Council, what has gotten into you all?


Dear Mayor and Council, it is unbelievable that you now want to remove the current ordinance allowing citizens to place an item on a City Council agenda! I have never seen a City Council try so hard to crush the voices of their constituents.

We have already had to endure the secretive elimination of our citizen volunteer recreation commission and the downgrading of the citizen volunteer planning commission of its authority. Then there are the draconian constraints the city government placed on citizens’ ability to speak at City Council meetings that rank amongst the worst in the state.

Why does the city government of Peachtree City think it is a good idea to eliminate citizen participation in local government?

In the past, Peachtree City was a national example of remarkable public engagement. Many of the opportunities for public involvement were created by the city government through recruiting citizen volunteers, citizen commissions, and public participation in government meetings. You have stripped it all away.

I am also aware of the extreme variances being proposed to land on Robinson Road. The developer would never submit such a scandalous proposal if they did not think it had support from the City Council.

After reviewing the recent Planning Commission hearing regarding agenda item “PW23-02-01 Re-zoning request for 1116 Robinson Road from Agriculture AR to R-43 One-Family Residential,” I am wondering why the city government would ever allow such extreme variances.

It’s clearly an instance where the out-of-town property owner brought a lot that was too small to accomplish what he proposes to do. We have ordinances for a reason, so how about the City Council comply with them and demand strict developer compliance? It’s what made Peachtree City one of the most sought-after cities in the state and beyond.

Some of you need to go back and re-read the oath of office that you swore to uphold, especially in defending the city’s ordinances. Please stop with the false claim that property owners are entitled to the highest, most-profitable use of their land. The United States Supreme Court has been consistently clear that landowners are not guaranteed whatever they believe to be the most profitable use of their property in opposition to municipal zoning regulations.

Likewise, land use controls that do not approximate the extreme situation of an outright appropriation, i.e., that do not substantially destroy the value and use of the property, should be viewed as “outside the scope of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.” This should be the foundation of every planning staff position on variances.

On behalf of local citizens who expect a whole lot better than what we are getting, respect your constituents and our ordinances.

Steve Brown

Peaachtree City, Ga.


  1. Apparently to Steve, losing the right to have a riding stable and gaining 10 extra feet of side setback are “extreme variances.” You can look up the definition of AR and R-43, and those are the only differences. I’d also point out that AR is explicitly defined as being an interim land use–it is *supposed* to change.