OPINION: Let’s unpack undisclosed ‘redevelopment’ shocker


OPINION: Let’s start with the prefix “mis-.”

Our Mayor Learnard has declared she is tired of all the ”misinformation” being bandied about during this city election season. So am I. But don’t stop there.

Let’s add some more “mis-” words to be tired of: mislead, misdirect, misguide, misspeak, misapply, misdeed — oops, that’s a noun amongst all those verbs. There’s a lot of all that stuff also going around, including the noun.

In her disciplinary letter to fellow council member Clint Holland, the mayor asserted some “factual information.” I take her at her word that she means well. Well, there were some facts, some assumptions, some slightly askew predictions.

She carefully failed to mention Mixed Use. And that’s a rather large omission.

Post 1 council candidate Tamara Moore said this — when she thought no one else was looking:

“I can’t even utter mixed use to my council. I need to get in and so does Vic [Painter] or this city is in big trouble.

“The council with the mild exception of the Mayor [Kim Learnard] are so narrow-minded and judgmental we have become the laughing stock of the metro area. There could have been so many wonderful entertainment districts in the works if we had the right council.”

Those quotes from Tamara Moore describe what she wants to happen with the council and to Peachtree City. She (and Painter) want (1) mixed use redevelopment and (2) “so many wonderful entertainment districts.”

Now you know what a vote for Moore and Painter will bring you.

Folks, here are some down to the bone facts that I can personally attest to.

1. I have lived as a backyard neighbor to an 1970s version of mixed use for more than 20 years now. It’s called Aberdeen Village Center. I am a few paces, a green belt, a width of cart path and a road width away from the back door of a thriving bar. I’m closer still to the new bowling alley. An iconic pizza restaurant is a quick walk away. All are contained within one-story, ground floor buildings. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, local farmers and craftsmen sell their products in the open space that is even closer than the pizza. I love my home and its location next to these users of the center’s mixed uses. I chose to live here and I still choose it.

2. Here’s what that early mixed use center did NOT and does NOT have: apartments, condos, residents. But in March 2019 — just four years ago — a new plan was presented to the city Planning Commission.

It was labeled a live-walk-work space. It was to contain 190 “luxury” apartments, 5,252 sq. ft. of retail, 7,000 sq. ft. of restaurant space, 391 vehicular parking spaces and 75 golf cart spaces. It consisted of seven buildings — four of the apartment buildings would be three stories high, and a fifth apartment building would be four floors high.

3. The plan for “redevelopment” just four years ago went to the planning commission, which did not like it, 5-to-0.

4. “City Senior Planner Robin Cailloux at the meeting said the city had been approached about having a grocery store and a high-rise assisted living facility located on the property. Cailloux prior to the presentation spoke briefly about City Council-endorsed potential plans to have a “downtown area” developed in the area of City Hall and west toward Ga. Highway 74. A portion of that development includes the Aberdeen Village retail area.”

5. Property owner Jim Royal decided against doing that to his customers and to Peachtree City. He reversed course, turned down the multi-millions and said no. Instead he got what he said he had always wanted in some of that old space: a bowling alley. I am seriously grateful to Jim Royal. And he still makes the best pizza ever. (There will be 12 luxury, privately owned condos in a remake of his original restaurant area. Twelve is preferable to 190.)

6. Some information to note: Modern mixed use redevelopments always consist of a minimum of two stories. Supposedly, the ground floor is for retail shops, and any stories above that are apartments, townhouses or condos or a mix.

That’s my point: what goes above the ground floor retail uses? It’s always residential. That means apartments, condos or townhouses. (Some may argue all that upper floor space could be offices. Who is building, buying or renting office space these days? Not many folks.)

Thus, by definition, any new mixed use redevelopment inside Peachtree City must contain — besides ground-floor commercial — some form of residences on the second and third floors.

So, whatever candidates Moore and Painter are saying about not wanting apartments or multi-family residences is nullified by their strong stated desire for mixed use.

What else economically viable would or could go into redeveloped village centers? Any thoughts on that?

What say you, candidates Moore and Painter? What does “redevelopment” really mean to you?

What say you, Mayor Learnard, who publicly proclaimed your refusal to accept apartments into Peachtree City?

How do you plan to do “redevelopment” with no multi-family residential component? What will occupy the second and third floors of those new buildings? Quaint shops, bars and entertainment venues on the first floor, but what’s above them?

Enquiring minds really want to know.

[Cal Beverly has been editor and publisher of The Citizen since 1993.]


      • I just don’t see the $$$ in that…

        I was being serious with my question…

        I also don’t have any issues with condos over retail…that would probably entail a full tear down and a big investment by gasp..a Developer.

        • I don’t see the $$$ in people wanting to live in condos/apartments over a strip mall, much less raise their kids/grandkids in that kind of environment.

          I think a sports/recreational facility would be a great use for the space with minimal construction costs needed. Offer other indoor venues as well, raquet/handball, maybe skating, who knows.

          • Empty nesters do it in areas all over town. I’m not thinking it would be marketed to families with young kids. You are going to have to break up the space to get anyone to lease something there on the ground level.

            To do what you propose, the City would most likely have to buy it and run it….I’m certainly not for that.

            There are poles everywhere inside that building..not all that high of a ceiling either. Going to take some work, whatever happens..something would be better than nothing, IMHO.

          • Yup, empty nesters are dying to purchase apartments above a strip mall to sit out on their balconies with an exquisite view of a strip mall parking lot, perhaps a daily jaunt to the Krogers to check out the action there in the produce section. A dream home for sure! — No Thank you sir!

            Wonder how many in Aberdeen will end up as short term rentals.

  1. Kim Leonard ran on ‘NOT’ building up PTC and fixing the traffic problem on the 54-74, bless her heart!

    The democrats in PTC are well organized. They have their own ‘Democrats of PTC’ Facebook page.

    The moral of this story is if you’re happy with the ideology of the Left then keep voting them up and PTC will become a city embedded with that ideology. The quaint city we once new is slowly disappearing or have you Leftists not noticed?

    Yes, be careful who you vote for this November and I suggest the republicans, conservatives or traditional voters get their game together or PTC will be overrun by people with Democrat ideology.

    Look around, taxes are high, crime is higher than ever, it’s plain to see that the Democratic controlled PTC council is bad for everyone.

    2021 vs 2022
    Part 1 serious crimes up 3%
    Calls for service up 12.6%
    Theft by taking: up 43%
    Fraud up 26%
    Entering auto up 29%


    And now a few messages from our local PTC Democrat party.

  2. What is the “Citizen approved” plan for redevelopment or revitalization of the villages? I may have missed that blog post as it seems they are all about NO APARTMENTS.

    Oh yea, Vic Painter and Tamara Moore have stated that they do not support apartments in PTC.

  3. So, if this quote is accurate “we have become the laughingstock of the metro area” I think we have a serious tell. A lot of us in PTC don’t want to be like the metro area. If they look at us & sneer, we’re actually OK with that.

    We like it here & don’t want to be in the ATL, that’s actually why we’re here & not there.

    You may think they’re the cool kids, we don’t want PTC to be like that.

  4. She specifically said “apartments.” Townhomes and condos aren’t apartments. In some cases, they aren’t even multifamily, by definition. Residential over commercial seems to be ill-defined, but I would argue it still fits in the spirit of single family in some cases if it would otherwise be single family and is just elevated over commercial (it would obviously not be if elevated over other residential).

    At the end of the day, the hubbub about mixed-use is much ado over nothing. I mean, let me ask you what common sense should tell you–which is less traffic: living near the commercial building you need/want to access or needing to drive through 54/74? Separating uses adds traffic, simple fact.

    If your complaint is just that you don’t want ANY new development, then fine. I won’t argue that point. But just be honest about not wanting ANY growth instead of hiding behind the “scariness” of multifamily.

    • Hi Blake

      Realize Apartments/ Condos/ Co-ops/Townhomes all fit the same definition of multi family housing where multiple families (units however defined) live stacked on the same piece of land. The current incarnations have retail on the bottom with housing above. Look at Trilith or the Battery as examples. The bus depot is a different example with stacked housing is next to the retail.

      Your presumption that living near the commercial doesn’t compute because work from home is far from universal, in fact the current trend is driving more people back to the office.

      Take care

      • As stated earlier, condos and townhomes are not always considered multifamily in the definition. If the units are separated by a ground to roof wall, they are still considered separate.

        Commuting to the office is a red herring. Bureau of Transportation Statistics states that only about 15% of trips are for commuting. And this makes intuitive sense–even if it is your LONGEST trip, it isn’t your most frequent I would bet. For most people, commuting is 5 round-trips per week at most. If you run one errand a day on the week and hermit inside your house all weekend, then you are at 50% each. But most people probably go to the grocery store, to the gas station, out to eat maybe once per week, visit somewhere on the weekend, etc. Those trips make up 45% (shopping and errands) and 27% (social and recreation), respectively with the remaining 13% being “other.”

        • Hi Blake. Good points. The commute is 5 RTs at a certain time of day. I was born in the the Bronx and grew up in NY/NJ. In my first career years, I put maybe 3,000 miles on my car in year walked and public transportationed the rest of time. I know the model.

          However, where would all these people work? The I – 85 / GA 74 interchange cant take much more at rush hour. Exit backs up coming home.

          The eyes dont lie. We have 3 lbs of road with 6 pounds of daily traffic. Our comprehensive plan says it. Traffic is our #1 issue. Once we solve this, then lets talk, but that’s going to be a minute.

          Tamara Moore and I used to sit next to each other at Delta and around the corner from each other in Centennial. GA 54 was two lane through the west village. We used to say if they would only 4 lane 54….. If they would only connect Mac Duff….. We are driving growth faster than building infrastructure.

          Take care,


          • Good discussion. I too think excess traffic is PTC’s number 1 problem. Though I am currently opposed to any new stacked housing or mixed use in PTC, I might change my mind if our traffic issues are ever abated. It would depend of course on the details of any such future mixed use proposals.

          • Anyone using the 74/I-85 interchange to get to Peachtree City is doing it wrong. I am glad most folks are clueless.

  5. It appears we are going to be dealing with a Painter/Tamara/Nick every election from now on. Just the way it is, kind of like fake fb accounts. Just the way it is now. Kim to her credit, or discredit, was more stealth.