Walgreens unresponsive to PTC homeowner’s repeated letters

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Below is a copy of the letter I sent to Scott Moore of United Retail Development and Brenden O’Brien of Walgreens back in July of this year.

Dear sirs, I am writing as a citizen of Peachtree City, Ga., that is concerned about your company’s plan to build a 14,000-plus-square-foot store on a site that now holds a 4,500-square-foot Ruby Tuesday restaurant.

I understand that as owner of this property located at the corner of Ga. Highway 54 and Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree City that you are entitled by law to locate your establishment here. I am not disputing this fact. What does concern me is the following:

1. Tripling the square footage of the site. When Ruby Tuesday located here it was under strict restrictions as to the size of the building on the plat, and it came under a great deal of scrutiny from residents in the area due to its location in the center of town and its proximity to residential homes.

Citizens were unaware that these restrictions were not made in perpetuity, so that no matter who owned the land that these restrictions would be maintained.

I understand that the average size of your new stores is the 14,000-square-foot plan, so I am not sure why you would choose to locate on a site that had the current restriction of 4,500 square feet or so, more than tripling the footprint. This does not seem to take into account the wishes of the citizens that would frequent your store.

2. Signage. PTC has a very strict sign ordinance. We do not allow for flashing signs, or the type of podium signs that I see in front of your current stores.

3. Parking. I see by your application that you are required to have 49 parking spaces and are proposing 63. Is there a reason for this? Unless the extra 14 spaces are golf cart parking, which in effect take up less space than an equal number of cars, we don’t want them. More trees and less impervious space is much more appealing.

4. Proximity to Rite Aid. Not that this is a concern of yours, but for the residents of PTC it makes no sense to locate two drug stores next door to each other just because you can. From your website you claim to want to appeal to the neighborhoods that you locate your stores. I can speak for a great number of residents when I say that this does not appeal at ALL to the average PTC resident.

I know that you have already purchased this site for your store. I do not think it is a suitable location for a store of this size given the current restrictions of the current property owners, your signage type, and the proximity to the pre-existing Rite Aid Drug store.

However, if you insist on locating here and pursuing your date to break ground Jan. 1, 2011, I implore you to respect the community that you are building in by:

1. Reducing your footprint significantly to comply with the wishes of the residents that fought so long to get the size restrictions in place that the current Ruby Tuesday complies with.

2. Making an effort to blend in. This is a prominent corner of town. PTC has always prided itself on the retail NOT being so visible from the street, but instead blending in with the trees and greenery. This would apply to both the structure design itself, signage and parking.

3. If you are not able to accommodate 1 or 2, please consider locating elsewhere. There are plenty of vacant retail sites in PTC that are much more appropriate for a store of your size requirements.

You may be hearing from some of our residents on this subject and it is my hope that you choose to comply with the wishes of the community you are choosing to bring your business. I think it is important that you hear from them first-hand.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I sent in a follow-up email below at the beginning of this month:

Gentlemen, I have heard no response from either of you on the letter below outlining my concerns for your project.

I would appreciate some sort of acknowledgment of receipt and/or consideration of my concerns.

Thank you.

I have still heard nothing from anyone involved in planning and executing this project at our prominent Hwy. 54-Peachtree Parkway intersection. They obviously do not care, or feel as though it matters not what the citizens think because they are too far along in this project to change anything, or consider citizen input.

I urge all Peachtree City citizens to email these gentlemen. I have heard that the final site plan will be placed before planning commission in as early as two weeks. This is our last chance to impress upon this company the importance of this project to our town and to be heard. It is never too late.

Email to Scott Moore (developer) — smoore@unitedretaildev.com and Brenden O-Brien (owner) — brenden.obrien@walgreens.com.

Beth Pullias, president

Peachtree City Civic Association

www.ptcca.org

Peachtree City, Ga.