PTC changes Big Box rules

Fri, 03/03/2006 - 12:41pm
By: John Munford

Peachtree City’s Big Box ban is gone.

In it's place are new regulations allowing the City Council to turn down any any store larger than 32,000 sq. ft. or any development with stores combining 150,000 sq. ft. or more.

The city’s new Big Box standards are less susceptible to a legal challenge in court, according to City Attorney Ted Meeker.

The new regulations were approved by the City Council Thursday night.

Now, any developer wanting to build such a large store or development will have to file a detailed application for a special use permit. That application has to contain a traffic study, with the area of that study defined by city staff.

The application must also address mitigation measures proposed as part of the development, including how landscaping will screen the property from adjoining parcels.

In other business Thursday night, Council approved a six-month pilot program to provide a small stipend to volunteer firefighters based on the amount of calls they assist on.

Assistant Fire Chief Ed Eiswerth explained that each volunteer’s pay would be capped at $750 for the entire period.

The pay per event would range from $5.42 to $13.54 based on the volunteer’s highest level of training. The highest amount could only be earned by a volunteer qualified to act as a fire officer or paramedic.

Fire officials decided to look into the program after asking the younger members of the volunteer force how they could be encouraged to respond more often. Some of the “young guys” said they need help paying for a babysitter when they’re summoned to a scene, Eiswerth said.

The program will cost the city a maximum of $34,000. Fire officials hope to increase participation to get at least two volunteers responding to each call.

Hiring two firefighters for each shift would be far more expensive: $344,000, Eiswerth said.

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