Pinewood annexation and some vexing issues


The huge annexation around Pinewood Studios was made under the claim of “Pinewood’s needs.” The plans to develop this area long predates Pinewood. This plan was an election issue, for Fayetteville, in 2011.

That development is now moving forward with 714 single-family homes, 324 multi-family units, 200 apartments, a 200 room boutique hotel, 75,000 sq. ft. of mixed use retail and 100,500 sq. ft. of mixed use/office/retail. But it is only 696.4 acres, around half, of the total annexed area.

Who backed and pushed this annexation heavily and claimed credit? Steve Brown. Instead of focusing on what are the long-term impacts, he focused on immediate bragging rights, some of which were false.

Pinewood is a good add to the county. So is the college. But there was no need for that much land to serve them. If more was actually needed, over time, it could be annexed later.

Now, we are going to get retail and residential without good paying career jobs to support them.

As for the Atlanta Regional Commission’s involvement in this planning, a reminder is needed that tripling or more of Fayette’s population were and are parts of Plan 2010, Plan 2040 and Concept 3. They want Fayette to be densely populated to get more money from us and justify transit.

The Peachtree City Council totally failed to consider the impacts of this area in their votes on rezoning for the Marriott Hotel, rezoning more property in Wilksmoor and Wilshire to residential and approving the Bradshaw Step One Annexation.

They didn’t consider what a hotel at Pinewood and an already approved hotel plus the Marriott would do for or to Peachtree City. Reality is hotel occupancy has been too low for years. Staying by Pinewood will be far more convenient than commuting from Peachtree City.

Even the Fayette County Development Authority said we lack good office space to attract good paying career jobs. But they still rezoned from office to commercial for the hotel.

So why? Sales tax, property tax? We get the same sales tax no matter where it is in the county and property tax on office buildings.

What is the one thing that would collected in Peachtree City only? Hotel/motel Tax. More money for the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

But this will only happen if total occupancy in Peachtree City increases. It will not be as much money as some think. Especially when considering what good paying office jobs would generate instead.

The residents of Peachtree City didn’t want this rezoning. But, they did it anyway, even though offices were supported.

As for the conflicts on the County Commission, as I have said before, to disagree with Commissioner Steve Brown is to invite his ire. To remove him from the chairmanship was inexcusable to him.

At the 2014 chairman election, David Barlow tried to unseat Brown, but could not get the third vote. Charles Oddo said he didn’t have the time. Brown immediately attacked Barlow.

There were some prior heated conflicts over Brown seeming to represent the whole commission in his blogs and letters to editor in the AJC, Today in Peachtree City and The Citizen. The supposed resolutions and agreements were short-lived.

In 2015 Brown was removed from the chair on a 3-2 vote.

Brown’s reaction was typical Brown. Printed in the paper: “After being ousted as chairman, Brown lobbed new accusations of racism.” There are a lot more quotes, more articles in the newspapers, letters to the editor, etc. If you are interested in seeing them, you can on and by doing research on both papers.

Here is a sample blog posts by Brown:

“Robert W Morgan, I do not support your comments about control and censorship any more than I support Chairman Oddo’s. I am sitting with a guy who just showed me your comment. We believe your views on being able to speak and talk to the newspapers is probably more in line with government policy in Russia and China. I am glad you got to give your anonymous views, on a newspaper site no less, without censorship (or did you have to get the chairman’s permission?)”

It has not ended yet. Brown continues to resurrect the issue.

If anything needs to be changed let Brown propose changes, let staff do their reviews, make recommendations and then let the commission discuss, debate and make decisions.

Then the constituents can form their own opinions.

The future of district voting is up in the air. If upheld, three seats will be up for election next year.

If overturned, all five, from what I hear. Allen McCarty and Steve Brown would remain in their current districts. Pota Coston, David Barlow and I will be in the same district.

There is far more to cover than can be reasonably done in one letter. You can find additional material on

There are issues on all levels, from the city to the federal level and beyond. All are in flux. All that is left is the question of will you go along for the ride or stand up and speak up?

What do you want your city and your county to become?

Don Haddix
Peachtree City, Ga.


[Haddix was the mayor of Peachtree City prior to the current mayor.]