Callula Hill rezoning pulled from PTC Council agenda

Thu, 06/18/2009 - 1:28pm
By: John Munford

Council vote on rezoning industrial park for 80 homes, event center close to airport safety area postponed to July 16

OPINION column: With Callula Hill, unplanning reaches its apex

The applicant for the Callula Hill rezoning application requested that the item be pulled from the Thursday night Peachtree City Council agenda and tabled for further discussion, according to Betsy Tyler, the city’s public information officer and city clerk.

Although no date was given for reconsideration, the next regular meeting will be on Thursday, July 16 (the July 2 meeting has been cancelled). As always, the agenda packet will be available on the city website on the Friday prior to the meeting (July 10).

According to a map provided by city officials, approximately 10 lots of the proposed Callula Hill subdivision encroach into a runway protection zone for Peachtree City’s Falcon Field airport.

Federal officials discourage construction in such areas for safety purposes. The 37-acre site in the city’s industrial park but adjacent to the future Lake McIntosh will be considered for a rezoning in mid-July by the Peachtree City Council.

Pathway Communities wants to build 80 high-end homes with 12 villas that would be rented to patrons of an events center planned for the site, which is due north of Falcon Field and zoned for heavy industrial use.

The FAA discourages the building of residences or any place where people might congregate inside a runway protection zone, said spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

“That is for the protection of people and property around the airport,” Bergen said.

However, because Falcon Field, like many airports, does not own all the land in its runway protection zone, the FAA’s guidance is only a recommendation, Bergen said.

Former Airport Manager Jim Savage is strongly opposing the rezoning. In a letter to the Planning Commission, Savage said having a subdivision in an industrial area, especially near a very active airport, not only violates the city’s land use plan, “... It is simply a bad idea regardless of the potential ‘great view’ of the future Lake McIntosh.”

Savage, a former City Council member, expressed in his letter that the city’s land use plan has helped prevent problems with homes near Falcon Field. But by Savage’s calculations, aircraft landing at Falcon Field may fly at less than 150 feet above the subdivision if it is built.

On takeoff during summer conditions, jet aircraft and large propeller-powered aircraft may take off less than 200 feet above the ground, Savage added.

If approved, the rezoning would be a significant departure from the current land use plan recommendations for the site. Pathway officials have argued that the proximity to the eventual Lake McIntosh and also the Planterra Ridge Golf Course, along with the site’s sloping topography, make it ideal for residential use, not industrial use.

The site is not contiguous to any residentially-zoned property. It is bordered completely by industrially zoned parcels, the golf course and the future Lake McIntosh site.

The city’s Planning Commission narrowly voted to recommend approval of the Pathway proposal last week, but it drew strong criticism from the two commissioners voting against it, and even one commissioner who voted in favor.

Commissioners Lynda Wojcik and Larry Sussberg, who voted against the proposal, both said the proximity of the property to the airport was a deal-breaker for them. The final say on the matter rests with the City Council.

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 4:17am.

and Harold as well.

If nothing else these blogs give people an idea of how bad things can be if the real citizens of Peachtree City are motivated to get involved - sadly something that happens only once a decade, but this was starting to look like this was that one time.

Yes, this delay will indeed make this project an election issue. Any candidate for any of the many vacant positions this fall is going to miss the bus if he or she doesn't use the next 30 days to come out strongly against Callula Hills. The spotlight will be shining very brightly on city council members and their individual votes - regardless of the inconvenient mid-summer timing. Cal will certainly not let this go.

Only thing that would get more attention would be a serious commitment from a citizen's group to file a lawsuit immediately after this gets approved by council. Again, just the time delay required by a lawsuit would kill the project.

JGF9148's picture
Submitted by JGF9148 on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 6:48am.

Tabled, hoping the further into the summer it goes interest will abate. The problem for Harold and his handlers will be this is a bad idea for the use of that property, and this issue will follow him and them around while he aspires for a state office which has SAFETY in the title. I think anyone declared, or any one thinking of running for city office needs to get there position out in front of the public now as this will be an issue for all of them very soon. We already know Don's position but, I don't recall seeing any of the other folks express an opinion.

della's picture
Submitted by della on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:31pm.

There's at least one candidate who has been on top of this issue for quite a while. Did you not see Eric Imker's letter in the paper Wednesday? It was quite a rip on this whole issue. Imker's website has a couple articles linked to Citizen Letter's to the Editor. Check it out.
At least we have one person who is willing to stand up and point out the obvious.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 7:24pm.

Again? The citizens of this town will never be in favor of this idea. Might as well let the council vote and move on.

Really it is 50/50. On one hand this proposal is really stupid. On the other hand, really stupid has never been a problem for the majority of our council members.

Submitted by jsmith on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 3:40pm.

Seriously? It is absolutely ludicrous to even think about putting a residential area and event center so close to the airport and in the middle of an industrial park… Yeah – I want to get married at an event center when air planes are flying over. Hey – better yet – during the air show!

SPQR's picture
Submitted by SPQR on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 11:42am.

SOP is table it twice and pass it on the third go around. But since there is more of a disgust than a lynch mentality it might go on the first or second.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 6:55pm.

But that will not work because by August all the candidates for city council will have declared and if there is any common sense left in the world, all will be opposed to Callula Hills and as a campaign issue it (meaning the opposition) will win.

So, their only chance is the July meeting when everyone is away on vacation. Not me or hubby. We will be there beating our drum. Idiotic project proposed by a lesser form of life than we are used to in good ole PTC. Send him packing.

ptctaxpayer's picture
Submitted by ptctaxpayer on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 7:58pm.

Wow, I agree with Mudcat! Bad idea but July is the time, you are right. That's why so many incumbents stay in office because the elections are in July. Bad, bad idea. Maybe Boone went soft and Lager Logsdon told 'em they don't have the votes.

JGF9148's picture
Submitted by JGF9148 on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 7:19am.

It will be interesting to see the next Insurance Commissioner (see Logsdon) at the site of God forbid, an accident involving an aircraft and this development. I'm sure it will be quite a site to see our old pal explaining his support for this project when he was Mayor.

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 12:09pm.

Just the thought of Logsdon even trying to fill John Oxendine's shoes scares the crap out of me. As a mayor he is and will forever be remembered as the man who ran on a fiscal responsibility platform and them blew the crap out of the budget of this city. Now, I do realize that he did not do this by himself. He had a lot of help from the other 4 stooges. I do not know what a good job would be for him but I cam name 2 that are not good fits, Peachtree City Mayor and Georgia's Insurance Commisioner. He is better suited for a position that requires him to ask "paper or plastic?", or "would you like fries with that?".

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 11:50am.

residential encroachment in these buffer zones.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 11:59am.

the city planning comissioners are way smarter than those a-holes. I mean really; who is the FAA to tell the PTC Planning Comsission that building near an airport is a bad idea. The old farts at the FAA are always trying to ruin everybody good time. I hate those guys.

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 12:36pm.

much as the location of the property right smack dab in the middle of the industrial/commercial area. I think it opens pandora's box in regards to drastic zoning changes on other properties in the area. That is my biggest problem with this fiasco.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 3:12pm.

The problem the airport will have is people purchasing $750,000 homes will have the money to sue the airport over noise, hours of operation, safety, etc. Such lawsuits have occured in Metro Atlanta and across the country.

The Airport Authority cannot afford a lawsuit. The city taxpayers will be asked for bailout funds, and possibly continued financial support.

With the exception of the three planning commissioners who voted for the rezoning, I cannot find anyone who thinks the development is a good idea.

Yes, this development could be the one that causes major redevelopment of a residential kind throughout the industrial area. The impact on tax revenues vs. service demands would be a significant problem.

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 4:00pm.

They won't get beans. But regardless, for either reason we stated, this development just doesn't fit.

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 11:37am.

But amazingly enough, 3 on our planning Commission thought it was a good idea. The current entrance is in a great place for homes, right smack dab in the middle of an Industrial Park. Oh the Humanity!!

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 6:08am.

Who would want to buy there?? What reason is there to approve this? Add in the airport problem, and I'm not sure why this even is showing up on the agenda. Why did one planning commissioner vote for the project, but still criticize it? Either shut up, or have the balls to stand by your words!!

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 5:34am.

Next time you are doing BBQ in your back yard, look up and imagine a plane with engine revving high, straining to take off (hopefully successfully) 200 feet over your head. What kind of moron would vote for something like that? The FAA warning puts some legal liability on the heads of any councilperson dumb enough to vote for this should there be a plane crash. The developer and his representatives who actively sought this rezoning have some legal liability as well. Think about that when you are up there saying (on tape) for the record that this is a perfectly safe and desirable project.

Attn. city council - Ask for a legal pinion from your own lawyer before you vote. That's your own personal lawyer - the city lawyer does not represent you personally nor can he offer you protection from stupid and irresponsible behavior.

All those who think this is a terrible project please phow up tomorrow night and speak up. It may actually make a difference.

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Tue, 06/16/2009 - 9:02pm.

"Well, I, uh, duhhh, can't say no to this one either. Yuk, Yuk.....If the planning board is as dumb as I am, then we must have SOME agreement that it is OK, ya think?"

"And anyways, I'm not done mucking up this formerly fine city, yet. So, y'all know I'm gonna say yes, right, so why would I vote no? What would be the sense? I mean, I got this sweet little project delayed right into June so that most of you residents will be out of town and I don't hafta listen to all yer squawkin', am I just the smartest dumba** ever to run this little show, or whaaat?"

Comment viewing options

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