Controversial PTC traffic light on hold

Tue, 12/23/2008 - 4:51pm
By: John Munford

A development agreement for a new shopping center on Ga. Highway 54 West spells it out clearly: Peachtree City agrees not to oppose the application for a traffic light at Hwy. 54 and Line Creek Drive that would serve the development.

But the city now is being asked by Capital City Development to approve a permit for that traffic light.

Though the development agreement requires the city to not oppose the traffic light, it turns out the city technically has to apply for the traffic light from the Georgia Department of Transportation because of DOT rules, said Mayor Harold Logsdon.

“If we don’t sign the permit, we are in effect opposing it,” Logsdon said. “We’d be in violation of that agreement. That’s my opinion, not a legal opinion.”

Logsdon said at last week’s City Council meeting that installing the traffic light is the right thing to do for “the best interests of Peachtree City.” Logsdon said he feared CCD would go back to the drawing board and come up with a less-pleasing development than is currently required under the special use permit.

Councilman Don Haddix is of the opinion that without the traffic light the development will fall flat because large regional stores don’t want to locate on property that has difficulty with traffic access.

“Citizens have expressed really clearly that they don’t want this light. And they don’t want the development that’s the purpose of this light,” Haddix said. “The purpose of this light is to enable an oversized development they could never have with the GC (general commercial) rezoning.”

Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett said CCD is asking the city to do more than what’s required under the development agreement. She said there were several issues that need to be cleared up before she could vote on the matter, including the actual distance between the proposed light and the existing ones on either side at Planterra Way and MacDuff Parkway. The distance was estimated at 600 feet by city staff.

Also in question is whether anything can be done to improve traffic at the Planterra intersection, which is currently graded as an “E” and will fall to an “F” even if the traffic light is installed. Traffic is graded on a scale from “A” to “F” much like the grades issued in schools. An “A” rating is the best and an “F” rating is the worst.

According to CCD’s traffic study, flow at the Planterra intersection will become even worse if the shopping center is built, and the traffic light is not installed. There was a suggestion that without the traffic light vehicles would go to MacDuff Parkway to U-turn so they can double back to the shopping center.

Any traffic light request approved by the city should also include a request to have all the lights on Hwy. 54 West resynchronized, Plunkett said.

“And we need to do whatever we can to make sure based on that synchronization that traffic doesn’t back up on 54,” Plunkett said.

Logsdon said there’s no doubt that even without the light the shopping center would ultimately be developed.

“There’s so much traffic on 54,” Logsdon said. “Developers want to build where there’s a lot of traffic and there is a lot of traffic. And a lot of it is just standing still, unfortunately,” Logsdon said.

One resident complained that the CCD traffic study did not show the impact the traffic light would have on flow along the Hwy. 54 West corridor.

Another resident, whose subdivision backs up to the proposed shopping center, urged the City Council to approve the light.

Tim Lydell lives in Cardiff Park, which abuts directly to the rear of the shopping center. He was on a citizen’s committee that worked to improve the shopping center.

“We’ve worked very hard to get a development that is reasonably satisfactory,” Lydell said. “It ain’t what we want but it’s better than what we could have. ... I have to live next door to it. If a light has to go in there to accomplish this, then OK, I guess I have to live with it. I go through that area every single day.”

Lydell said this development has been very divisive and he thinks the current plan is the best one.

“Please don’t poop in the water and make this worse,” Lydell said.

The latest version of the shopping center’s development plans shows a 42,000-square-foot building along Hwy. 54; the plan identifies the store as a Publix grocery store.

But a Publix may not be a tenant at the shopping center after all, Haddix said.

At Thursday night’s council meeting, Haddix said that he spoke to an executive in charge of the Southeast U.S. region for Publix, and he was informed that the grocer has no plans for a store at the Line Creek center.

“They have no knowledge, by him or any of his staff, about any Publix coming here,” Haddix said.

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Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 11:44am.

Some added information:


No, we do not have to approve this light per the Development Agreement.

For full site and more information on this issue, please click link in sig line.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 4:19pm.

Under the heading of:, “We have some additional engineering feedback, from LAI, which is CCD's firm, on the impact of the proposed light. In summary”, you list:

“Access to such as Planterra Way is not available. They were evaluated and rejected as options.”

Access to Planterra Way IS not only available but is specifically listed as a condition for future development for that area of town.

Additionally, who are you referring to as “They” when you state ‘They were evaluated and rejected as options’? While I’m at it could you please provide us the evaluation criteria and the justification used for the rejection?

“A Secondary Road was considered and rejected.”

Was ‘rejected’ by whom? It wasn’t rejected by the 54 West Overlay District guidelines. That would be the same 54 West Overlay District guidelines that the developer himself helped author and the same guidelines that the city of PTC accepted as one of the governing development documents for that area.

Let’s start to put names to these people and events so that we, the taxpayers of PTC, can give those responsible the credit they deserve.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 4:39pm.

That is what LAI said on the Secondary Road. But if you remember, I was the one that pursued the legal issue and found it was allowable. And on my site I posted the 2001 LCI documents showing it.

The real issue is that without the light, they have to go both to Planterra Way and The Shoppes. There is a deed restriction on getting to the Shoppes, so just Planterra Way is of no value.

'They' is LAI. But I am sure CCD had a say.

CCD doesn't want to even think about paying for a Secondary Road, either, I believe. But I would not vote for such a connection in any form.

All the findings I reported were by LAI for CCD.

The added opinions were mine, obviously.

As I said, to read everything posted on that, and other issues, go the link in my sig and then to that issue. There are three pages of posts.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

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