Ministry group’s used car dealership denied at Thomas Crossroads

A proposal by John Barrow and A Better Way Ministries to rezone a half-acre along Ga. Highway 154 just south of Thomas Crossroads from Rural Conservation (RC) to Heavy Commercial (C-8) zoning that would have accommodated a used car lot was denied Jan. 19 by the Coweta County Commission on a 4-1 vote.

County Planning Director Robert Tolleson in a letter to commissioners said the conceptual site plan for the .474-acre property fronting Hwy. 154 and adjacent to the former Catfish Hollow Restaurant was being proposed for automobile dealership parking. The proposed used car dealership would exist along side other businesses operated in the former restaurant by A Better Way Ministries.

The site is located along Hwy. 154 at Aces Circle, just south of the intersection with Ga. Highway 34 at Thomas Crossroads.

Situated in the Quality Development Corridor district, Tolleson said the property, if approved, would require enhanced landscaping.

The vote by commissioners was 4-1 to deny the rezoning request, with Commissioner Tim Lassetter the lone dissenting vote.

Asked about his vote to deny the request, Chairman Rodney Brooks said he believed businesses such as car dealerships that require C-8 zoning are better suited in industrial areas rather than in retail areas such as Thomas Crossroads. And given the required Quality Development Corridor buffer restrictions, Brooks said he did not think that would leave much room for vehicle parking on such a small piece of property.

Aside from its rehabilitation programs, A Better Way Ministries operates a number of retail and service businesses in Peachtree City and Senoia.

Gene61
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Ministry group’s used car dealership denied at Thomas Crossroads

Must say, I support the commissioners on this one...

batman7732
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No car lots allowed

Better Way Ministries has taken over 2 otherwise empty buildings in the area. No one looks at the good the are doing for the people in the community with their goods and services.I guess they had rather have more empty buildings in PTC and SHARPSBURG than sell used cars. I understand them not wanting a car lot @ Thomas Crossroads because it might devalue the Porn Shop and Trailer Park next door.

MYTMITE
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Ah, Batman, just what good are they doing in the community with

their goods and services? Unless they have made drastic changes since the one time I was there about a year ago, their place on 74 was a dirty smelly disgrace---and just how much more are they going to 'branch out'---a moving company, a bakery, a poor copy of a Salvation Army type store and who knows what else--and all under the umbrella of a ministry---now a used car lot? Are they paying taxes on all of these facilities or are they tax exempt because of the Ministries attached to their name?

mthom5436
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Better Way

Ok, other than filling up 2 empty buildings in PTC what good do they do? Profiting off the use of free labor supplied by the local judicial system does seem like a very selfless or charitable act to me. I know he also employs various forms of addicts. When I say employ I mean for the low price of roughly $2000 per month an addict can be entered into the Better Ways Rehab program and spend 10 hours per day, six days per week working in one the the various Batter Way businesses. That 2k also includes room and board of course.

batman7732
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Car lot 2

Okay let's see they have a diner, thrift shop, paint & body shop and the much hated used car lot. They also offer to pick up and haul away unwanted items. This seems to make more sense than being jobless, homeless and roaming the streets looking for trouble. The judicial system chews them up and spits them out the same way they found them or worse. At least they are being taught a work ethic,a skill and receive counciling. I guess some people had rather have them in jail, out of sight out of mind. If they were not just filling up an empty building , PTC could make it another Giant Liquor Store. The people complaining are the same ones who didn't want a movie theater, Kohl's or Sam's Club in PTC. Now they run across the border to shop, watch movies and give their tax $$$ to Coweta.

mthom5436
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Better Way 2

I am a proponent of community service vs. jail. However, when I was a rambunctious youth, community service meant going out and doing something to help your community. With the Better Way system community service means providing free labor to a private contractor. I guess I just have a different view on what constitutes community service.

Sure keeping the less fortunate off the streets and teaching them skills and work ethic makes me feel all warm and fuzzy too. But at what cost?

The existence of Better Way and their practices has created an environment where regular businesses have to compete with an organization that 1) doesn't have to pay employees and in many cases actually has employees paying to be there 2) this organization probably doesn't have to pay the same taxes as everyone else and 3) this organization doesn't even have to play by the same rules as every one else. As demonstrated by the car lot.

So sure, maybe Better Way is doing some good but ethically the organization is a little murky.

Ninja Guy
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Good Deeds Indeed Batman!

But, aren't you just a bit curious why the PTC Council/code enforcement allows a used car lot to operate in apparent violation of zoning and GA state used car dealer licensing laws?

Does not that rise to the the same level of wonder as the Presberg appointment?

Why doesn't Editor Cal write a long blog about potential behind the scenes dealing involving the mayor, council, and police chief and the Christian web that is A Better Way!

batman7732
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Ninja's Right

Perhaps some $$$ exchanged hands to look the other way. Maybe they sell cars at cost....wink,wink. You know the whole not for profit church/business deal. I agree they are helping people but the car lot thing is fishy .

The Wedge
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Oh My Oh my
mthom5436 wrote:

I know he also employs various forms of addicts.

Sacre Bleu!!! Why would anyone want to help addicts or try to rehabilitate them? It is much better for them to wallow in their addictions and break into garages and cars to finance their needs. Let's not do anything to try to help them change.

Spyglass
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Yet, they sell used cars in PTC freely

without issue or a peep from our fair City.

The City has stoned walled a few folks I know who want to actually sell HIGH LINE cars and not a "tote the note" joint like the Preacher runs.

What gives Council or Staff? Let's hear it.

Ninja Guy
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Better Way Registered But Not Licensed

Found the corporation business filing with the GA SOS, but no used vehicle dealers license it appears.

http://corp.sos.state.ga.us/corp/soskb/Corp.asp?1724546

What gives with that PTC Council?

Why let an apparently unlicensed used vehicle dealership operate within the boundaries of our fine and pristine city?

Editor Cal, Munford, and Nelms, how bout some investigative reporting around here?

xflyer
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A Better Way Auto IS LICENSED

I think that you need to recheck your facts. They are licensed by the state of Georgia in Peachtree City and Newnan.

Name: A Better Way Auto Inc
Owner/Manager Name: John Barrow, Designee
Address: 320 Dividend Drive
Peachtree City GA 30269
Primary Source License Information
Profession: Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License No: UCAR039360 License Status: Active
License Type: Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Obtained By Method: Application From State/Prov:
Issue Date: 12/21/2010 Expiration Date: 3/31/2014 Last Renewal Date:

Licensee Information
Name: A Better Way Auto Inc
Owner/Manager Name: John Barrow
Address: 2826 Hwy 154
Newnan GA 30265
Primary Source License Information
Profession: Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License No: UCAR040023 License Status: Active
License Type: Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Obtained By Method: Application From State/Prov:
Issue Date: 12/16/2011 Expiration Date: 3/31/2014 Last Renewal Date:

Spyglass
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They may be licensed, but used cars in the way they are selling

them in PTC is supposed to be illegal. At least they tell regular tax paying residents that.

It's becoming obvious to me that the City doesn't care. This will lead to issues in other areas, if they don't enforce this zoning law with Better Way...what's to stop others from pushing the boundaries?

I moved here for the strict zoning laws, etc, not to have a free for all.

Ninja Guy
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Xflyer, Perhaps You Have Out Ninja'ed

the Ninja in sleuthing! But, when I put the name and the license number into a licensee search on the GA SOS website, I get nothing! I see A Better Way Auto Inc. as incorporated, but no license info! Perhaps you could enlighten us more!

But, why don't they put window stickers on the cars in accordance with GA Law!

BTW, I'm taking the Giants over the Pats!

xflyer
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Proper link
Ninja Guy
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Xflyer, You Are The Best!

Triple gold throwing star to you for out Ninja'ing the Ninja! Apologies to A Better Way Auto and John Barrow for erroneously saying the used car lot was unlicensed. But, why no window stickers on the cars?! Perhaps the wind blew them off the day I drove by!

xflyer
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you just have to know where

you just have to know where to look. The SOS website is (government run). I was there for lunch today and saw stickers in the windows... we have had high winds lately!

Ninja Guy
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Well Xflyer I Guess All Is Kosher

with the used car lot, except for that zoning thing! Can car lots open up and down Dividend Drive as they please? Hizzoner and Council and Code Enforcement refuse to answer on this!

xflyer
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I cant comment on the whole

I cant comment on the whole zoning thing. I do know that in order to get a business license you have to get sign off from zoning as a step in the registration process. So i would say that the Better Way Auto sales lot is 100% legit.

Ninja Guy
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I Don't Know Xflyer

you sound too good to be true! Perhaps you are a A Better Way Auto blogger plant! Are you in rehab over there?

xflyer
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What do you mean “too good to

What do you mean “too good to be true”? Have you ever registered a business in Peachtree City? IF you had, you would know that the process is exactly what I described. I am a business owner in town and have gone through the process.
For the record, I am not a blogger plant. Nor am I or have I ever been in rehab!

Ninja Guy
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Xflyer, Just Trying to Get

to the bottom of things here! Glad to you know you are a fellow job creator and non-rehab participant on top of NOT being a blogger plant! What kind of food do they serve over there? Lentils and such?

PTC Observer
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Ninja - Are

you German?

You seem to be hung up on Kosher and Lentils and such.

Maybe this explains your socialist bent?

It appears that their papers are in order, mien Ninja.

Now what?

How about changing the rules and making them retroactive, that's been done before you know....not here but back in Europe in the good ole days. When men were men and real socialism meant dressing in black.

Pats win, by.....2. That safety gets you every time.

xflyer
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They have good sandwiches and

They have good sandwiches and soup's. Today I had a bowl of good ole Jewish penicillin!

Spyglass
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Code Enforcement

was a vague as vague can be in a response. Basically said to phone Planning and Zoning.

I've done that and gotten stonewalled on a used car lot. Being someone who tries to live within rules, this is frustrating.

WakeUp
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.

.

mthom5436
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It's the silence that makes

It's the silence that makes me think something very fishy is up. You have asked this question several times and not even Don Haddix would touch this issue back when his tongue was at its loosest.

mthom5436
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Well it's a good thing they

Well it's a good thing they denied this request. A used car lot next to an out-of-business Super Saver would have looked like crap.

It's nice to see the Better Ways does have to apply for permits and apparently follow rules like the rest of us. But I would still like to know how they get away with their car lot in PTC.

Ninja Guy
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Used Car Lots Welcome in PTC

PTC lets used car lots open anywhere in town! Come on down from Atlanta boys--we are sorely lacking in Buy Here/Pay Here used car lots!

Did anyone watch the Pro Bowl? I didn't.

PTC Observer
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Ninja - Pay attention

Our parking lots throughout PTC are covered with used cars, haven't you noticed?

I have it on some authority that our next big businesses will be check cashing shops, pawn shops, liquor stores, and store front churches.

Oh, forgot we already have the store front church on Dividend.

So much for the planned community concept.

Hey
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Check cashing shops

Isn't that a check cashing store next to the gas station on the hill at Crosstown and 74?

Ninja Guy
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PTCO--Used Cars For Sale

by individuals in parking lots is one thing, but a full-out assault on zoning and licensing by a so-called business within the city limits of our fine and pristine city is another! Where is our police chief on this! Let's ride one of those $50,000 patrol cars over there to ask for used car dealer license, business permit, and other legal paperwork! Maybe the PTC police chief is a Barrow disciple!

Why will the council not answer us bloggers on this issue? Perhaps that new fellow will take it up as his first cause!

Giants by 3 or more over the Pats!

PTC Observer
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Ninja - My guess

My guess is because it is in a "light industrial" area, the code is vague.

Therefore, the city fathers can't decide what the heck to do about it.

I suppose it is complicated by the fact that it's also a "church", you know that whole "separation" issue.

Gets a little convoluted, doesn't it? Maybe I can start the Saint Luke Church nuclear reactor on Dividend? Can check cashing be far behind?

mthom5436
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I am kind of surprised there

I am kind of surprised there isn't a Better Way Check Cashing, a Better Way We Buy Gold or a Better Way Tax Service.

Robert W. Morgan
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If the city does not enforce their ordinances on Better Way,

they will lose the right to enforce them on future violators. And if they try to make an exception because the violators are a church, you can just bet Pressberg, Main Stream and their little satan club will come out of the woodwork big time. They might even open up their own lot - selling all black cars.

Ninja Guy
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Zoning Aside, I Don't Think the Place Is

properly licensed. Cars for sale must have window stickers--those cars don't have any. Clear violation of the law in any case.

PTC Observer
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Ninja - Do

church activities need to be licensed?

What in the world would happen to church bingo?

Window stickers? Window stickers? They don't need no lousy window stickers. They're selling those cars to church members or members to be, they are simply looking for new membership and helping those in need.

Come on Ninja, it's all about helping those in need, you wouldn't deny them this freedom would you? You wouldn't want only the government to help those in need would you? At least they're not robbing people and selling stolen goods or giving it away. Are they?

The Pats are going to blow the Giants away Ninja.

Ninja Guy
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PTCO, Don't Go All

anti-church on us now! That will surely put you on the bad list with the local blogging community! You might even be branded a Presberg acolyte!

Perhaps churches do need some regulation given the number that are popping up around here! Maybe hit them with big box regulations or something!

I don't know what kind of stuff Better Way is selling over there, stolen or not! I try to stay out of thrift stores unless I am donating to Goodwill!

I moved to PTC FOR the regulations NOT in spite of them! Let's keep PTC a fine and pristine city--at least the section I live in!

Brady will be hit, often. Brady does not like to be hit often. He will be off his game. Eli will be on his. Giants win 27-24.

PTC Observer
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Ninja - Anti-church?

Me?

You're the one that wants to regulate them. I suppose that is the answer to just about everything, a book of rules that shapes the world to an unattainable "vision".

I too voluntarily moved to PTC for the protection of my property, but alas it's not working out too well. Is it Ninja?

So much for the power of regulation.

Check cashing stores are on their way.

Pats by 37.

Spyglass
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Code Enforcement in PTC is silent so far

on this issue. Been 4 days and NOTHING from them.

Ninja Guy
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Council and Hizzoner Must Answer!

Just like Chairman Presberg has been demanded to answer, I too demand an answer from Hizzoner and Council on behalf of Spyglass whether used car lots are permissible in our fine and pristine city!

Four days!

Spyglass
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Big money to be made..

and can be made running a nice high line used car lot. Not the money that can be made running a tote the note lot like the Church on Dividend, mind you....but I don't like the collection business.

mthom5436
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Has anyone tried a more

Has anyone tried a more formal request for an explanation?

Last summer I brought my boat home to change the oil and do some maintenance. Within 24hrs I had a warning letter on my door for violating a city ordinance. If I go online and get some sort of minister certificate will the city still expect me to follow rules? I really don't see why rules apply to me but not John Barrow.

Spyglass
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Yes I have asked the City

and they are very mum, other than to say a license to sell used cars cannot be obtained, unless all cars are indoors, no outside cars for sale allowed.

Davids mom
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Ninja GUY

I had the game on - watched parts of it. High score - as usual. This is one game where the guys play for the fun of the game - and make sure that no one gets injured. It was good to see some players having a good time - and respecting one another as being the BEST!. Now the Super Bowl will be a different story!

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