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Sprinkler variance denied for PTC townhomes

A developer’s request to build 12 remaining townhomes in The Village at Lexington Circle subdivision was unanimously denied Thursday by the Peachtree City Council.

The first 34 units in the subdivision were not required to have a sprinkler system but because the previous developer’s building permit for the last 12 expired in June 2008, the city’s new fire protection ordinance now applies, city officials said.

Pete Love of Marksmen Construction noted that the previous townhome units were not required to have sprinklers.

“The final 12 I don’t think will be put into harm’s way any more than anyone else in Peachtree City,” Love said.

Fire Marshal John Dailey showed council photographs of a recent fire at The Retreat at Kedron Apartment complex. The fire had been completely extinguished by one fire sprinkler, halting the flames before firefighters arrived, Dailey said.

Without the sprinklers, the fire “could easily have taken off the top floor of this building,” Dailey said.

Marksmen acquired the townhome property last year and completed 14 townhome units that were abandoned mid-construction, city officials said. All but one of those units have sold so the company wants to finish the remainder of the project.

The first 34 units were approved with a two-hour rated fire wall separating each unit, which complied with city ordinances at the time, according to city officials.

After Marksmen and Dailey’s presentation, Councilwoman Kim Learnard said she didn’t think the company met all the necessary guidelines to have a variance approved.

Councilman Doug Sturbaum noted that council was previously told by fire officials that one of the biggest disasters the city could face would be if a fire occurred in a multi-family dwelling.



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