PTC sewer draws developers

Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:03pm
By: John Munford

Business park on city’s east side has septic trouble, wants to tap onto PTC sewer line

[Online: Why PTC should keep its sewer service inside the city limits —]

The Peachtree City Council is being asked to allow a development in unincorporated Fayette County to tap into city sewer lines along Ga. Highway 54 East.

The request for the existing Governor’s Square commercial-office complex close to the city’s northeast border will be considered at Thursday night’s City Council meeting.

Because of capacity problems with the development’s septic system, the health department has denied permits for new restaurants to move into the center, according to a memo from city staff to council members.

For the sewer line to be extended to the development, the connection would be made through existing right of way for the road, according to the proposal.

Doing so would put the sewer line directly in front of the Peachtree East shopping center. That could potentially trigger a state law that requires sewer hookups for developments within 500 feet of a sanitary sewer system, thus requiring Peachtree East to be served by city sewer.

Over the years, Peachtree City has kept its sewer lines within the city limits with very few exceptions. Fayette County does not have its own sewer system, which has in turn inhibited residential growth in the county due to the minimum lot size requirement for septic fields.

In 2006, the city council voted unanimously to deny a request from the city of Senoia to allow it to send up to 500,000 gallons of sewage a day to be treated at a city sewer plant.

Also in 2006, the council voted to allow a sewer line extension to a Scarbrough and Rolader development of 63 houses on 81 acres next to the Starr’s Mill school complex.

In an editorial column in 2006 about that decision (, editor and publisher Cal Beverly had this to say:

“Why not turn WASA loose to sewer as much of the unincorporated county as developers request?

“Because your vaunted Fayette/Peachtree City lifestyle will be sewered away with all the new sludge from massively dense new commercial and residential developments that sewer lines will allow.

“The only things standing in the way of Gwinnett traffic and Riverdale strip centers here in Fayette are zealously enforced county zoning restrictions and the need for at least one-acre lots to accommodate individual septic tanks.

“Take away the septic tanks, add in sewer lines, and your county is gone with the wind.

“That’s why the Peachtree City Council is so remarkably wrong on this breach of a long-standing taboo. The council, in extending sewer service beyond the city’s zoning laws and the city limits, will be acting as the prime agent to destroy the unincorporated county’s land use plan and zoning restrictions.”

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Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Wed, 10/14/2009 - 5:14am.

Hopefully the 3-decision-makers on council will say NO to the sewer request - although the timing of this is suspicious with Haddix gone and at least 2 lame ducks up there. I'd love to know who owns Governor's Square. Is it the Rossetti family?

Anyhow, a real leader on council would ask the owner if he were willing to be annexed into PTC to get his sewer and possibly a liquor license for any restaurant tenants. Cost would be some city taxes and most importantly a pledge to redo all signage and landscaping to PTC standards. If yes, it is a win-win and this is where annexation actually makes sense. I mean it is already there and if we make it look better and collect some taxes, what's the problem?

Of course if they say no, we just want the sewer, then they should be thrown out of the meeting and told never come back. I do believe all this should be handled at the staff level, but we will learn more as this progresses.

cogitoergofay's picture
Submitted by cogitoergofay on Mon, 10/19/2009 - 6:47am.


Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 10/13/2009 - 11:10pm.

One of the most harmful decisions possible is extending the sewer system outside the city limits. State law is constantly changing and so are the "rights" allowed for connection.

If it is out of the city, it is out of our control.

I would allow an exception for governmental uses like county schools.

My jaw dropped when Logsdon/Boone/Plunkett extended the sewer outside PTC in their first year in office. Not a one of them followed the debate from years previous or thought to measure the consequences.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Wed, 10/14/2009 - 6:06pm.

I did not say we should run the sewer outside the city for the obvious reasons. Read my post carefully and you would see that we annex them if they play by our rules and if they do - then they should have sewer. But only if they do everything we want.

Again, what's the harm under that scenario?

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Thu, 10/15/2009 - 8:21am.

We don't need the retail. Have more than enough now and sure do not need to enable more.

Plus the 200' rule. Far too easy from that area to turn it lose into the whole County. No agreement or rule we set overrides this State Law.

Picture sewer running all the way from PTC to Fayetteville.

Department of Human Resources
Public Health
Chapter 290-5-26
On-Site Sewage Management Systems

290-5-26-.03 General Provisions.
(1) “On-Site Sewage Management System Required” - Where public or community sewage
treatment systems are not available, the owner, lessee or agent thereof of every building,
residence or property, designed, used or intended to be used for human occupancy or
congregation, shall provide an approved on-site sewage management system sufficient for
persons normally expected to use or frequent the building, residence or other property for two
hours or more. Connection shall be made to a public or community sewage treatment system
when such system is available within two hundred feet (200') of the property line, or available in
a public right-of-way abutting the property. Where a public or community sewage treatment
system is to be constructed, or an existing public or community sewer is to be extended to serve
a lot, or an approved on-site sewage management system is to be used, the building sewer shall
be installed so that it will insure gravity flow at a self-cleaning velocity throughout. If an existing
on-site sewage system fails, immediate connection shall be made to a public or community
sewerage system if such a system is available.

Don Haddix
Candidate for Mayor

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Thu, 10/15/2009 - 7:38am.

Just a quick check but I found a building permit listed for Fayette County for 01/15/2009 as follows:

01-15-2009 2009-00013-S-01 GOVERNOR'S SQUARE LOT#: C&D
PO BOX 2394
PEACHTREE CITY GA 30269 (770)487-9608

Don't know if that will help, but I thought I would try.

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