OPINION: Peachtree City school zones face big changes to accommodate candidates’ ‘workforce housing’ plans


OPINION: A recent letter from Three Rivers Planning Commission Planner Stephanie Wagner advocated for the inclusion of multi-family/multi-use development (aka Town Houses/Apartments) in Peachtree City.

In a nearby article an email from Candidate Moore of the Moore/Painter ticket for City Council supports the idea but admits that if she were to publicly admit her support, it would hurt their chance of winning their city council races.

This was unsurprising as multi-use supporters were already on the various Facebook groups advocating for “workforce housing” in Peachtree City.

When I offered there was already new apartments going up ten miles away on Highway 74 in Fairburn, the other shoe dropped. Those apartments were in the South Fulton school district, not Fayette County. Meanwhile, it is important to note that there have been hundreds of apartments built in Fayetteville that have access to Fayette County schools.

All of our excellent Fayette County Schools are high performing; however, McIntosh/Booth is highly desired and add a premium price to housing located in their district. In fact, the rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Camden is higher than my mortgage/tax payment for a four bedroom house.

These schools have remained near capacity as our district has ebbed in total population. That is the factor that was either missed or ignored in the Moore/Painter ticket’s approach to multi-use development/multi-family Housing.

While our mayor assures us no candidate supports multi-family housing additions, candidate Moore’s own email suggests different.

Dropping tens if not hundreds of apartment/townhouses in the village centers as part of a haphazard “multi-use” redevelopment will eventually result in a rezoning of our schools as McIntosh/ Booth and Starr’s Mill/Rising Starr are already near capacity.

In the last redistricting that closed four schools a decade ago, it was decided that all development north on MacDuff past Centennial/Chatsworth was zoned to Flat Creek/Sandy Creek. Therefore, no existing PTC neighborhoods were affected by developer-driven growth. In this scenario, the growth is targeted for the center of Peachtree City.

Therefore, some existing Peachtree City neighborhoods would have to be redistricted to make the numbers work. It would be helpful if the Moore/Painter ticket could tell the voters which neighborhoods they propose to redistrict from McIntosh/Booth to make room for their multi-use/multi-family driven growth.

Will it be ArdenLee? Kedron/Kedron Hills? Centennial? With the FCBOE abandoning our small class size model, the school population math becomes vital.

End of the day, if the developers behind Moore/Painter succeed in dropping apartments into Peachtree City, the math says the redistricting will eventually happen.

Although the owners of the apartments will make good money, the question is whether a majority of Peachtree City property owners will fare as well with the traffic and redistricted schools that will result from the developer profits?

Neil Sullivan

Peachtree City, Ga.


  1. I appreciate the reasonable take here but four main issues in my view.

    1) Mixed used does not imply and is not synonymous with apartments. It means residential and commercial on the same lot. The council has made clear there are no apartments planned and there is no reason to believe that will change. I’m not on Facebook so not sure what context I’m missing, but think I follow. I don’t think the mayor was speaking for the candidates, but still, no one is saying they support apartments. Yes, Moore supports mixed use but that does not mean apartments. Any new apartments have to go to council, and even with Moore/Painter I don’t see them getting approved. PTC citizens have a history of being vocal on this issue and over the last 20 years council has listened.

    2) The implication that Moore/Painter are developer backed is not supported by facts. PTC is an urban city by any definition, suburb sure, but root urban. It has been by the US definition since it had more than 2k residents, or since 30k by the Japan one, one of the densest countries in the world. This implication it is the developers who solely want some mixed use and not other residents who simply have different views is disingenuous. Cities and their residents grow and change and it’s not always do people can make money, though they do, that’s just how our economy works.

    3) Traffic will get worse. Period. Full stop. We cannot control growth outside of PTC, and that growth will cause traffic. The idea a few hundred homes will materially affect traffic is not logical. All the thousands of homes going into neighboring cities is the fundamental driver of our traffic woes. We need to work with the state on this.

    4) The schools cant handle it is just another straw man argument, with respect to the impact of a few hundred homes. Not everyone has kids and definitely not of the same age. I believe in our FCBOE and the councils ability to plan for this before approving any new homes. If we were talking about adding 1k plus homes per year for multiple years, this would be a valid concern. There just isn’t enough land in the city limits or available to annex AND get refined for this to be a valid concern right now. Maybe this changes in the future, but we can’t “what about” ourselves into total inaction on any possible redevelopment. Look at what they are charging for homes in Trilith, our property values will be fine.

    • Thanks for looking at this. I see your points but

      1 ) Call stacked housing what you want. Apartments, Condos, townhomes, verticle stack housing…. Its still many on the same piece of land. The mayor did say no candidate supported … Candidate Moore disagreed in her email. Plain as day.
      2 ) See Steve Brown’s article. Moore and Painter received sizable donations from an executive at Pace / Lynch and from and LLC.
      3 ) Agreeish. We are at the mercy of apartment mad Fayetteville and growth and Coweta. We are a crossroad at best, Dar Thompson had it right when he said we needed to open the TDK connector which would do a lot more good than Painter’s gate at Planterra. However, this would drive its own traffic nightmare and facilitate more growth in Coweta.
      4 ) Trillith is the nightmare scenario. Have you seen how much stacked housing went up there? Veterans and Sandy Creek Road can handle it. Where does that work in PTC? But McIntosh is full and has been. any sizable growth will force a redistricting. A new school would have 600k – 1M in fixed costs for administartion and support staff, so the game is to spread out the costs among the existing buildings as long as possible.

      The BOE is already strapped and maximizing class size to save $. Sandy Creek has room, my wife teaches there.

      You keep saying 100 per year like you know something. What are you being told. Its unlikely true only because the economics say build everything now not in stages. We need to plan this out and think it through now so we can have a plan.

      A good example of failure to plan is the Green T by racetrack approved by one of Candidate Moore’s partners on Plan for PTC. Now the turn lane to RaceTrack / Chik Fil A overflows and blocks one lane of traffic and cars try to dive into the other lane.

      Look up “Project Based Rental Assistance or PBRA” Its likely the federal money they keep talking about. This is a program under Section 8 of the HUD act which provides rental assistance below a certain income. Before you get excited, Im betting there would be a lottery. The feds don’t give you money to make PTC nicer without strings.

      I have appreciated these exchanges where we can disagree without being disagreeable. I hope thigs work out for you.

      Take Care


  2. This is a good article and candidates Moore and Painter need to clearly state their positions on whether they support more new apartments or other stacked housing developments in the Village centers. I oppose it as I think do most PTC citizens.

    Our Mayor is also on record as opposing it and has had to fight a misinformation campaign from a current council member. I admit that I’d been sucked into some of this misinformation. That council member should own up to any misinformation provided regarding the Mayor’s position. Note, I voted for that council member but I do not support misinformation or opinions that are not based on facts.We need civil dialogue, not unfounded accusations.

    • Hi Gman

      I saw the mayor’s video. I would stay away from the word “misinformation” as it first appeared in these conversations in candidate Moore’s refusal to answer pretty basic questions. Since then, if you are nor for Painter/Moore Learnard, its seems to be misinformation.

      You will note above I reference Wagner’s letter and Moore’s email as a basis for my analysis. I agree there are no CURRENT proposals, but Planner Wagner tells us the plan is updated every 5 years. So there is no fire per se, but there is smoke,

      As I noted above, its kinda weird that there is chatter on various Facebook groups about needing multifamily housing in PTC . Its no coincidence that each poster also supports the ticket. The Mayor’s tireless efforts on their behalf raises more alarm atleast for me. Why doesnt the ticket speak from themselves?

      Admittedly, I have become wary about public leaders since the Booth ESPLOST debacle. But even President Reagan says trust but verify. The more words the bigger the smoke. No means no.

      Take Care


      • Thanks Neil. It’s obvious that there is bad relations between Kim and Clint. In Clint’s endorsement of Suzanne Brown he indicated that ‘there were proposed plans to urbanize our city with with mixed use or apartment complexes, do away with the Tennis Center and other local parks to make way for new multi family complexes in the controversial LCI plan’. I think that that incensed Kim because she said none of that was true as to actual proposals and was misinformation. Hence her private email to Clint severely chastising him which ended up published in the Citizen. And later the video on YouTube which was certainly a better look.

        You are dead right though that efforts will continue by candidates, developers, land owners, political action groups and some citizens to bring more apartments and urbanization to Peachtree City and we need to keep electing council members who oppose it in my opinion. I appreciate your comments.

  3. I’m sure Slick Vic and Tamara would work with developers for apartments at the old KMart location. A project that size would stand a good chance to be financed through Wells Fargo, Slick Vic’s employer. Follow the money!

    • Hi Deadeye, if you watch mayor Learnard on YouTube make it clear that she and city council will follow the master plan and that includes NO apartments…plus her calling out Holland over these rumors…I don’t follow where all of this comes from.
      Have I missed something?

  4. The voters should hear directly from Moore and Painter where they stand on any further multifamily development…the mayor is totally clear about following our PTC master plan and that included no new apartments…period.