PTC kicks off 50th birthday celebration

Tue, 03/10/2009 - 4:40pm
By: Ben Nelms

It was a milestone that did not go unnoticed. Nearly 100 gathered in the Floy Farr Room at Peachtree City Library Monday morning for the first of the year-long events that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Peachtree City.

The library event re-dedicated the Floy Farr Room downstairs and the Joel Cowan Room on the main floor. Numerous photos depicting Peachtree City’s history lined the walls in both areas.

Noting the incorporation of the city on March 9, 1959, Mayor Harold Logsdon said Peachtree City was successful because it was a planned community that stuck to the plan.

Also speaking at the re-dedication event, library circulation supervisor and archivist Rebecca Watts gave an update of the 50th Anniversary book that will be out in April. She spoke of the contributions of Farr and Cowan and gave a photo presentation of samples proposed for the book’s cover.

Commenting on the re-dedication event Monday morning, Watts said the community should re-dedicate itself to making Peachtree City an even better place to live.

Peachtree City spokesperson Betsy Tyler after the re-dedication event said it was the first in a series that will include a community-wide celebration in the fall.

“It really will be a year-long series of events. The regular events that happen every year will be tied into the 50th Anniversary to keep reminding folks of it,” Tyler said. “Of course, today is the official anniversary, so we wanted to do something important, but not necessarily large-scale, to commemorate the official incorporation of Peachtree City. So we dedicated the Floy Farr Room and the Joel Cowan Room again after a lot of work has gone into those. We have the historical pictures out (on display) that will be in the book.”

Originally envisioned for a population of more than 70,000, Logsdon said the city is virtually at build-out today. The challenge for the future of Peachtree City will be keeping its unique quality while ensuring that re-development fits the standard of those who built the city, Logsdon said.

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Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Thu, 03/12/2009 - 4:31am.

Glad the Mayor recognizes re-development as an issue and mentioned it. Great event, by the way.

Re-development is a reality everywhere but only in Peachtree City do we have an opportunity to control it above and beyond simple rezoning categories. This is yet another reason to stick to the land use plan. For example, you don't want some developer doing a neighborhood buyout of an older subdivision like Williams Circle so they can put a Walgreen's there do you? Well, they tries and failed because of the land use plan.

Next up will be Willowbend Center going residential condo or a seniors project. Not a terrible idea but what does the land use plan say about that? Hint - it was ok to build multi-family in commercial zoning until about 10 years ago.

The west side of the lake has seen redevelopment through individual tear-downs of older homes and some pretty nice replacement housing. Same thing will happen in some well-located older neighborhoods at a much more reasonable price when the economy recovers in a few years. Fetlock Meadows and Clover Reach are 2 obvious candidates. In fact now is the time for forward looking developers to buy up some of those homes at bargain prices.

So, be ready for it and be sure candidates running for mayor and council have some understanding of how to handle re-development before you vote them into office. Otherwise we could have a debacle as bad as having a tax and spend socialist in the White House during a recession than can only be cured by encouraging businesses through tax breaks. And we all know that won't work. Will it?

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Thu, 03/12/2009 - 10:21am.

Excellent points on redevelopment.

One issue I charged DAPC with, last January, was redevelopment. They are looking into grants, planning, needs, etc.

They have entered into a joint program with GT where some grad students, as part of their grad studies, who are doing research and planning for redevelopment in part of PTC under the Livable Communities standards, meaning preserving and promoting our Village Concept.

They get experience and we get planning, data and more.

But, as you know, redevelopment costs more than building pristine. So, as long as there is pristine land and viable current homes redevelopment is not going to be a serious issue on residential.

As for Industrial, the Industrial area has a lot of serious redevelopment issues to deal with. Sewer and some other infrastructure issues to begin with.

But, again, the issues of available land and buildings.

And yes, the issues of buying and clearing land for redevelopment and subsidies have come up. As you say, going those routes can prove extremely expensive to PTC. I do not want to bury PTC in the debt such approaches can incur via direct funding from PTC.

Goal one is to fill the existing Industrial and O/I buildings and available land with good paying jobs that allow and encourage people to live in PTC. Goal two fill the vacant homes. Goal three, when no room left, redevelopment.

By default achieving goal two will fill the retail spaces.

Of course, those wanting to redevelop along the way are more than welcome to do so.

As well it means we do not follow through on the goals of some, meaning keep annexing pristine land for new construction. That guarantees creating blight area in PTC.

So, to answer your question, from my perspective, redevelopment is a long term issue that we need to be looking into now. I have been doing what I can.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
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