. and into Cedarcroft.
Again, again, again, this is all related to the boondoggle of the lack of cart access to the tunnels on 54 at The Avenue, the Bridge To Nowhere there and no tunnell access at Paschall Rd. and Hwy 74. Get that project done and I bet you cut the traffic thru Cedarcroft by at least one third. Yes, there are developer "after the fact issues" here, but give all the rest of us another alternative and we will take it, gladyl!

Submitted by Nitpickers on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 4:51am.

All of these problems are coming from our town management allowing development without using their brain to determine location of cart paths.

Want to know why???

They don't want any more cart paths to be responsible for and keep up!

Why don't they do everything like the Tennis Center was screwed up: hire outsiders to run it for a profit!
The paths could then have toll booths! Also, fake cops.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 5:41am.

The city government has actively been limiting any obligation for any kind of serious maintenance for years. Understandable with budget shortfalls - wait until next year!

But in Cedarcroft's case, the underlying problem is the contentious relationship between city and builder (who is the developer unwillingly). Two lawsuits came out of the builder against the city. The first was to get the approval to build. Zoning was commercial which allowed multi-family. City said no to single-family. Builder sold the front to the apartment developer. Court ruled against the city. Builder then had a contract to sell the back to another apartment developer. City said please don't. Cedarcroft was the compromise. Second suit was over the width of McDuff Parkway - not sure how that ended, but you can obviously see the road is too narrow if it is going to connect to 74 and be a shortcut.

My guess is that if it were Pathways or Wieland or favorite son McMurrain, there would be city money fixing the problem. Haddix will say no, but he doesn't know the history and he doesn't control the staff where these issues either begin and grow out of control or get handled quietly - depending upon who you are.

By the way, do some research before you buy a house. The subdivision and what surrounds it is far more important than the house itself.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sun, 11/23/2008 - 11:25am.

A lot was said on this issue at the Council Meeting. My purpose here is not rehash it all, just address key points.

I have had an email exchange with a Cedarcroft HOA official, in which my bottom line was I do care about the residents in Cedarcroft, this was a developer generated problem, this affects a lot more than Cedarcroft residents and there needs to be a payed for plan that will fix all the issues, not some. He agreed to work on one and then, as I stated, bring it to David Rast and copy it to me.

If a workable plan, it will be brought back to Council. I do not believe anyone on Council is unwilling to approve an acceptable plan.

As David Rast stated, this is not a simple issue when it comes to creating an alternate route.

The tunnel mentioned was part of a project by another developer who backed out of the project before it was completed. So there is, in example, about 200' of path to lay to connect the tunnel to the rest of the system. This is not a PTC project to complete.

Redirecting golf carts onto any portion of McDuff is not an acceptable solution.

Council has also received more emails opposed to allowing the removal of any portion of the existing path until an appropriate alternative is in place, than supporting it. For some this path, in these hard economic times, is the only access they have to Walmart for grocery shopping.

While open to a plan to resolve the issues Cedarcroft is incurring, it cannot create issues for even greater numbers of other citizens or be out of step with PTC.

Bottom line, we need a paid for plan that works.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by over it on Sat, 11/22/2008 - 11:26pm.

Just so you all know, I actually live on this cart path and we DO have a privacy fence. It does not help. It's unfortunate that there are too many irresponsible people who let their teens run wild in this town at all hours of the night blaring inappropriate music and doing illegal things. Not to mention trying to jump over our privacy fences, vandalizing our privacy fences, running into a house with a golf cart, driving through our yards, and the list goes on and on. Our children have to be subjected to this 24 hours a day being that it is the main path leading to the largest 24 hour retailer in Peachtree City. We're not asking that the golf carts use the roads instead of the paths. I have lived in Peachtree City for 20 years and LOVE the path system just like everyone else. This is one of the few neighborhoods that have "internal" paths and the closest neighborhood to like I said...the largest 24 hour retailer in Peachtree City. So you can only imagine what we have to deal with all day and night. We love these paths, and it has been very convenient obviously, but I am more than willing to drive a re-routed path and it take an extra 2.5-3 minutes to go around to make it safer and have a better lifestyle rather than directly through my neighborhood to get to the Wal-Mart shopping center. (And if you cant spare an extra 2.5-3 minutes, you should be in your car...not a golf cart). There is a tunnel already built in place next to the new discount tire that has never been in use. All we were asking at the city council meeting was for that tunnel to be finished and in use to give the golf carts another route to Wal-mart to allow us to close the "internal" paths of our neighborhoods and make it a safer place to live for us and our children. Doesn't everyone want Peachtree city to be a safe place for their kids? Isn't this why a lot of us love this city so much? Hopefully you all can understand this and support this. Thanks.

Submitted by skyspy on Sun, 11/23/2008 - 6:00pm.

Living on the cart path is a liability for the most part. It is not a bonus. Many people have added security cameras. You can get the wirless remote kind from Sportys Preferred Living or your security company. If you call the Sheriff's Dept. they will give you some good advice on types of cameras and which ones are the easiest for them to obtain evidence from. Good luck.

k0bra's picture
Submitted by k0bra on Sat, 11/22/2008 - 11:01pm.

hilarious. it's no one's fault but the homeowners and the developers. it's peachtree city.. there's paths all over behind and in front of houses. get over it and move somewhere else. perhaps a new house with more space in between.

1and1isnt3's picture
Submitted by 1and1isnt3 on Sat, 11/22/2008 - 12:34pm.

"when the subdivision was first under construction, city officials suggested the path be around the homes but Ravin officials insisted on putting the path through the homes." If Plunkett can prove this statement, then it is obviously the developers responsibility to fix. I am awed that with all of PTC's petty rules there aren't a boatload specifying just how many inches a cart path can be from a private residence.
Never the less, in a case like this where a developer shows a complete lack of common sense, perhaps the "suggestion" could have been made a little more strenuously. Now there is a legitimate problem that won't be fixed by finger pointing, and the council is involved even if it isn't responsible.

Submitted by forteiii on Sat, 11/22/2008 - 9:48am.

Just put up a privacy fence, and stop complaining.

Submitted by America on Sat, 11/22/2008 - 8:14am.

Let’s move to PTC and enjoy the golf cart paths. But not in my neighborhood. Let’s buy a house virtually on top of the cart path and tell people they can not use it. Raven Homes wants to close all the paths that link our path system. Let’s drive down MacDuff and have someone get killed because Raven Homes is too ignorant to work out their own problems with what they conceive as a problem. How about the other neighborhoods that accept and enjoy the path system that runs in the neighborhood that they live. Such as myself. Yes, at times we have unruly people drive to fast or drop garbage on the street but this is a small negative in an awesome idea that is enjoyed by a lot of us. If Raven Homes wants to cry then let them pay for alternatives or start a neighborhood watch. With the way the housing market is they should have extra time on their hands. Good job this time city council in your decision and reprimand of the fools at Raven Homes.

rzz's picture
Submitted by rzz on Fri, 11/21/2008 - 7:15pm.

I mean they were told to not route the path through the homes but did anyway. I've driven through there several times and wouldn't want a path that close to my house either. Hope they can work out a good solution.

Submitted by Bonkers on Sat, 11/22/2008 - 9:02am.

A standard PTC wooden fence in many cases solves the problem. If not some high, close together shrubbery works.

The town would allow a deviation for building these fences, etc., I think, due to the actual property owner's surveyed line is usually a coinsiderable distance from the path. That might make a fence or shrubbery a little close to the house----so use slim growing Cyprus.

Unless the path is "ON" the property of the owner, I see no fault for the developer here.
This sort of far ahead thinking is as much the buyer's responsibility as the developer. Not many even do that kind of thinking anymore anyway. It is ME, TODAY.

yellowjax1212's picture
Submitted by yellowjax1212 on Sat, 11/22/2008 - 10:36am.

Sorry Bonkers but if you have seen the part of the path that is in question there is no room for a privacy fence or green buffer. You can literally reach out and touch the houses on either side of the cart path just before it begins its climb up the hill to WalMart. Seems to me that Ravin Homes should have built one less home on those lots and allowed for the room to line the path with trees or shrubs or, of course they could have just built the path where the council suggested in the first place. But lets not let the homeowners off the hook took easily. If you could buy any home in the neighborhood, why would you pick one that sits so close to a path that leads to a 24-7 WalMart? Ironically there are still a lots lots open in the neighborhood but once they get to buildout the path will cause the same problems in other areas. Fix it now Ravin before there is no more land in the development to accommodate re-routing the path.

Submitted by mrpeterg on Fri, 11/21/2008 - 10:45pm.

Builder needs to live with it. If they want a solution let them pay for it.

Submitted by TomCat on Sat, 11/22/2008 - 11:39am.

This path is too close to these houses - but WHO let that happen? The path was likely there first so where are reasonable set-backs. Thanks to GREEDY builders who lack fore-sight, class or concern for quality-of-life issues. They operate from the plan of: 1) Cut it down, 2) Dig it up, 3) Pave it over, and 4)Get the Money - and RUN!! Also, with so much land still vacant, WHO buys a house on top of a path. Seems like a lot of lack of thought all around.

"The Cat is loose...."

Submitted by ATLtoPTC on Fri, 11/21/2008 - 5:43pm.

I also find it convenient that Cedarcroft wants to get rid of the cart paths in its neighborhood after the builder built a new home that literally sits on one of the paths (can you say "oops"?). I bet it's cheaper and more convenient for him to get rid of the cart path than move the house.

Well, if they want out of the path system, then the builder needs to pay for the construction of alternate paths - plain and simple. The path system is what makes PTC a unique community - if you didn't want to be part of the path system, then you shouldn't have built your neighborhood here. Many other neighborhoods have high golf cart traffic going through their neighborhoods; the difference is that Ravin homes chose to put their homes literally right next to or right ON the cart paths. I'm surprised that there isn't a code ordinance that would require the builder to have more of a buffer between a cart path and the side of a house.

In my opinion, the problem is the builder's problem, NOT the city's problem.

Comment viewing options

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