F’ville open to annexing new movie TV studios complex
The recent news that a portion of Fayette County just north of Fayetteville could become home to a major film and television production facility begs a question about a seemingly minor, yet pertinent facet of such a development: sewer services.
An unofficial poll of the Fayetteville City Council on Feb. 7 showed a possible annexation of the property could be considered, if requested, but the idea of the city running sewer lines without accompanying annexation would be more problematic.
It was reported last week by The Citizen that Pinewood Studios is in talks to operate a major film and television production facility on nearly 290 acres northwest of Fayetteville. The property is located on the west side of Sandy Creek Road at the intersection of Sandy Creek and Veterans Parkway. That location is less than a mile from existing sewer lines provided by the city to Piedmont Fayette Hospital.
The initial concept plan for “Project Stargate” does not provide any information pertaining to sewer services. And while an understandably minor issue in such an overall development, the potential to construct at least 500,000 square feet of facility space does raise the question of how sewer services might be provided since unincorporated Fayette County has no sewer lines. Developments outside Fayetteville have historically depended on self-contained septic systems to provide sewerage disposal.
But with such a large development in the offing, The Citizen decided to poll the members of the Fayetteville City Council to get their opinions on whether a potential annexation might be possible if sewer services were needed.
Fayetteville currently has sewer capacity of 5 million gallons per day but is using only 1.6 million to 1.9 million gallons per day.
Asked their position on possible annexation, all on the council said they either are not opposed or would be willing to discuss such a proposal. Councilman Walt White also noted that he would want Rivers Elementary School, located directly across Sandy Creek Road, to be a part of the proposal.
And asked if they would consider having the city run sewer to the property without annexation, White and Councilman Larry Dell said they would not. Councilmen Mickey Edwards and Paul Oddo said they would be willing to discuss the issue and Mayor Greg Clifton said he did not think the city would “open that door.”
Councilman Ed Johnson attended the meeting by phone but was unable to be reached later to offer his comments on the annexation question.
A public hearing on the Project Stargate proposal is expected to be held by the Fayette County Commission in early March.