Apartments for seniors sought for east PTC

Tue, 02/16/2010 - 5:07pm
By: John Munford

An Atlanta company is asking Peachtree City to lift its moratorium on multi-family rezoning to make way for a 4.8-acre senior rental complex in the Lexington Circle retail center off Ga. Highway 54 East.

NorSouth Companies is proposing to build an age-restricted independent living complex directly across Lexington Circle from the Zaxby’s restaurant. The site is also directly adjacent to the Governor’s Row subdivision.

The moratorium request will be considered Thursday night by the Peachtree City Council.

The moratorium on multi-family zoning must be lifted in order for staff to even consider the possible ramifications of the proposal. If council lifts the moratorium, it does not lock the city into approving the plan.

If council decides to lift the moratorium, it most likely would be only for this specific 4.8 acre site and not for the entire city.

For the project to go forward, the city will have to approve a rezoning for the property. Currently the site is zoned limited use commercial.

In other business, council is slated to vote on two variance requests for a new cellphone tower off Dividend Drive in the city’s industrial park. The site is a short distance from Ga. Highway 74 and Kelly Drive/McIntosh Trail.

A similar request was denied several years ago because the tower protruded into an area of protected airspace due to its proximity to Falcon Field. The current request would extend into that area by approximately 43 feet, according to a city memo on the request.

But a review by the FAA in 2006 determined the tower “would have no substantial adverse impact on the safe and efficient utilization of the navigable airspace by aircraft or on the operation of air navigation facilities,” the staff memo noted.

City staff is recommending denial of the variance requests, though if the tower height shrunk from 165 feet as currently proposed to 122 feet, it would be allowed under current zoning and development regulations, the memo said.

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Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 6:33am.

It was last night at the council meeting. Anybody go?

SPQR's picture
Submitted by SPQR on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 9:40am.

It was pulled from the agenda for changes by the developers

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 9:46am.

The only change they need to make is the city. Maybe Newnan or Fayetteville can help them.

Submitted by normal on Sat, 02/20/2010 - 5:25pm.

I say build them. There is nothing wrong with this idea. There is a great need for senior subsidized apartments. 62 and older, no kids and I would add no dogs or cats but that wont happen. SHAG ( Washington states Senior housing assistance group) have wonderful places to live. You all are just pissed because we got shafted on harmony village. The town club is a joke. 4700 for a 2 bedroom. Thats why it is still pretty much empty. Dont be surprised if the town club turns into an assisted living or subsidized housing. You cant loose money forever like they are and keep the bills paid. We also need some decent condos built here. With a no rental clause in the by laws. Now thats an idea for the townclub. Sell them as condo units.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Sun, 02/21/2010 - 7:03am.

express my honest opinion. Which is - there is a reason for a multi-family moratorium and it has 2 parts. Part #1 is that over 15% of the housing here is so-called multi-family. That includes apartments, condos (and i agree that we have yet to see a decent condo project), the Towne Club and all the cluster housing - most of which is for seniors. 15% is more than enough. This is a suburban bedroom community, a commuter's paradise for those that don't venture farther north than the airport. The community is for families with kids and seniors. Very few single professionals here.

Part#2 is that our staff and Planning Commission have failed miserably when working with multi-family developers. The Harmony Village debacle is not the only failure, it is simply the most noticeable. Staff and Planning Commission always get distracted by the 3 whackos who come to every meeting and screech about density and trees. So everything then becomes a compromise and the developer cuts corners and sometimes square footage and we are left with junk. Any discussion about quality is always ambushed by concerns over density and nobody on staff or the planning commission is even remotely qualified to discuss multi-family. A past city council recognized this phenomenon and enacted a moratorium so the developers couldn't talk to the kids without going through the adults.

PTC bought into that whole Lexington Circle plan because it was so unique. They gave the developer free reign and what we got was some highway parcels behind which sits cleared vacant land and empty over-priced townhomes. Subsidized apartments won't make that area better, it will simply move more people into a location that probably should not have been considered for residential.

I do like your idea of converting the Towne Club to condos. Probably not practical until after the recession is over in another 2 or 3 years, but by then the lender will certainly be antsy and open to anything. Are you sure they charge $4,700 a month? That seems high even if it were assisted living.

And restrictions on rental, dogs and cats is going too far. I'd limit rentals to 10%, allow dogs, but ban cats and smoking.

Submitted by normal on Sun, 02/21/2010 - 10:45am.

I have heard the town club lowered just a little their rent. But it was 4700 for the largest apartment. That includes 2 meals a day. Who would want to eat there every day. You pay for it and dont use it, to bad. Drop the rent by half and get rid of the meal plan. After all its not an assisted living center, although it is built like one. Thanks for you message. I enjoyed it. Time to go out and get some sun

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 9:53am.

that more money is to be made by a developer obtaining the 3 story townhomes currently built, adding elevators, and giving it another go, I think that was a KEY element left out of those homes. Of course, the price of buying them would have to be right.

IF the property in question is currently zoned for restaurants, etc...and IF they can't sell booze, it's useless for anything resembling upscale. I remember something about a parcel in this area having that problem due to the Church. I guess the state of Georgia thinks it would be too much of a temptation. Smiling

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 6:31am.

Who at the city thinks this is a good idea. I thought we just had an election that put 4 new people in office who ran largely on adherence to the land use plan.

Can't you just politely say no to stupid ideas like this at the staff level? Even if they play the seniors card, there is no getting around the fact that a foreclosure after they fail could open the building up to just regular renters. And no more likely a group of renters than those fleeing the Clayton County schools or those who lost their own house through foreclosure. All this right next door to other multi-family that - guess what - Failed! That one was really well thought out. $300,000 3-level townhomes behind a shopping center when you can go a mile away and buy a 4-bedroom house on a half acre lot for $250,000. Now of course all those things (the townhomes and the single-family houses) are worth a lot less, but the disparity remains.

ptctaxpayer's picture
Submitted by ptctaxpayer on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 9:13am.

C'mon Bobby--- share the wealth....Why don't we just let this philanthropic NorSouth get rezoned to apartments, get some Obama Bucks and let's go Section 8 like a previous council did. Their reaction was "Well, heck they promised they'd be condos".

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 9:36am.

People who just moved here may be thinking you made up the "Oops, I thought they said Peachtree Station was going to be condos" story, but sadly it is 100% true.

The pleasure palace that is now named Harmony Village was presented to a relatively new city council (thank you Jim Pace) in the mid-1990's as condos by a developer who was actually just a broker, but he knew what was going to happen. And the dopes at PCDC who were asleep at the switch (thank you Steve) and made no effort to deed restrict it like they did with most other properties. I wonder if that was financed by the bank where Steve Black was a director? I wonder if Group 6 got to build the "condos"?

But why not do it again? We don't really learn from our mistakes do we? What could possibly go wrong? Harmony Village is full and the NorSouth thing would be walking distance to a liquor store, a drug store, a bank and a chicken place. I guess old thugs need the same amenities as young thugs - don't they?

Submitted by GAltant on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 8:43am.

I hope we elected the right people into city council...that means allowing developers due process to put forth their ideas and proposals and then voting them down.....otherwise, we will be speinding alot of our budget on defending lawsuits.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 1:15pm.

I have spoken to 2 of the new councilpeople and it sounds like they are voting no on both the apartments and the cell phone tower. I can easily see the third no vote coming out of the mayor or one of the other 2. Might even be unanimous.

Is the new senior housing development in Braelinn full?

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 1:40pm.

It's one thing to apply for a new project with the zoning already in place. A totally different issue when the zoning needs to be changed.

The term "mixed-income" keeps appearing with Norsouth.

Towne Club is so empty you can hear the echoes down the hallways. Of course, when you try to compare 3-4 thousand dollar rents (including 2 meals a day, mind you) with 600-900 dollar rents (mostly subsidized), you're talking apples and oranges.

This has a Peachtree Station (aka Harmony Village)ring to it with a "senior" twist. Not good.

Either way, this zoning should not be changed to accommodate this project. Nor should the moratorium be lifted for this reason.

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