With DOT OK of Hwy. 54W light, shopping center is a go

Tue, 06/23/2009 - 4:16pm
By: John Munford

Yet another traffic light is headed to the often-clogged corridor on Ga. Highway 54 West in Peachtree City.

The Georgia Department of Transportation last week notified city officials it has approved a new traffic light for Line Creek Parkway, a signal that Capital City Development wanted for a new shopping center that will be built at the southeast corner of the intersection.

The DOT initially turned down the traffic light application not once but twice, saying the light was far too close to existing traffic lights on Hwy. 54 at Planterra Way and MacDuff Parkway. It is not immediately known why the DOT reversed course on the matter.

Capital City has said the center will be anchored by a grocery store.

The project, called McIntosh Village South, triggered controversy last year as the City Council agreed to swap part of Line Creek Drive and Line Creek Court, existing city roads, which allowed Capital City to seek a larger development through a special use permit that was also subsequently approved by council.

Without the portion of the roads that was given to Capital City, the company would not have had enough distance from the road frontage to build a larger development due to city road setback rules.

As approved the shopping center will total 175,000 square feet of stores, some 25,000 square feet more than the maximum threshold currently set under the city’s general commercial zoning district.

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Stinger's picture
Submitted by Stinger on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 8:24pm.


Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 12:22pm.

intersection when that light changes. PTC police is going to enforce the LAW regardless of how many lights slow the traffic flow. Smiling
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 Fri, 06/26/2009 - 12:32pm.

My favorite thing is when your light turns green but you can't go because the next light is sill too backed up.

Submitted by Bonkers on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 12:36pm.

It is pretty simple, you wait for the next green light--it is not a right to drive into the middle of the road!!
Ignore the idiot horn-honkers behind you. I know they need a drink but one more light won't kill them.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 12:40pm.

I didn't say anything about into the middle of the road. I just don't think it is two much to ask of our city planners, engineers, etc. to design roads systems where that doesn't happen.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 12:55pm.

Actually, wouldn't the simplest thing be, to pre-plan and use zoning laws to keep areas from becoming over developed and congested?

yellowjax1212's picture
Submitted by yellowjax1212 on Thu, 06/25/2009 - 9:38am.

I have asked before and obviously no one on this blog would know the answer but WHAT CHANGED that would persuade the DOT (never the brightest bulbs in the lamp) to approve this light after turning it down twice.
Now that the precedent has been set, it looks like the new minimum development in PTC is now 175,000 square feet (up from 150,000). That is if the council can find some land to give, er ah, sell to the developer.
I guess we can only hope now that Capital City will struggle finding financing for the project. A lot has changed since this thing entered the pipeline.
Cap City! Just one favor please, don't scalp the lot before you are sure that everything is ready to move forward.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Thu, 06/25/2009 - 11:53am.

I cannot answer that for obvious reasons.

As for that becoming the new minimum it depends on who is elected in November. My position has been the same since 2007 on removing the Special Use Permit from Article X, thus restoring the cap at 32,000 sq'.

Precedence only applies on an existing ordinance. Change the ordinance and things like the SUP granted CCD becomes grandfathered only.

Of those currently on Council three voted to put the SUP in at the beginning of 2006, three voted to abandon the roads, which I still say was illegal, three voted to give the SUP and three voted to approve the light application.

Change the mind set of the majority on Council and you change the votes, ordinances and more. Go with the current majority and you get even more of the same. Go with the minority and it changes drastically. That is up to the voters.

And yes, things have changed a lot since since the approval. There was a proposal to sell the property to Costco. Fortunately such as the new Transition Yard Ordinance will keep that out. Chains are not signing up for new spaces, as evidenced by only Auto Zone, a bad economy chain, at the Wilshire area. CCD is having problems in other areas of Atlanta as well.

I do not know where this will go. I do know they have a five year reversion clause in the agreement and if something major changes they will have to come back with new plans, which obviously would be during a future Council.

As for scalping the lot, they were given permission to do some advanced work. So that does concern me as well.

On a final note, 54 W is already a grade F road. The light will make that worse. No idea when that is to go in, but I do know CCD has to pay for it, so another cost issue for them.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by R. Butler on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 7:27pm.

I hope that once you are elected mayor, you will direct the City Attorney to publish his opinion as to the legality of the road sale.

I also wouldn't mind seeing what the deal was on the Tennis Center settlement either.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 8:19pm.

I already asked him during the past procedures. The answer is there are cases and arguments where such have been found illegal and some where they have not.

It all hinges on how a court defines the meaning of 'public purpose.' There is no exacting definition but it does include more than just vehicles driving on a road.

If one does research, which I did, there have been cases similar to this where the court found it did constitute public purpose. As in a Big Box development getting an almost unused road abandoned to be able to build. The abandonment was ruled illegal because the development was the reason for the abandonment and citizen contended it served a purpose, even though very limited.

Definitely not an instant win but clearly, to me, this abandonment was to enable the development. Some others on Council contend it was a useless road that justified abandonment.

As for the Tennis agreement I will post it on my website.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by R. Butler on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 7:21pm.


Is our City Attorney salaried by PTC, or does he work under contract?

If he is in private practice and PTC pays him for his time, are their adequate provisions in place so that the Council can ensure no conflicts of interest exist?

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 7:59pm.

He is contracted and bills at an hourly rate. He is a good man that I respect greatly.

Between the ethics of the Bar and all the rest there are protections. If there is even the slightest hint of conflict he withdraws himself and another attorney is brought in. He has turned down money to avoid even the slightest hint of overpayment.

I trust him.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by R. Butler on Sun, 06/28/2009 - 5:58pm.

Not implying anything--I just didn't know what the answer was.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sun, 06/28/2009 - 6:09pm.

Legitimate questions to which I wanted to give a full answer.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

yellowjax1212's picture
Submitted by yellowjax1212 on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 9:14am.

For what "obvious reasons" can you not answer the question? Something changed here and I would have thought that you of all people would have been asking the GDOT boys (now that they got rid of that pesky female troublemaker) for answers. If is just that you have not yet gotten to the bottom of this I understand but, please don't make it look like something sinister going on here. Unless of course there is something sinister going on here and then I would expect you to shine the light on the problem.
As far as the giving/selling of the roads that allowed this project to move forward goes, If you truly feel that the move was illegal why don't you, Doug or some of your supporters file charges or at least demand a full investigation?
Don, I promise you one thing. If you will come forward with just one thing that this mayor and/or council has done that is illegal (and I don't mean bad decisions - I know there have been plenty of those), you will have my vote for Mayor. I will throw my support to you and herald you to all of my friends and family as a true "Candidate of the People" AND (and here comes the hard part) I will not question your methods or integrity on these blogs again.
Until that time you seem to politicize every blog. Your helpful information is always accompanied by a campaign ad (free of charge by the way). It it just comes off like politics as usual as you attempt to position yourself as the "Bastion of Goodness" while separating yourself from those other mean, dirty, uncaring politicians.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 10:31am.

Because I didn't support the proposal so what happened isn't being shared with me. Simple as that.

As for getting answers from GDOT on such questions, even some people at State I talked too could not. So, I sure am not.

Filing charges on the road abandonment and going up against both the developer and PTC money defending it? I don't want to be bankrupted.

Really, we could not sell the road since we didn't own it. Abandonment meant surrendering the use control which meant automatic return to the deed holder, which is McMurrain. He is 'donating' the money to PTC for the abandonment.

Plus State Law says you cannot abandon a road to enable a developer. The majority argument is we didn't need the road any longer and abandoning allowed a better development. My argument was it held public purpose because so many didn't want it abandoned and it controlled development. So, again, who foots the bill for a legal action on the issue?

Read that as proof if you wish or not. But I stand on it being illegal. Do your own research on road abandonment and draw your own conclusions and let me know what you find and conclude. There is multiple legal renderings in Georgia and nation wide that all support my position. Start with:
Official Code of Georgia Annotated, Title 32-7-2
Dec. 1904.] MARIETTA CHAIR Co. v. HENDERSON. 161

And, I am on Council. I argued my case and lost in a 3-2 vote. So, that creates numerous legal and other issues for me to take any action. Being on Council gives power and handcuffs one at the same time. It is a crazy place to be.

As for the campaign issue it is not only a campaign issue but a governing and PTC issue, meaning what our city is and will be whether I am on Council or not. I didn't like these things in the 20 years I lived here before getting on Council and I will not like them when I am no longer on Council. I didn't cease to be a PTC resident or stop caring by getting on Council.

I never couched anything in the terms of good versus evil in intent. Just clearly saying I feel the majority position is a disaster for PTC on this and some other positions. And as one who believes you do not offer criticism without an answer as well, the upcoming election is the answer.

I understand I put myself out there as an elected official for public comment by saying things. But at least you know what my thinking is and why. Can you say the same for your others who restrict who they talk to?

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

yellowjax1212's picture
Submitted by yellowjax1212 on Fri, 06/26/2009 - 11:38am.

Don, I accept your reasoning about not knowing on the light. I am sure that you do not get the utmost cooperation from the rest of the council but are you telling me that they are keeping information about a public matter from you? If so this goes much deeper than than you say.
I do not accept your "proof" of illegality on the road abandonment process but I do understand your right not to pursue the issue because of financial reasons. However, I do think that there are many citizens of PTC that would gladly band together and fight a court case if the proof was there. Sadly (and I am not an attorney) I don't think you have fulfilled the burden of proof on this one so in essence you are yelling "Fire" in a crowded movie theater.
I do appreciate when you give us information on city business that we may not normally get. Although, I would never ask you to overstep your bounds and reveal something that should be held private it is my understanding that council business is a public matter and should be of public record.
Don't get me wrong. I am not taking sides here. There is right and there is wrong on both sides of most issues, my problem with you comes when you you feel it necessary to add a "hit and run" dig at your opponents in an otherwise informational posting. If you were not running for office it may be different but since you are already declared as a candidate for Mayor it just smacks of cheap politics - the kind you say that you are against. You said, QUOTE - "And as one who believes you do not offer criticism without an answer as well, the upcoming election is the answer.", What a pant load of poo! You are constantly offering criticism without answers. Don't hide behind slogans about the upcoming election. Our country just elected a candidate who seems to be all slogan and no substance we don't need one as mayor of PTC.
YOUR QUOTE - "Can you say the same for your others who restrict who they talk to?" Not sure who you are referring to when you say "your others"? I don't represent any one but myself on this blog so you need to deal with just me. Dear Lord does everything have to be a conspiracy by "the others" against Don? Some faceless cabal devising an evil plan to overthrow your plans? Yeah, I don't think so.
Started off pretty good Don but then you had to digress into personal a attack on an average citizen. Very sad.
Balls in your court Don but I would suggest that you walk away from your computer and let this one pass.

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 7:53pm.

Tard-ier still is GDOT.

Submitted by jsmith on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 3:46pm.

Do we continue to let them develop our city like this? There are plenty of unoccupied buildings already!! Look where the small Kroger use to be! They are ruining our city! Make them stop!!

Submitted by MikePatton on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 7:46pm.

can't agree more.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 9:03am.

That area is already a cluster bomb. Whats one more obstacle going to matter? At this point we might as well let them build that subdivision.

Submitted by ohmygosh on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 7:01am.

its going to be the only escape route out of PTC now...

ahavah_lachaim's picture
Submitted by ahavah_lachaim on Tue, 06/23/2009 - 9:00pm.

Pardon me if I am incorrect, but wasn't the function of widening 54 to alleviate the heavy traffic in the area?

If that was, in fact, the intention, then why completely nullify said traffic aid with the addition of a third traffic light within a hundred yards? Particularly in light of the fact that the shopping centre in question remains theoretical.


"Despite treason after treason, and sabotage after sabotage, God's empire of light never falls into total eclipse. Satan wages a futile war."

Submitted by boo boo on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 4:06pm.

Seems to me they built the new part in PTC, Hwy 54, for the traffic that was on 54 THEN. Not thinking "build it and they will come" that of course it was only a matter of time(soon after it was built) that it was not going to hold all the traffic. Of course the PTC city council gave all the developers all they wanted by way of dense commercial(empty buildings)creating more of a traffic nightmare(wait until those empty buildings open up with a business)..doesn't anyone have a lick of sense anymore...ho hum...
The good part, maybe people that don't live in PTC will bypass PTC all together...maybe there is a good side to this...

yellowjax1212's picture
Submitted by yellowjax1212 on Tue, 06/23/2009 - 8:47pm.

I think I hear the sounds of exploding heads and tightening sphincters all over PTC.

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