3 new PTC members, 2 hot issues for council

A request to up-size one building in a shopping center on Ga. Highway 54 West from 50,000 to 65,000 square feet will be considered Thursday night by the Peachtree City Council.

The request will come before a newly constituted City Council that includes three brand-new members.

Council’s only experience comes from holdover Doug Sturbaum, who is in the third year of his four-year term, and new Mayor Don Haddix, who served a year and a half in his council seat before resigning in August to run for mayor.

Each of the new council members, along with Haddix, have expressed a preference to divert city development away from big box stores to help business in the city’s various village retail centers.

Capital City Development, in a letter from attorney Rick Lindsey, is asking the city to allow its two other large buildings to remain capped at 50,000 square feet. But CCD partner Doug McMurrain told The Citizen recently that the company would be willing to give up the 50,000-square-foot stores in order to secure the 65,000-square-foot store.

McMurrain has said the 65,000-square-foot store would be comparable to the largest grocery store in town. CCD has courted Kohl’s Department Store for the space along with Academy Sports and a potential movie theater.

According to city staff, if council agrees to the change CCD will have to apply for an amendment to its special use permit for the site and the existing development agreement between CCD and the city will have to be amended. Staff would review the request as part of the special use permit request, according to Community Development Director David Rast.

With the recent announcement of a movie theater coming barely over a mile down the road in a mega development located in Coweta County, the prospects of a different movie company coming to Peachtree City may have dimmed. The Coweta development, dubbed Fischer Crossings, also has signed on a Sam’s Wholesale Club.

Capital City’s Line Creek shopping center, which abuts Cardiff Park at the rear, is already zoned for general commercial development. The city negotiated buffer improvements along Cardiff Park and Planterra Way as part of the development agreement for the site.

The City Council nearly two years ago agreed to sell publicly-owned Line Creek Drive and Line Creek Circle at CCD’s request. Without the streets, the city’s setback regulations would not have allowed enough room for large stores on the site.

CCD has yet to formally purchase the streets though it has agreed to pay at least $500,000 for the property depending on the appraisal of the land. If the streets appraise for a higher figure, CCD has committed to giving the city an equivalent amount of land from its site that abuts the Line Creek Nature Area.

The Line Creek shopping center will be served by a traffic light on Hwy. 54 West that was approved by the Georgia Department of Transportation after the City Council intervened on CCD’s behalf.

That light will be between the existing lights for Planterra Way and MacDuff Parkway. Prior to the city’s intervention, DOT had turned down CCD’s request for the traffic light on two previous occasions, citing its proximity to the existing Planterra and MacDuff lights.

In other business, council is expected to vote on a request to annex 48 acres on the city’s eastern border just south of Ga. Highway 54 east for a 21-home subdivision. The request involves two parcels: one on either side of Camp Creek.

The parcels are located east of Peachtree City United Methodist Church and Hyde Investment Group wants to develop it as an “extension” of the existing Hyde Park subdivision.

The city’s Planning Commission last month voted to recommend to the City Council that the annexation be denied. One of the commission’s main concerns was due to a lack of access to the site, which is zoned agricultural-residential in unincorporated Fayette County.

Hyde was proposing to replace an existing cart path section off Carriage Lane in the existing Hyde Park subdivision with a two-lane road. That concept alone drew criticism from neighbors who urged the commission to vote down the proposal.

Hyde representative Mike Lorber said the plan called for an extension of Stagecoach Road, with two separate roads to serve the site.

Hyde is proposing to build homes with an average sale price of about $800,000 each on lots of two acres or more.