PTC planners seek input on MacDuff Parkway rezoning

A rezoning request to allow 238 homes on 104 acres in Wilksmoor Village will be voted on Monday night by the Peachtree City Planning Commission.

The two parcels are located off MacDuff Parkway, including a 17-acre site that was previously set aside for a new elementary school that never came to fruition and an 87-acre tract that is zoned for industrial use and borders the CSX railroad.

The area is part of what was known as the West Village before annexation during the administration of then-Mayor Harold Logsdon.

Because the school site was required to remain open space due to a previous zoning action, a rezoning is necessary to allow it to be developed as a subdivision. To compensate for that allowance, John Wieland Homes officials said they shifted that 17 acres of open space to the 87-acre site that borders the railroad, bringing the total open space on that site to 40 acres. That open space will include pocket parks and areas for children to throw the football and frisbee and have unstructured play, company officials said. Part of the open space will also include a stream on the property that will be ideal for children to explore, officials said.

A representative of the Fayette County School System has told the planning commission that the school site, which was deeded back to Wieland after seven years passed with no school built there, is still a necessity for the school system, as nearby schools don’t have much room to absorb new students created by additional development in the Wilksmoor Village.

The commission is particularly interested in hearing public comments from residents in the area as the rezonings stand to add a number of cars to the often-choked artery of Ga. Highway 54 West, which is the only way in and out for residents of Wilksmoor Village.

The commission’s vote will be one of recommendation only, as the final say on all zoning matters rests with the Peachtree City Council. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

The 204-home subdivision would be age-targeted for residents 55 and up with price points north of $300,000 and the 34-home subdivision would not be age-targeted but would have price points upwards of $450,000, Wieland officials said.

Wieland representatives have said they are ready to move forward on paying for the company’s share of the MacDuff Parkway extension to Ga. Highway 74 north. The $8 million project will be jointly funded by Wieland and developer Brent Scarborough. The road, including a bridge over the CSX railroad, must be built before the city will issue any certificate of occupancy for future development on 782 acres annexed into the city north of MacDuff Parkway back in 2007.

The city has commissioned a study of the entire corridor of Hwy. 54 West, stretching from the county line to Willowbend Road at City Hall. The study is expected to provide several recommendations for road improvements to help traffic flow smoother.

Also the Georgia Department of Transportation is working on a new traffic signal timing system that will adapt to surges of traffic by switching to different timing patterns in an effort to maximize the efficiency of the existing road. While that will almost certainly pay off with some improvement in traffic, DOT officials have cautioned that there is only so much capacity available with the current road.