Without a doubt the City Council is stirring the pot. Concerns and questions are growing among the residents of Peachtree City about their actions. Even those living in other than Peachtree City are questioning decisions.
Since a letter covering all the issues, in detail, would be far too long for the paper, this letter will give an overview with greater detail covered on donhaddix.com.
The Tax Allocation District (TAD) is a far larger matter of greater impact and concerns than what many have been led to believe. The impression from the presentation is that while there are some risks there is nothing to worry about. Additionally, how it operates is simple, well controlled and of no financial impact to the city as a whole.
That simply is not true, as the data in the posting on the website lays out quite clearly. There are indeed perils, including eminent domain. Links to sources for further reading are included.
Sewer on Huddleston? An old topic. A TAD for Line Creek would fit the council agenda of tax and spend.
At the TAD presentation, Fayette County Development Authority President Alan Durham stated we need more office space in Fayette County.
An interesting statement given this council and the majority on the last council were far more interested in rezoning property to retail and residential.
There is the past rezoning to commercial from industrial at Wilshire. Most of that property still sits undeveloped.
There is the annexation and rezoning of prime office property near Wilshire to residential by three on the current council. Also the push to enable more retail at Line Creek with another light.
Recently land in the Kedron Office Park was rezoned from office usage to build a Marriott Residence Inn we do not need.
We already have seven hotels that are nowhere near reaching capacity. There is another hotel approved and in work for Wisdom Point.
Who is pushing this? The Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), because they receive hotel/motel tax and want more capacity for their special events, needed or not and used or not the rest of the year.
Remember the council majority vote to increase in the hotel/motel tax to benefit the CVB?
Add to this the proposal for a Great Wolf Lodge Family Resorts on the Dolce site.
As a councilman, I was constantly frustrated with some on council bragging about how they negotiated more buffers, berms and green from developers. Of couse, they had to give the developers something else in return that normally would not be given.
It did not go over well when I asked on council why they were willing to trade with developers for things that should be required by ordinance? Even less well received was when I told staff I wanted to develop ordinances that stopped the clear-cutting between roads and commercial property and wanted to require minimum, larger buffers, between industrial and commercial properties.
The ordinances passed, but not unanimously. Now, canopy and understory trees are required, including replacement along roads. Also, the 75-foot transition yard with berms and screening trees is in force.
On the resort proposal, the developer wants to gut the transition yard and other requirements, pushing it right back to the old conditions that prompted my actions to protect residential property.
What will council place as the highest priority, the developer or the homeowners? After other votes we have seen, I am not encouraged.
Finally, I viewed three other locations on their home page. The Cincinnati map would not display and the locations at Concord, N.C, Grapevine, Texas, and Kansas City, Kan., had no residential neighbors, just commercial.
It is very clear all their facilities are identical in construction and plans. Surely this proposal can be tweaked to protect the neighboring homes here.
Finally, yet again, is Scott Bradshaw’s annexation request on Ga. Highway 54 East. It is always the same, meaning residential and retail with a very small office component to try to sway the vote, in my opinion.
Last time, he and I had talked. I told him we do not need more homes and retail, so if he wanted my vote, it needed to be an office complex.
But, since residential and retail make more money for the developer, he could not be persuaded.
This links back to the new annexation ordinance and the warnings I stated in my letter to the editor on the subject. It did not take long to put this on an agenda.
Add in the annexed area around Pinewood Studios, which is going to see a lot of development, including a hotel.
Good paying jobs should be priority one. But there is no plan and no discussion. Just more of the same failed agendas.
The Peachtree City motto is “Live – Work – Play.” But for this council, it is “Play – Shop – Commute.”
Peachtree City, Ga.
[Haddix is the former mayor of Peachtree City.]