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PTC vote: 54W light, Planterra link

Thursday night the Peachtree City Council will consider a request to apply for a new traffic light on Ga. Highway 54 West at Line Creek Drive to serve a new shopping center.

The city acknowledges that the new light will likely make the city’s worst traffic problem even worse, but officials contend that improved safety may make it a worthwhile tradeoff.

The same “Overlook” shopping center also will be the subject of a related but controversial proposal up for consideration Thursday: to allow the developer to link an access road from the shopping center to Planterra Way.

Such a request has been strongly opposed in the past by residents in the Planterra Ridge and Cardiff Park subdivisions because of a potential for an increase in cut-through traffic. The city has full control over that request because it owns greenspace along Planterra Way that would be necessary for Trinity-Overlook to own to complete the road path.

Both matters will be debated during the council meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

Residents are expected to ask council to conduct a public hearing on the road connection so council can hear from residents who live in those neighborhoods. Council will be presented with photos taken Friday afternoon of traffic on Planterra Way backed up from the highway past the tennis center due to motorists using it as a cut-through.

Planterra resident Caren Russell said Monday that the existing cut-through traffic remains a big problem for the subdivision, but connecting a road from the new shopping center to Planterra Way could make it far worse.

“We just want time for citizens to be able to voice their opinions,” Russell said.

As for the proposed traffic light that will affect residents in the Wilksmoor (West) Village, businesses along the highway and commuters going back and forth from Coweta County, city staff recognizes the light will increase delays on Ga. Highway 54 during peak traffic times.

However, the new light would “enhance safety for motorists accessing development on Line Creek Drive,” according to a memo to council from City Engineer David Borkowski, who is recommending the traffic signal application be approved by council.

Still, some on council may look at the existing traffic service level of ‘F’ (the worst rating) for the highway’s intersections with Line Creek Drive, Planterra Way and MacDuff Parkway as a factor weighing against approval for the new traffic signal.

The final decision on the traffic light rests with the Georgia Department of Transportation. If the traffic light is approved, city staff can work with developer Trinity-Overlook LLC and the Georgia Department of Transportation on required improvements to the highway, Borkowski wrote.

The DOT in the past has said ‘no’ to a new traffic light at the intersection, citing the proximity of the Planterra Way and MacDuff Parkway lights.

A third and less controversial request from Trinity-Overlook is to have the city abandon the right-of-way along Line Creek Drive and Line Creek Court to allow development of the shopping center. The city has an appraisal estimating the property having a market value of $100,000 to compensate for the land.

The shopping center will be fairly modest in size with 82,554 square feet of space, not including the RaceTrac and two other out-parcels closer to the highway.



Robert W. Morgan's picture

Whoever it was on council that was pushing for a quick vote on this light has an opportunity to change his/her position and say "Never mind" This is a chance for the new people to reflect what us regular people want and that is for the city to back off and stop micromanaging a state traffic issue.

This "center" is looking more and more like a second or third tier commercial strip with a Dollar Store or Goodwill collection spot as the prime tenants. The Racetrack can do fine without a light or even a median cut. They would get commuter traffic both morning and afternoon from just that one side of the highway. Besides, GDOT has to approve this - not city council. Just back off and let the free market decide things. No need to give this developer any more special treatment.

Live free or die!

What happened with them moving??

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Maybe the corner of Walt Banks and 54. Not much else available in the central part of the city and they already have well-established north and south locations.

Maybe they got tired of waiting for the city, although I'm sure they knew this was not and is not a city decision - it is up to GDOT who could easily ignore the request for a traffic light - for years maybe.

Live free or die!

and I tell them that every time I go there.

Now just bring back the Lemon Pie and straight fries.

Luckily, Hapeville stands by for my fix. Dwarf Burger Plate.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Of course me and thee don't make decisions. Corporate Chick does and that Chick has power - lot's of it. They don't like the tight drive thru, the limited and tight parking and the fact that it was built for Hardee's and they came in after that. Some reasonable concerns, some corporate ego (God knows Chick-fil-A has tons of that) and the lack of a traffic light for their left-turn customers. Why do you think the big pressure on the traffic light at the near Planterra potential location became such a buzz? Now it is going away.

They go to 54 and and Walt Banks and get a double drive-thru or maybe to the gas station near Willowbend or maybe the bank site at Braelinn. Or they could go outside PTC to the east and take over one of those free-standing buildings - that could get them neon signs - like they care about that.

Wish they had been looking at the old Ruby Tuesday site. Better they should be there than Walgreens. I have still not gone into that store. Hope they fail.- meaning Walgreens.

Live free or die!

and 54 is currently tied up (I just happen to know) so that location is off the radar.

All I can say regarding this matter.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

One of those parcels with the older houses on. Or maybe JD's $9 health club. Or better yet - buy the Lutheran Church or Rite Aid. Not many choices. They may have to stay where they are.

Live free or die!

SPQR's picture

what ever it's going to be is in the process of clearing the lot


at least when it comes to a nicer restaurant that may want to serve Alcohol. I doubt the Catholics care about our Blue Laws, but that is another issue. Is there a creative way to measure the distance to the Church as to allow alcohol sales?

I may be off base altogether as it may be tied up for some other use.

The Caholic church does not get involved in parishioners drinking habits. If there would be an issue, it would be the high school nearby. The city is mindful of the teens nearby.

I think...not positive though.

My Son and his friends never had any trouble finding booze, plenty of garage refrigerators. :)

Ga Statute sec. 109-33, "No sales within 300 feet of a church, public or private school, or public hospital"

mudcat's picture

Church and school distances are non-negotiable. Might be one reason those parcels have sat there vacant for 20 years. Can't imagine what they are clearing for. Maybe the owner is just cleaning it up for sale - like staging a house.

not as we say in the south, as the crow flies...but out a certain exit around the corner by way of the street..doesn't take long to get to 300 feet. But you may be right, might not be a way to make it work.

mudcat's picture

No wiggle room. No creativity. No way, no how, no alcohol. Fuggettabout alcohol.

In my very humble opinion.

NUK_1's picture

Ruby Tuesday's-now-Wal-Green's is less than 300 feet from the church property line across the street. That church has been there a lot longer than Ruby Tuesday was and now it's Walgreen's.

It definitely IS negotiable and loopholes are definitely discovered. I'm not talking about a new school or church locating next to a business already existing selling alcohol to begin with, but new development also.

I can take you to a lot of places in GA that have churches in strip shopping centers that also have convenience stores selling alcohol right next door within about 20 feet.

I tried to get the point across. I think it could be done on these parcels...not sure why it's a law anyways.

NUK_1's picture

The statute in the first place is just some old Blue Law BS that should have been eradicated from the laws a long time ago, which is why you get all kind of end-arounds because very few respect the outdated and ancient GA laws anyway, but our elected clowns don't see fit to "modernize" and clean the mess up still laying around in GA. Who knows? Maybe we can use something from 1890 or 1940 to deny someone something or charge someone with something?

It's 2014, Georgia. Get with it already. Tidy up the house a bit.

mudcat's picture

The church isn't much of a factor - I think the law says a couple of hundred feet from a church and it is measured building to building, so there you can get creative by turning or pushing a building if that were the only problem. But its not. The school distance is much greater - several hundred feet and it is measured property line to property line, so no flexibility there.

True it is a stupid and outdated law, but it is the law and PTC has never ever shown any willingness to be flexible and I'm not sure they have any say at all as I am honestly not sure if this is a state law or a PTC law.

And sure when a church comes into a shopping center (as they do) near a liquor store, that law can't be interpreted in such a way as to shut down the liquor store, the church just has to live with what was there before. But, when it is the other way around and the church or school was there first - no liquor, no can do.

you possibly be putting in another Roly Poly and another Urgent Care center there, too?

has moved out to the Kedron Shopping Center. Open now, grand opening on Feb. 15th. They could not expand at The Avenue and have 3 times the space at Kedron.

They open inside Pinewood. Need to feed the munchies

2 weeks ago 3 on council spent 70 grand to study this road from Willowbend (btw, when did it become Willow Bend?) to Coweta line. This study will be done by a GDOT approved engineering firm (Pond & Co.). Do we think that for 70k they could put in writing yes or no for a need for a light? And then GDOT would be off the hook, they will take the study, paid for by us, not them, and say, look, you do (or don't) need a light..that's what it says in the study! How convenient for GDOT. How convenient for council. And we are 70k poorer, not GDOT, not the developer.

This is also to get the developer to pay for (already agreed to) a connector road from Planterra to MacDuff Crossing, to bring local shopping traffic off from 54 and onto the connector road just as on the north side of 54 there (a road with no name, mind you-why is that-I suggest WalMart Alley or Home Depot Byway). The agreement had a stipulation that there would be no internal road access to Planterra. However, someone changed this just recently and that is why those who in live in Planterra are upset. As they should be. They need to be heard, it is only fair.

Chic-fil-A will be there with a light.

Chic-fil-A will be there with a light.

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