Residents want more trees in annexations

Tue, 02/10/2009 - 4:39pm
By: John Munford

Proposals to “re-affirm” two annexations in Peachtree City’s Wilksmoor Village were discussed by the planning commission Monday night.

Both proposals include the same density as before: 650 homes on 400 acres owned by Brent Scarbrough and Company and 475 homes on 379 acres owned by John Wieland Homes. The properties are contiguous to each other and are located north of the current terminus of MacDuff Parkway.

The developers are asking the city to “reaffirm” the annexations to rebuff a pending citizen lawsuit that threatens to overturn the annexations based on a technicality. That lawsuit has been dragging on in part because of a cut in state funding for senior judges, according to Wieland Vice President Richard Bacon.

MacDuff is being extended northward by both developers, which was one of the conditions of the rezoning. The new road was the subject of a complaint from resident Lynda Wojcik, who said she would like to see the road keep natural trees much like the heavily-wooded Aberdeen Parkway.

“I think having that adds so much to the city,” Wojcik said. “... We in recent times have just chopped, chopped, chopped.”

But the new road area has already been cleared, as the city previously has signed off on those plans, developers said.

The MacDuff Parkway extension will have a 50-foot greenbelt to separate the right of way from the backs of the homes, Rast said. In a few sections of the greenbelt some clearing had to occur but the developer is required to “re-vegetate” those areas, said City Planner David Rast.

Planning Commissioner Joe Frasar said one of the biggest complaints he’s heard from residents is the need to preserve trees in neighborhoods.

“I don’t see some kind of written commitment ... that you’re going to in fact try to preserve the the trees,” Frasar said. “... People are telling me to stand up for the trees in these developments.”

Bacon said Wieland wants to preserve as many trees as possible because it looks better and makes the community sell better.

Rast said that while Wieland has prepared a new site plan for the subdivision, that plan was not going to be adopted with the reaffirmed annexations.

That new plan was designed to take into account stormwater runoff and other issues that the first plan didn’t address because engineering had not taken place on the site when the annexations were approved, Rast said.

Because the annexations were discussed in a workshop format, they were not formally voted on by the commission. The commission will vote on them at its Feb. 23 meeting.

The commission’s vote will be a recommendation only; the final say-so rests with the City Council.

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