Don’t close golf cart paths!

32
7889

My husband and I moved to Fayette County early 1978 and have enjoyed the tranquility and beauty of our county for many years. Eight years ago, we moved into Peachtree City in the Waterwood Bend area (Edgewater Way) and have felt like we were on a “permanent vacation,” enjoying the golf cart paths, lake, and city that is so well taken care of.

Especially now, with the price of gas, we go everywhere we can on the golf cart paths. The shaded paths bring joy to my soul! Unfortunately, a path that was put in when the street was paved in 1981, before the houses were built, is in danger of being closed because a resident next to the path wants it closed.

This path is our short distance to the main path that goes around the lake. He also said this “pedestrian path” should have no dog walking or people carting their watercraft down to the lake, and no resting … (if it remained open). They moved to Peachtree City 3 1/2 years ago and chose a home that is bordered on two sides with golf cart paths. They did a beautiful remodel with large windows on two sides where the paths are. Do we citizens get punished because people slow down to admire their house?

If this path is closed, to exercise and walk our dog, my husband and our neighbor, both disabled vets in their late 70s, would have to walk down the sunny street to the other cul-de-sac and back up the main path (a 1 mile out of the way round trip) to get to our normal shady path. Is this what Peachtree City is about? Also, with the price of gas, does the city find it reasonable to deny its citizens paths to get to grocery stores, church, restaurants and shopping?

Most importantly, Peachtree City’s identity for 50 years has been directly linked to our generous golf cart path system. Marketing plans and advertising have been directly related to our pride in our golf cart community. Residents proudly quote, “I live in Peachtree City, Golf Cart Capital of America.” Is this the image the city and council want to continue to promote? Then golf cart paths should not be closed but expanded.

At no time should an individual’s personal interest supersede the majority of residents of our community.

Please join with us in relating to the Council that our golf cart paths should remain open to all residents, whether dog walkers, bike riders, watercraft carriers, skate boarders, or casual riders.

Before the next special Council meeting on July 12, Tuesday, please express your opinion. Go to: Peachtree-City.org; click on “mayor and city council”; and click on “email them.”

Thank you

Vikki Pippin

Peachtree City, Ga.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Coincidently, I grew up on Edgewater Way and that path has been there since at least 1982 when we moved to the street. We just moved back and I live in a different part of town now.

    I too have read Mr. Coala’s letter and find one thing interesting. The easement for the cart path is carried from property owner to property owner. The easement is also shared with the neighbor. Therefore, at best, they could petition to close HALF of the path. (Should be interesting.) But, a public domain easement SHOULD free them from any liabilities ON the easement. Not a lawyer, but played this game before. So what legal issue do they really have? If loitering is an issue, calls the police. (Like the rest of us.)

    But all of that aside, this is my contention. Under what authority has a Council person superseded public hearing and Council vote to impact ANY City business, property, or general affairs? No Mayor, City Manager, or Council Person can just execute such a thing without a clear safety risk being defined and ONLY until a public hearing to confirm such a risk or review a requested action. Who is responsible for executing the action without Council approval? Pull the City Charter and Governance and understand how City Government works. Hold them accountable. Without cause, e.g. scheduled and defined repairs, temporary closure for maintenance or construction, permit access for tree removal, etc. does anyone in City government have authority to make such a designation “because” of any pending legal concern or board or hearing. Personal concerns or bias hold NO weight.

    P.S. I served as Mayor for three terms in a small town in Minnesota. The things I hear how this City Council and Mayor operate needs some real attention from the citizens. Hold them accountable to their job and responsibilities, not their whims and personal benefits. Sounds like I may be running for Council next term.

    • Ahhhh …. the REAL motivation? They have encroached on the Easement? I would like to see that confirmed and regardless of the actions relative to the path, enforce the violation. Their is always an agenda or motivation beyond what is visible. Always.

    • First: Usernames cannot be changed on The Citizen

      Second, This specific issue is not on the agenda but citizens have an opportunity to speak on whatever they choose at the beginning of council meetings during the “general public comment” portion of the meeting.

      This is always the case and is the best way for citizens to get ahead of potential future issues that will eventually become an official docket item.

  2. Mr. Caola wrote a letter to his neighbors and makes clear he is speaking only for himself and that Gretchen is not and will not be involved.

    He lays out the extensive legal research he has done and appears to be on solid ground. He also lays out the problems, things we have all seen and lamented. He seems rational and reasonable.

    I have a path on two sides of my home without issue but different areas have different issues and real problems are growing. Speeding, reckless driving, under age driving, loitering, drug dealing and worse are issues in some places -speeding and reckless driving are ubiquitous.

    Times change and issues develop. I feel many of you are judging without all the facts. Welcome to social media. Homeowners deserve to have a voice regarding these things. Some paths may reasonably need to close as we find other routes better suited. Perhaps engaging the tech of video in rough spots so things can be proven and dealt with – especially reckless and under age driving.

    Let’s be charitable and open minded. We are not in danger of losing all our paths.

    • It is convenient that his wife, Gretchen Peachtree City Council Member, is not and will not be involved. BS. At this point, it’s a matter of opinion if his legal research is on “solid ground”. If the problems he is experiencing are obvious enough that “we have all seen and lamented”, then doesn’t that point to a solution other than closing of a cart path? I mean, if we’ve all seen these problems then they must be widespread. If that’s the case, shut down all cart paths everywhere and rip them out! That makes a whole lot of sense, doesn’t it? Isn’t the real problem enforcement of rules? Essentially, this guy is saying I don’t want this path that’s been here for over 40 years, next to my house. In turn, let’s close it down and push the problems on down the street to another path, next to someone else. As well, let’s punish others that use this path in a respectful manner. The guy acts like he spends most of his day next to the path, being side swiped by carts multiple times a day. Based on a letter he wrote to his neighbors; he doesn’t exactly appear to be the type to “get along” and be neighborly.

  3. While I have no dog involved directly in this BITE FESTIVAL, I am in total support of Vickie and her and her elderly husband’s desire to have these cart path connectors remain OPEN and availablr for the use of the public, the vast majority of whom are Peachtree City Taxpayers or their family members. This conduct on the part of these Caolas appears to be a clear and foreboding attempt to STRONG ARM the folks who regularly use those path connectors by reason of her position as a member of the city council and it CAN NOT be allowed to succeed! And if it were to be approved, it would set a HORRIBLE PRECEDENT and OPEN UP A CAN OF WORMS for future such SELFISH ATTEMPTS to shut down other sections of our lovely city’s golf cart path network! I would highly suggest to these DREAM SQUASHERS that they MOVE to another location. We owe it to our senior citizens – one of whom is a veteran, as am I – to treat them with some great measure of grace, dignity, respect, thanks and appreciation! THESE PATH CONNECTORS MUST STAY OPEN and UNOBSTRUCTED! 😡 🤬 🤯

  4. Reading this story makes me sad and frustrated! How can we help organize against this attempt at a purely self serving path closure? Are we heading in the direction that only those who can afford a home on the lake can have access to it? This is a VERY dangerous precedent to set if this continues. Maybe the saddest part of all is that this is being done for the benefit of an elected official. How do we stop this? Where do I sign?

  5. A lot of issues. A lot of stink on this issue

    1. ) They want to close or limit what can be used on the path. They also said if not removed no loitering on the path
    2.) The request was from Joesph Caola who is the HUSBAND of city councilwoman Ms. Caola
    3.) The path in question is adjacent to 208 Edgewater way
    4.) The house is recently renovated with large windows. (I guess they don’t want to look at normal citizens using the paths which are why most of us live here and pay taxes to the city which she represents. Maybe we are not attractive enough for this outstanding couple (Sarcasm)
    5.) There is a law in Georgia covering “Moving to a nuisance” and applies to this scenario.
    6.) This is a self serving action and at minimum she should recuse herself
    7.) If successful then we have up to 2 years to SUE the city and likely them to overturn it and get a path back.
    8.) We need to question her motivations and make sure if this comes to the council or the path is removed to ensure she and her family and ilk are NEVER PERMITTED TO SERVE IN ANY PUBLIC OFFICE EVER AGAIN (Yes, I foolishly believed her and voted for her)
    9.) We can make sure as a community how we feel about this issue
    10.) If this is allowed to happen then almost every path is in danger as it creates legal precedent

    I am sick to my stomach and very upset.

    They live in their glass house and want to screw over the rest of the city. Maybe it is just best if they move.

    Maybe they would find their house more enjoyable if we start pickets and protests outside their home. She is a government official and it is legally fair game.

    Hey Joe and Gretchen how about we start picketing morning to evening. Would that be better then a cart path? Maybe they should just move if it is so miserable.

    If they are willing to play these games and violate community trust should we start examining ALL the deals and transactions and anything associated with them? This is a mafia like behaviour and screams of criminal activity. What are their taxes like? Has the IRS looked closely enough. So UPSET over these folks… And yes I voted for her, Had a yard sign in my yard for her, but won’t make the same mistake twice.

    • They bought the home knowing the path was there and then renovated the home adding large windows that (I’m assuming) face the path? And now they don’t want to see people or carts on the path?

      If all of this is true, I’d say that the citizens of PTC shouldn’t have to pay for the Caola’s poor choices. I don’t live near there, but I think I will take a cart ride over that way, use the path, and see what all the fuss is about. Maybe more citizens should do the same? Possibly a parade?

    • Jet – check out Fayette County Civil Case Number 2019V-0122. Looks like Caolas’ HOA at Highgrive sued them in 2019. They moved to PTC shortly after that. Coincidence?? They were also sued in 2004 by someone else (Fayette Co Civil Case Nos 2004SV-0212 and 2004V-0458). These people bring trouble wherever they live. If Gretchen votes on the golf cart issue next to her house, a legal investigation should be launched immediately.

      • GAguy,

        You failed to mention that the 2019 lawsuit was filed against a total of seven people in their community and was dismissed against Joe and Gretchen. If you are going to take aim at people, you could at least relay all the facts.

        By the way, I am not in favor of closing this section of cartpath.

    • It is very easy to check the plat on tax records and see if the path was deeded to the city or not. I’ll let folks here figure this out and draw their own conclusions. I referenced below a closure of a similar path a few years ago out of my subdivision.

  6. Time the city initiated eminent domain filing!

    This situation is a slap in the face to those of us who supported the fine Councilwoman. First we load up the lakeside cart path with speed bumps, then people start using Edgewater to go around the area. Unintended consequences?

    The path was there when the house was built. It was there when the house was purchased. There is a matter of a historical easement here. If these folks can do this then know that there are dozens of such connector paths in the same situation, about eight by my count just in the Waterwood Bend area.

    Ms. Caola ran as a conservative and was supported as such. This is not a conservative action and is the act of a selfish, possibly narcissistic neighbor. Get over yourself and be the person you claimed to be.

  7. Nice letter, Vikki. Wholly agree. Certainly they saw the proximity of golf cart paths to their home when they bought the house, or did they wake up one day and say, “Hey, how’d that get there?” Caveat emptor, right?! If it is true that Ms. Caola is the homeowner who is petitioning the city to close/remove the path (wasn’t aware of the speed bump issue but that should be investigated too), then the PTC city attorney should research whether it is legal or ethical for an elected official to propose an action which exclusively (or mainly) benefits themselves. If it is legal/ethical, then shame on her for taking advantage of her elected position. Ironically, when Ms. Caola ran for office, she sent a “Letter to the Editor” of The Citizen on Aug. 12, 2021 promising, “… if elected I will make decisions that serve the interests of Peachtree City residents, not the interests of a select few.” Less than a year later, her petition to close a golf cart path next to her house (if true) is antithetical to that promise.

  8. I am angered to see that two people who recently moved to PTC are so selfish as to refuse their neighbors (some older vets) and our community use of a path that has been maintained by the city for almost 50 years. While there is another access at the other end of the street, the mile + added practically denies use of the PTC system to anyone who walks. Dozens of others from around PTC who use the path every day to take kids to school, walk their dog or ride a bike will be cut off. I too would like to hear from Ms Caola why she puts herself above the community she campaigned to make a better place.

  9. Hi Vikki. Have you spoken to Gretchen to see if she is attempting to have the path closed/removed, or is it hearsay? I’d like to know how she answers and if it is her intention, how does she intend to do so? I personally find it hard to believe that she would succeed.

  10. Hello Vikki. Appreciate your heartfelt Letter to the Editor. Just wanted you to be aware that the homeowner that wants to close this path is on the PTC Council (Post 3). That coupled with all the speed bumps in that area makes one question one’s motivation for public office. But I am sure I am wrong.