PTC Council: ‘No’ to major westside changes

By JOHN THOMPSON
jthompson@TheCitizen.com

Peachtree City’s biggest residential development in years is coming under intense scrutiny from the City Council.

During Thursday’s City Council meeting, the council tabled the developer’s request for major text amendment changes to the city’s LUR-14 Limited Use Residential zoning ordinance.

Kolter Homes wants to build 650 homes on the city’s west side in what is now called Wilksmoor Village. The development, coupled with John Wieland’s plan for a nearby subdivision with 200 homes, would reactivate the city’s nearly dormant development, but also has the potential to bring more traffic to an already congested part of the city.

Senior planner David Rast told the council that staff had no problem with minor amendments to the ordinance, such as all homes would be detached homes, instead of 111 courtyard homes approved for the previous developer, Levitt and Associates. The staff also agreed that no more than 10 percent, or 65 homes would be 1,350 square feet each, The rest of the development would have a minimum size of 1,500 sq. ft.

But, Rast added, “staff is not in favor of major text amendments.” The issue that drew the most discussion involved the developer’s request to allow up to 200 certificate of occupancies before the extension of MacDuff Parkway is complete. Wieland and Kolter Homes are on the hook for paying the cost of the extension of the parkway.

Brian Rochester, who represented the developer, said that was a key issue for the development to move forward, but the issue drew little support from the council.

“My concern is that 1,000 homes are going to be landlocked,” said Councilman Mike King.

Until Macduff Parkway is completed, King said, people would only have one way in and out of the development.

Councilman Eric Imker also could not go along with the issue and if the council approved it, he said, they would be betraying the trust of a previous council who stipulated no certificates of occupancy would be granted until road was finished.

Mayor Vanessa Fleisch said this was ultimately an $8 million project that taxpayers would have not to fund, and wants the road completed as soon as possible.

The other major sticking point was the developer’s request not to have a fire station within 1,000 ft. of the entrances to the subdivision. Fire Chief Joe O’ Conor said his department has been looking at an alternate site at Senoia Road that would actually service the city better than the one proposed near the subdivision.

Since there seemed to be questions on the major sticking points, the council tabled the request and asked staff to bring an ordinance to the Sept. 4 meeting for a vote.

C Dubya
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Request for 100, wait 200, no 300, just 400 homes.

Just a couple of months ago, I sat and listened in Planning Commission and City Council meetings to representatives from John Wieland Homes state that they would need the clearance to build 100 homes in their development as a sort of collateral to justify the expense of extending MacDuff Parkway. They showed a somewhat arbitrary timeline (which was not entirely accurate) explaining that they could get underway with their neighborhood and the MacDuff extension at the same time. The entire project was estimated to be complete in 1.5 to 2 years.

Now, it seems as though that number for homes to be built before the extension is complete has ballooned to 200. If approved, I'm sure it would increase to 300, 400, and beyond.

If this initial certificate of occupancy allowance is approved with NO defined deadline for the extension completion, what is to keep Wieland and/or Kolter from building out the 100/200/etc homes and not even beginning work on the road extension? (This would go against their word, but at the end of the day, they only care about what is contractually required.)

As a resident of Chadsworth in the Wilksmoor Village area, I want this extension to be completed as much as anyone. However, I think the developers are blatantly holding the potential cost relief over the city's collective head in order to get what they want on their terms. The last thing we need is 200 homes worth of additional traffic at the Discount Tire traffic signal.

ginga1414
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Yep, Dubya

More just begets more!