A proposal to build a 54-unit assisted living facility dedicated solely to memory care patients near McIntosh High School was denied by the Peachtree City Council Thursday night.
The proposal from The Lasalle Group of Texas was to build on a 4.7 acre tract at the corner of Ga. Highway 54 and Walt Banks Road, directly across from Holy Trinity Catholic Church. But to do so, Lasalle first had to get the city’s multifamily housing moratorium lifted by council, which would allow city staff to work with the developer on preparing a rezoning for the tract.
Instead, council elected to nip the process in the bud before Lasalle could get further. The vote to deny the request to lift the moratorium was 4-0 with Councilman Eric Imker absent.
Councilwoman Kim Learnard noted that the city already has over 1,900 units targeted at seniors or older adults, which accounts for nearly 15 percent of the city’s available housing units.
Learnard argued that the early results of the countywide Visioning Initiative are showing that new development should be brought forth to attract young residents here, as the community continues to get “older and older.”
“The trends we see in Peachtree City and Fayette County are not sustainable,” Learnard said, citing the need to attract young families as an “almost emergency” need in the coming months and years.
One key trend is the continued declining enrollment in the county school system, Learnard noted.
“We need the kind of jobs, the kind of educational opportunities, the kinds of entertainment venues and the kinds of housing to attract young families,” Learnard said. “Then we can start to rejuvenate and start to repopulate our schools.”
There were other concerns from council including the potential proximity to noise at the football stadium at nearby McIntosh and noise from the highway traffic that made the proposed location for the assisted living project less than ideal.
Diane Newton, the executive director of the nearby Ashley Glen senior facility, noted that traffic could be affected at the proposed Lasalle location given the number of police, fire and rescue units that respond to an emergency call at her facility.
Ashley Glen, which is celebrating its 16th anniversary this month, is immediately adjacent to the McIntosh football field, which is active nearly the entire school year between football, soccer, lacrosse, track and marching band among other school activities.