A rezoning request for 28 acres, the proposed site of the Calistoa mixed-use development adjacent to Lake Macintosh, was recommended for denial on April 22 by the Peachtree City Planning Commission. The request will go to the City Council on May 16.
Peachtree City developer Pace Lynch teamed with North Carolina-based Crescent Communities to propose the rezoning of 28 acres of a 37-acre parcel for the establishment of 43 single-family homes, 9,500 sq. ft. of commercial space, 27 townhomes and 350 high-end apartments. The acreage is situated adjacent to Lake McIntosh and the Planterra golf course.
Jason Pace said the current trend for office parks in suburban areas has transitioned away from what it once was. Commenting on the current trend and specific to Peachtree City, Pace said a company wanting a 40,000 sq. ft. office building wants to locate at the Calistoa site, provided the development is mixed-use.
Pace noted that the development conforms with the city’s desire to have a 75 percent residential, 25 percent commercial split for property tax revenue purposes, rather than the 80/20 split now present in the city.
Calistoa represents a $119.75 million project, Pace said, adding that it would generate $1.22 million in property taxes to Fayette County and $306,956 in property taxes for Peachtree City. Beyond that, the project would generate $2.01 million in city impact fees.
If used as a corporate headquarters or a logistics and storage center, the property would generate only a fraction of those amounts, said Pace.
The idea behind Calistoa is to build a community, said Crescent Communities Director of Development Joe Martinez.
“(Calistoa) is a technology park rather than an industrial park,” Martinez said, adding that the project comes with high-end residential offerings that will attract workers, empty-nesters and young people.
Several in the audience spoke against the proposal, with most referencing increased traffic congestion concerns or stating a preference to keep the property zoned for industrial use. A nearby business owner in the adjacent Naeco Way area cited concerns about tractor-trailer traffic negotiating the immediate roadways. A part of the proposal would be to have Naeco Way linking to Calistoa.
Pace after public comments noted that other industrial park owners did support Calistoa.
Others speakers thought, as did some on the commission, that the concept was a good one, provided it was located in a non-industrial area.
City Planning Director Robin Cailloux during the presentation said that while the Calistoa proposal supports six of the nine applicable Comprehensive Plan goals, the request is not in compliance with the Future Land Use plan and is generally not compatible with the surrounding uses. Due to the above, city planning staff did not recommend approval of the rezoning.
Commissioners at the end of the agenda item voted 4-1 to recommend denial of the rezoning request. Though most said the project was desirable for the city and would be appropriate in a non-industrial location. They also cited a lack of compliance with the Comprehensive Plan in their decision. Several on the board spent more time focusing on the potential noise impediment coming from nearby Falcon Field, along with citing potential safety concerns related to air traffic issues and plane crashes.
In terms of noise, Crescent Communities Managing Director Kyle Brock said his firm was aware of, and would make accommodations for, noise mitigation measures during construction.
The lone vote to oppose the denial recommendation came from Commission Paul Gresham, who said there are certain times when properties need to be considered for other uses.
“Conditions sometimes change,” Gresham said.
Commenting on the history of the marketability of the site, Bill Lynch during the meeting explained that Pace Lynch during its ownership of the property since 2013, as well as previous owners in prior decades, have been unsuccessful in marketing the property for industrial use.
Weighing in on the proposal after the meeting was industrial park neighbor and NAECO LLC president David Bergmann, whose company is located on Naeco Way.
“Over the last 10 years, we have looked at this parcel multiple times, and even had it under contract once,” Bergmann said. “However, we felt if not suitable for industrial development due to its hilly topography. And when we walked the land we found some large rock formations that concerned us. The land is still undeveloped so I wonder if others have come to the same conclusion. Maybe rezoning is the best option? We certainly do not mind if a responsible developer brings a mixed-use idea for this land.”