Fall elections will determine Peachtree City’s future quality of life

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Please awaken, my fellow Peachtree City taxpayers and voters. 2021 is a city election year with the mayor and two council positions up for grabs at a time when many of the city’s essential quality of life elements we value are hanging in the balance.

Our municipal elections of late have seen a horribly low voter turnout and the officials elected are actively straying from the foundation and fundamentals that have made our planned community a prime location for families who make quality of life a priority.

I am constantly driving by cars with out-of-state license plates in the city and our housing market is one of the best in Georgia. Sellers can name their price.

The current mayor and council members seem to want to dismantle our planning philosophy and process, redirecting to a more urban form of development with lots of apartment complexes in tight, traffic-laden locations.

Existing taxpaying residents are not a priority with the current City Council. They want to build large monstrosities adjacent to our flourishing subdivisions. The Great Wolf Lodge proposal hovering over an existing subdivision was our first wake-up call and others followed.

Our City Council and our Planning Director told us there was no need to keep the decades-old moratorium on multi-family housing because no property within the city had a zoning that would allow it. Unfortunately, that was an enormous lie as the city staff was developing Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) proposals that included thousands of multi-family units at the very same time.

The mayor and council members have hired urban land planning consultants who have no real understanding of what makes Peachtree City tick and why we attract so many well-educated and highly employed residents to the envy of other areas in the state.

As we now know, the urban planners suggest that we build huge urban structures in our city, requiring construction on our preserved green spaces like Drake Field next to the library and replacing our Tennis Center with apartments.

Obviously, with the thousands of proposed apartment units comes approximately two cars per unit in locations that are already suffering from traffic congestion. Likewise, the City Council continuously increases our taxes and fees at the same time they want to add thousands of new residents who will make the provision of city service even more difficult and more expensive.

In our zoning ordinance, Article 3, the will of the people is made abundantly clear, “The purpose of this ordinance is to promote the health, safety, convenience, order, prosperity and general welfare of the present and future inhabitants of the city; and to assure the development of the city in accordance with the land use and thoroughfare plan as adopted, and as amended from time to time; to protect the population from the danger and inconvenience of traffic congestion; to prevent overcrowding of the land and the undo concentration of population; to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewage, schools, recreation and other public requirements; to regulate with reasonable consideration the character of existing and future uses of the land in order to promote desirable living conditions and neighborhood stability, protect property against blight and depreciation, secure economy in governmental expenditures, and protect against floods and other natural hazards.”

Unfortunately, our City Manager along with our Planning Director feel that this language is out of touch and they tend to go with the new philosophy of high-density urban development as recommended by the urban planners. (The City Manager inferred at the February 8 Planning Commission meeting that this language in Article 3 was written way back in 1977, totally false.)

As our master plan philosophy was developed and refined in Article 3, our citizens wanted to secure their desires in a codified form, leaving nothing to chance because we honestly care about school overcrowding and undue concentrations of population and traffic in areas like the intersection of Highways 74 and 54.

The citizens demanded that the city government pay serious attention to the land plan, protect the character of the community and not take any actions that would diminish our existing subdivisions and cause depreciation of our property. Only a handful of cities in our state willfully and meaningfully provide such high standards. And the beauty of Peachtree City is our citizens fight to maintain the standards over and over again.

Not only has our current mayor and council purposefully attempted to bypass our high standards, but they have also crippled our Planning Commission by removing their authority.

The few top-tier cities in metro Atlanta are trying to emulate the feel of our successful community. The City of Milton approved a $25 million bond to purchase greenspace and create paths. The City of Alpharetta is designing their own “greenway” system of paths. In contrast, our City Council and planning staff created proposals to build in-fill apartment complexes on our prime greenspaces, parks and recreation venues — utterly ridiculous.

Bring us some candidates for the 2021 election that will give us the following:

(1) A guarantee not sell our protected greenspaces, parks and recreation venues to developers to build thousands of apartment units;

(2) Restore the Planning Commission’s authority, including public hearings and a formal vote on proposals;

(3) Do not support any development proposals that cause harm to any of our subdivisions;

(4) Stop converting General Industrial and Office/Institutional zoned land to residential and secure future high-paying jobs;

(5) Create meaningful citizen input at all public government meetings and stop holding a timer and forcing people to speak their comments in 2-3 minutes;

(6) Seriously address the city’s financial liabilities and commit to budgetary constraints to prevent annual tax and fee increases;

(7) Promote legislation through the Georgia General Assembly to create a recall process for the city so that elected officials who violate the will of the resident taxpayers can be removed and;

(8) Reinstate the moratorium on multi-family housing and dispose of the LCI plans.

Steve Brown

Peachtree City, Ga

[Brown is a former mayor of Peachtree City and served two terms on the Fayette County commission.]

36 COMMENTS

  1. You know what I”m sick of?? Politicians – current, former, and future – that just want to attack people. I think the vast majority of residents agree with me. If you can’t state your case without someone blatantly or stealthily attacking the person with an opposing view, then get out of the way. Residents have no time for you.

      • I have a Real Estate Brokers license, not really active at all in Fayette…not that its any of your business.

        But yeah, the City looks great, you deny that?

        Not all of us are cut out to be Civic Leaders…probably me included…but I know about the rule of holes.

        Going on a local forum and doing nothing but slinging mud is not the way to win friends and influence people.

        • You falsely attribute the city being greener to Fleisch, not the weather cycles we have experienced. You lived here 18 years, I have 34 years, so I have seen the cycles repeat and the dust bowl results of the droughts.

          Telling the truth is not slinging mud, it is simply correcting false statements.

          And I also remember your history of being an avid Fleisch supporter and being pro-developer with a commercial real estate broker.

          • thecitizen.com/2011/08/04/council-reprimands-ptc-mayor-negative-comments

            Don, did this incident have anything to do with a drought or recession?

          • Pro developer? Exactly what does that mean? Do you I’ve in a developed neighborhood?

            You can find zero examples of me being in favor of more density here, or being in favor of multi family of any kind. Or for that matter being involved with any development in the area period.

            And no, I wasn’t talking about it raining…

          • I see that you’re under the impression that this 2011 episode only reflects negatively on Haddix. It was actually an embarrassing episode the reflected poorly on the entire council. At worst, Haddix was guilty of saying mean things. At best, he was exercising his 1st amendment rights to criticize government, and he was principally criticizing waste, fraud and abuse.

            Here is the irony: the primary drivers of that censure motion were Eric Imker and Vanessa Fleisch, both of whom clearly coveted the mayoral seat. Where did that get us? Candidate Imker promised huge tax cuts, and Mayor Imker delivered huge tax hikes. When challenged on this, he criticized State and County officials. By the same standard applied to Haddix, he should have been censured. Then comes the dictator, Mayor Fleisch, who gave us the international spectacle of a near riotous mob packing council chambers to protest a move by her and her city council to enact an ordinance to sue citizens who criticize the government. This was followed a year later by issuing an executive order banning religious services and public gatherings of 10 or more people. Comedically, the state Statute she cited in her EO as giving her the authority to do this specifically stated in plain English that she didn’t have the authority to do this. Frankly, we’re beyond censure with her.

            Those of us who are paying attention fully realize that Haddix or even Brown aren’t perfect. But after the last two mayors, we would be happy to have merely imperfect back.

          • PTCitizen – when was Imker elected Mayor?

            “Those of us who are paying attention fully realize that Haddix or even Brown aren’t perfect. But after the last two mayors, we would be happy to have merely imperfect back.”

            Are you one of “Those of us who are paying attention…”? The last two to hold the position of Mayor are Fleisch and Haddix. I guess you missed the memo.

          • I believe after Fleisch and me, I am preferred is what was meant.

            When I was Mayor Imker spoke for Fleisch and Learnard, so shadow mayor.

            When I lost Fleisch turned on them.

            Indeed none is perfect. PTCitizen said it well.

          • It’s actually impressive that out of all that malfeasance, the only thing you thought worthy to comment on is that Imker didn’t actually get to mayor. You’re okay with false promises and and unconstitutional behavior.

          • What’s really impressive is the amount of hot and useless air spewing from your oral cavity. You claim that you pay attention and in the next breath, you don’t even know who the past Mayors’ of PTC are.

            *WONK

  2. I think the whole concept of PTC is to be a bit of an island from the disorder that exist other places. Certainly, may groups of people from all socioeconomic status can blend and live together…the orderly plan and overriding security of PTC is what it offers to all.
    We must protect the idea of and the concept of PTC for all.

      • Never was what? Never was a person that couldn’t identify when they were ill-suited for a position? Sorry Don, but that would be you and the rest of the ankle-biting has-beens. You’re all still clamoring for the lime-light after all these years. It’s crystal clear why you are on the outside looking in. You and your ilk run around on various social media sites yapping your irrelevant disapproval at each other, while still believing that people want to hear from you. Have some dignity for crying out loud. You lost long ago, you have virtually no following or influence, and you’ll hold no elected position in this county again. Move on.

        • The irony of you denigrating Haddix as having “virtually no following or influence” is that you have exactly no following or influence.

          People like Haddix and Brown made contributions to this area. “Stewart Maxwell” doesn’t even show up in a web search.

          You may be seated now.

          • Place holding is not a contribution and yeah, they both were so great at their position that they were slaughtered at the polls as incumbents. And here’s the difference between myself and the has-beens – I don’t run around for years, after my defeat, whining and crying about my successors on every local social media outlet. Still standing over here, PTCitizen… get used to it.

      • Stuart Maxwell, remember, your Joe Biden was defeated three times before he won the presidency with very questionable means.

        In Peachtree City, I won twice before losing once due to very nasty tactics.

        You better take a good look at the current popularity of your Council. They are done. So it all is not as clear as you pretend.

    • Your responce is one of the dumbest things l have ever read. Steve puts forth lots of legit problems with our misguided city government and YOU choose to only attack Steve. Not ONE word refuting his assertions. We only get what comes across as the whining of a petty, hypersensitive soul who feels compelled to put others down to inflate a weak self image. You should find some other way to feel better about yourself. An intelligent person responses to what is said not who said it. I don’t know you or how old you are but it’s past time he grew up.

  3. I agree with much of what Steve Brown says. But he fails to note the acquisition and promotion of well-paying jobs for Peachtree City requires a development authority. Definitely not the FCDA because it is reactive and not proactive when it comes to job recruitment. Plus it is focused on Fayetteville.

    Fleisch has made it clear many times her focus is residential and commercial urbanization, which are not economic development. Imker voted to disband our development authority because he absolutely stated on the dais he wants to be in control.

    He also stated he wants to control WASA, even though he has no background in sewer.