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Hwy. 54W traffic light up for PTC vote

Councilman King cites liability for cost, potential for substandard businesses without signal at Line Creek Drive next to Planterra

The Peachtree City Council will vote Thursday on a developer’s request to apply for a new traffic light on Ga. Highway 54 West to serve a proposed shopping center on Line Creek Drive.

Though the light is nearly certain to make the already-bad commute along Hwy. 54 West even worse, Councilman Mike King noted in a letter to the editor that there are other considerations tied to the decision, including the city potentially having to pay for the “quarter million cost” of the light if the Georgia Department of Transportation approves it “over council’s objection.”

King noted that Trinity Development already has clients lined up for the property who want the traffic light.

“If we say no, we may very well be stuck with businesses that may not meet the standard to which we are accustomed,” King wrote.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

King also addressed the matter of a second request from Trinity to allow a road connection from the shopping center to Planterra Way, which will require going across city-owned greenbelt along Planterra.

A number of Planterra residents have opposed such a connection, arguing that cut-through traffic would get worse than it already is, which is pretty bad considering the left turn lane on Planterra approaching the highway backs up all the way past the tennis center at peak commuting times.

The subdivision lacks sidewalks, and some residents worry that cut-through traffic puts residents in danger, particularly children in roadways.

“Council is very much aware of these concerns and will actively pursue remedies from companies located along Dividend Drive,” King said.

While residents in Planterra and in the Cardiff Park subdivision next door “have every right to voice their concern” over the road connection, King suggested the road would help tennis center members get to the planned RaceTrac gas station in a safer manner.

King also noted that there is a possibility the new shopping center could be connected to MacDuff Parkway as well.

At the Feb. 6 council meeting, Trinity representative Jim Lowe noted that a traffic study the company funded shows that the light meets the DOT’s eight-hour volume threshold indicating that a traffic light is necessary. However, the city’s traffic consulting firm noted that the light does not meet DOT’s guidelines for 1,000 feet of spacing between signals, as the light at Planterra Way and the light at MacDuff Parkway are both too close.

Lowe said the light is necessary to attract “quality” tenants to the site, known as The Overlook shopping center. National retailers are lined up for each store on the 81,000 sq. ft. site plan, with one being a grocery store, though Lowe declined Feb. 6 to publicly reveal which companies had made the commitment.

Regardless of council’s decision, the final say on the matter rests with the Georgia Department of Transportation since the light would be on the state highway system.

Council tabled both requests at the Feb. 6 meeting so they could review Trinity’s traffic study in detail and also have more questions answered.

A new traffic light, if approved, stands to affect not just residents who live in Wilksmoor Village, who rely on the corridor for their only way to and from home, but also businesses off the highway as well.

Chick-fil-A has withdrawn plans to build a new restaurant in front of The Overlook directly off Hwy. 54 in an outparcel immediately next to the proposed RaceTrac. Chick-fil-A is actively pursuing other locations to expand its offerings in Peachtree City, a company spokesperson said.

Even with Chick-fil-A off the table, there are a number of other fast-food restaurants anxious to take that spot, Lowe told council.



"Businesses are lined up"... sure. could have built near the movie theater 2 years ago. I'll bet 75% of the 81,000 sq foot building stays empty once they build it.

I will take that bet, a hundy sounds good to me. If built, if after 6 months 75% of the square footage is vacant, you win.

seems to have a problem telling the truth. He can go pound sand.

Gilly Walker's picture

"King suggested the road would help tennis center members get to the planned RaceTrac gas station in a safer manner." And how many times does Mike really think someone will need to dart over from tennis for a tank of gas, a six pack of Bud, a hot dog or a pack of smokes?

“If we say no, we may very well be stuck with businesses that may not meet the standard to which we are accustomed,” King wrote.
Oh, like the Dollar Store and ANOTHER Mexican Restaurant haven't already set the bar pretty low.

That's All.

If that were true you would be able to name them.

Our downward spiral began when you let walmart in. We might as well continue our march to give riverdale competition in the urban blight contest. How many more ugly strip malls do we need?? More "high end" nail salons, maybe another tire place, or how about another mexican restaurant, or if we are really lucky how about a goodwill store??

I know a Frontgate store or Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware would be tooooo much to ask for.

PTC Observer's picture

really? If this is planning, then the result along this corridor says a lot about the competence of the "planners".

If we could go back a few years, which we can't, the entrance into PTC from the West could have been a model for a planned community. There are dozens of ways that this could have been done better, much better. Some of us made our thoughts on this subject known at the time, without much notice.

So, now we are stuck with a band aid approach to development, something that should sicken all PTC residents of our fair city.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'

John Greenleaf Whittier, "Maud Muller"

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Nobody planned it ahead of time - that's for sure.
I have explained this in detail before, but the west side was planned by the city piece by piece in an emergency reaction to rezoning and site plan requests by multiple landowners. And multiple landowners were the problem. Highest and best use on their parcel of land without any regard for an overall plan. PCDC was absent as was Jerry Peterson (the best land planner whom you would ever hope to meet) because they - actually Equitable owned no land over there - so it was left up to the hooligan land owners and the ill-equipped city staff and planning commission was supposed to be the referee.

This was the first area that the city itself actually had to plan and they failed miserably. Leadership at the time? Do your own research. OK, a hint. "Gee we can have our very own Home Depot here. Wouldn't that be great?" Who said that?

Sort of like we have to pass the bill to see what is in it - or what comes along with it. These people are stupid beyond belief.

Live free or die!

R. Butler's picture

Certainly in the case of Walmart and Home Depot, PTC was in complete reaction mode. But I would argue that the same cannot be said for this particular parcel. Both CCD and later Trinity were fully aware of the zoning and setback limits to the property when purchased. Their entire strategy from the get-go on this has been an effort to overcome these via variances, the purchase of city owned roads, and the whole HWY 54 light issue. There was never any good-faith intent to develop the property within the limits of the existing zoning.

The fact that the developer is claiming that prospective unnamed retailers are demanding a light and demanding access to Planterra Way, or else they will not come seems a bit like when CCD threatened to build a Hooters on the site unless the city requested a traffic light allowing access to the site.

I am concerned about the comments from Mr. King regarding the idea that if PTC is inflexible on this issue, we might not like which businesses we end up with. I would suggest that the worst we would do is to get businesses of the size and character that the original zoning and setback restrictions of that location called for in the first place. Which would not require either road access to Planterra Way or another light on Hwy 54.

Finally, I am also curious about the contention that PTC would be stuck paying the cost of a light in the event that GDOT approves a light not actually requested by the city. As a recall from the days of former Mayor Logsdon and CCD, the argument then was that GDOT would not consider adding another light unless the PTC Council formerly requested it. In fact, both the former mayor and CCD claimed that the sale of the two public streets to CCD came with the implicit agreement that the city would endorse the request for this light on Hwy 54 on behalf of CCD. So now how can council claim that Trinity could independently request GDOT approval of a traffic light, and then saddle the city for the bill on the basis that we did not actually request it ourselves?

PTC Observer's picture

Isn't this all about picking a the carcass of a lost opportunity? At this point one only needs to look at the mess on the West side of our city to see that another light, another development will only enhance the mistake.

At this point, it doesn't matter much, we have a great big mess that isn't going to go away.

So much for community planning and the "vision" of our fine elected representatives.

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