Line Creek project: 4 ‘junior’ big boxes proposed for Hwy. 54W.

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UPDATED for print 03-16-11 — A proposal to build a 134,000-square-foot shopping center at the corner of Ga. Highway 54 West and Planterra Way got first public exposure in a workshop Monday night by the Peachtree City Planning Commission.

The proposal includes a request for the city to sell Line Creek Court, the short road and cul-de-sac that stubs out from Line Creek Drive. Without Line Creek Court, the city’s road setback rules would trim down Trinity Development’s ability to make the development happen as proposed.

Trinity is not asking to acquire the right of way for Line Creek Drive, which would remain a public street.

Trinity’s plan includes four “junior box” retail stores ranging from 20,000 to 28,000 square feet each on the 14.3-acre site. There is also a plan for a restaurant that would have an outdoor dining area overlooking a picturesque view of the Line Creek Nature Area.

Instead of a fully-functioning traffic light on Ga. Highway 54 and Line Creek Drive, a “pedestrian and golf cart blinking light” is being proposed. City staff noted that a request for a full traffic light there, authored by a previous property owner, was later withdrawn.

The property is zoned for general commercial use.

This is the same 14.3-acre site that won approval for a larger shopping center, which never came to fruition, and that approval has since expired.

The property is zoned for general commercial development and is currently owned by a bank, city officials said.

Jim Lowe of LAI Engineering said Trinity will agree to building berms along the rear of the development with landscaping on top to help screen the stores from the adjacent Cardiff Park subdivision.

It was noted that the grade of the stores in the back will be higher than was proposed in a previous version of the plan, so Trinity will have to prove it is adequately screening the area from homeowners at Cardiff Park.

Cardiff Park would also be protected by a 75-foot undisturbed buffer under the city’s relatively new “transition yard” ordinance that is designed to protect residential property from adjacent commercial development.

The City Council is expected to have a future joint meeting with the planning commission, at which council is expected to weigh in on whether it would explore selling Line Creek Court to enable the development.

There was a citizen request to keep as many trees along the highway as possible to help screen the development.

The plan includes 510 parking spaces, the minimum allowed by the city’s parking ordinance, which requires one space for every 250 square feet of gross floor area.

The commission also thoroughly discussed the possibility of creating an access road through the site that would extend westward to the Shoppes at the Village Piazza shopping center. That road might also connect to Planterra Way, but that is likely to face opposition from residents of the nearby Planterra Ridge subdivision.

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TUESDAY ONLINE VERSION — A proposal to build a 134,000 square foot shopping center at the corner of Ga. Highway 54 West and Planterra Way was vetted in a workshop Monday night by the Peachtree City Planning Commission.

The plan includes four “junior box” retail stores ranging from 20,000 to 28,000 square feet each. There is also a plan for a restaurant that would have an outdoor dining area overlooking a picturesque view of the Line Creek Nature Area, which is owned by the city.

Instead of a traffic light on Ga. Highway 54 and Line Creek Drive, a “pedestrian and golf cart blinking light” is being proposed. City staff noted that a request for a full traffic light there, authored by a previous property owner, was later withdrawn.

The development plan hinges on whether or not the City Council will agree to sell Trinity Development the current right-of-way for Line Creek Court, a small stub street/cul de sac that extends off the end of Line Creek Drive.

Without that land, the city’s road setback rules will trim down Trinity’s ability to make the development happen as proposed. Beyond that, however, the size of the development is well under the threshold that would set off the special use permit process, meaning that as long as the development meets all city ordinances and gets planning commission approval the property can be developed since it is zoned for general commercial use.

Trinity is not asking to acquire the right of way for Line Creek Drive, which would remain a public street. This is the same 14.3 acre site that won approval for a larger shopping center, which never came to fruition, and that approval has since expired.

The property is zoned for general commercial development and is currently owned by a bank, city officials said.

Jim Lowe of LAI Engineering said Trinity will agree to building berms along the backside of the development with landscaping on top to help screen the stores from the adjacent Cardiff Park subdivision.

It was noted that the grade of the stores in the back will be higher than was proposed in a previous version of the plan, so Trinity will have to prove it is adequately screening the area from homeowners at Cardiff Park.

Cardiff Park would also be protected by a 75-foot undisturbed buffer under the city’s relatively new “transition yard” ordinance that is designed to protect residential property from adjacent commercial development.

The City Council is expected to have a future joint meeting with the planning commission, at which council is expected to weigh in on whether it would explore selling Line Creek Court to enable the development.

There was a citizen request to keep as many trees along the highway as possible to help screen the development.

The plan includes 510 parking spaces, the minimum allowed by the city’s parking ordinance, which requires one space for every 250 square feet of gross floor area.

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Earlier online version of story posted Monday morning

It’s back — the controversial 14-acre commercial development on Ga. Highway 54 West, next to Planterra Ridge. But this time it’s a different developer — Trinity Development — asking input from the Peachtree City Planning Commission on a proposed 134,760-square-foot retail center.

Also different this time: the center would feature four “junior anchor retail stores, each of which would be less than 32,000 square feet,” according to a staff memo to the Planning Commission.

The planners will hear the new pitch tonight (March 14) at City Hall during a workshop session.

“A freestanding retail building would be located at the intersection of SR 54 and Line Creek Drive,” the staff memo says. “A multi-tenant retail building and a freestanding restaurant would be located between Line Creek drive and the Line Creek Nature Area. Access from SR 54 would be provided via the existing Line Creek Drive which would remain a public street.”

The extremely controversial abandonment of two existing city streets to the previous developer of the site is also being sought.

“The applicant has indicated they will be requesting that City Council abandon the existing Line Creek Court and associated right of way,” the staff memo says. “The development would be separated from Cardiff Park by a 75-foot undisturbed buffer as required by the Transition Yard Buffer Ordinance. It appears that all other building and parking setbacks as identified within the GC General Commercial zoning ordinance would be adhered to. The applicant is providing a total of 510 parking spaces.”

The previous development agreement for the 14 acres — already zoned for commercial use — expired without the developer doing anything with the property.

The Planning Commission will also consider restricting so-called “walking signs” rather than banning outright the hand-held signs used by many businesses to advertise special sales.

City staff is recommending the commission approve requiring a temporary special use permit for each “walking advertising” sign under the city’s outdoor display ordinance.

The walking signs issue will be considered by the City Council at its April 7 meeting.