PTC to change ‘big box’ rules?

Tue, 02/28/2006 - 5:40pm
By: John Munford

Thursday night, the Peachtree City Council will consider significant changes to its “big box” ordinance in an effort to keep more massive retail stores from coming to town.

The ordinance would lift the current ban on such stores, but it also gives council a significant amount of leeway to say “no” to stores greater than 32,000 square feet and shopping centers with more than 150,000 square feet of retail space.

The new system, if approved by council, would require such stores and developments to be granted a “special use permit” by the City Council. Doing so may not be easy, however.

According to the ordinance: “Mere compliance with the generally applicable requirements may not be sufficient and additional measures, occasionally substantial, may be necessary to mitigate the impact of the proposed development. In other situations, no set of conditions would be sufficient to approve an application, even though the same request in another location might be approved.”

In some cases, the city may require a monetary performance guarantee be posted “to ensure continued compliance with all conditions and requirements that may be specified.”

Developers would be required to file a detailed application for special use permits, which would include:
• The traffic impact of the development and proposed improvements to transportation infrastructure;
• A traffic impact analysis, the boundaries of which would be determined by the city engineer and the city’s traffic consultant;
• How open space — and natural vegetation along roads and property boundaries — could be preserved;
• How crime prevention concepts are incorporated into the site and building designs;
• Proposed use and impact on public facilities;
• Mitigation of impacts on neighboring properties, including landscaping and screening.
• Building architecture, signs, landscaping and lighting.

The developer must insure that the development will conform with the city’s comprehensive plan, be compatible with “surrounding land uses and overall character of the community” and protection of the “public interest and general welfare.”

The changes were needed after problems with the city’s “big box” ban cropped up when council was considering the site plan for the Target store at the Kedron Village shopping center, city officials said.

The city’s Planning Commission unanimously signed off on the ordinance at its February meeting.

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cowtipn's picture
Submitted by cowtipn on Thu, 03/02/2006 - 10:52am.

And I'm sure the council is totally opposed to all wine and dine lobbying efforts by the developers.

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