PTC Council will 'consider' sale of city street to developer for 54W retail center

UPDATED for print version 03-23-11 — The Peachtree City Council has agreed to consider selling Line Creek Court to Trinity Development to make way for a 134,000-square-foot shopping center at the southwest intersection of Ga. Highway 54 and Planterra Way. At a workshop meeting Monday night, it was made clear that council was not committing to such a deal at this time.

Without Line Creek Court, the city’s road setback rules would trim down Trinity’s ability to make the development happen as proposed.

Mayor Don Haddix argued that it is illegal for the city to abandon Line Creek Court since it has a public use. He said it could be used as part of a road to connect the new shopping center to the existing Shoppes at the Village Piazza shopping center further west.

City Attorney Ted Meeker said it is up to the council to determine if the road has a public purpose or not.

“Case law ... says you cannot abandon a road to enable a developer or a private individual,” Haddix said.

Council members Eric Imker and Vanessa Fleisch said they also wanted to explore selling Line Creek Drive to Trinity. Doing so would allow the grade of the site to be reduced significantly, thereby improving the impact on the adjacent residents in Cardiff Park. Trinity did not ask for Line Creek Drive but is open to the possibility.

Trinity’s plan includes four “junior box” retail stores ranging from 20,000 to 28,000 square feet each on the 14.3-acre site. There is also a plan for a restaurant that would have an outdoor dining area overlooking a picturesque view of the Line Creek Nature Area.

Instead of a fully-functioning traffic light on Ga. Highway 54 and Line Creek Drive, a “pedestrian and golf cart blinking light” is being proposed. Trinity is proposing to add a mid-block crossing feature to the intersection, which would provide a “safety area” in the median for pedestrians crossing from the other side of Ga. Highway 54.

The development’s only connection to Planterra Way is via a golf cart path.

This is the same 14.3-acre site that won approval for a larger shopping center, which never came to fruition, and that approval has since expired.

The property is zoned for general commercial development and is currently owned by a bank, city officials said.

Trinity has agreed to building berms along the rear of the development with landscaping on top to help screen the stores from the adjacent Cardiff Park subdivision.

Cardiff Park resident Tim Lydell said that Trinity has committed to limiting deliveries between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to limit noise problems for Cardiff Park residents.

Lydell said he preferred the grade of the shopping center to be reduced, which would help improve the view of Cardiff Park residents whose homes are adjacent to the property.

City resident Phyllis Aguayo said that the rest of the commercial development along Hwy. 54 hasn’t turned out as nice as she had hoped. She added that she wanted to see what the city was getting in return for the road swap.

Aguayo said she wanted to see enhanced buffers, great pedestrian access, upgraded trees in the parking lot, “something that makes us want to do more than just shop there.”

Resident Phil Mahler said he didn’t understand why the city should keep Line Creek Drive if it will abandon Line Creek Court. Mahler said abandoning Line Creek Drive would be a benefit to the Cardiff Park residents.

“I’m not sure I understand why the city wants to retain control of that road,” Mahler said.

Although no retailers have yet been courted for the site, city Economic Development Director Joey Grisham told council that a number of companies he spoke with at a recent retail trade show expressed interest in coming to Peachtree City.

“This is our retail sweet spot, so that makes a lot of sense,” Grisham said.

Resident Caren Russell said she thought a Container Store is a good example of a potential tenant for this site.

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First online version

The Peachtree City Council has agreed to consider selling Line Creek Court to Trinity Development to make way for a 134,000 square foot shopping center at the southwest intersection of Ga. Highway 54 and Planterra Way.

At a workshop meeting Monday night, it was made clear that council was not committing to such a deal at this time.

Without Line Creek Court, the city’s road setback rules would trim down Trinity’s ability to make the development happen as proposed.

Mayor Don Haddix argued that it is illegal for the city to abandon Line Creek Court since it has a public use. He said it could be used as part of a road to connect the new shopping center to the existing Shoppes at the Village Piazza shopping center further west.

City Attorney Ted Meeker said it is up to the council to determine if the road has a public use or not.

Councilman Eric Imker said he preferred to also sell Line Creek Drive to Trinity. Doing so would allow Trinity to significantly reduce the grade of the site, thereby improving the impact on the adjacent residents in Cardiff Park. Trinity did not ask for Line Creek Drive.

Trinity’s plan includes four “junior box” retail stores ranging from 20,000 to 28,000 square feet each on the 14.3 acre site. There is also a plan for a restaurant that would have an outdoor dining area overlooking a picturesque view of the Line Creek Nature Area.

Instead of a fully-functioning traffic light on Ga. Highway 54 and Line Creek Drive, a “pedestrian and golf cart blinking light” is being proposed. Trinity is proposing to add a mid-block crossing feature to the intersection, which would provide a “safety area” in the median for pedestrians crossing from the other side of Ga. Highway 54.

The development’s only connection to Planterra Way is via a golf cart path.

This is the same 14.3 acre site that won approval for a larger shopping center, which never came to fruition, and that approval has since expired.

The property is zoned for general commercial development and is currently owned by a bank, city officials said.

Trinity has agreed to building berms along the rear of the development with landscaping on top to help screen the stores from the adjacent Cardiff Park subdivision.

Steve Brown
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New proposal

The Shoppes at the Village Piazza was a design nightmare. The city fell asleep on that one. I really do not see a lot of promise in the design listed in the newspaper previously either.

You get one opportunity to make it special to prevent the homogenized version that appears everywhere else.

At least we do not have the lying about a Hooters and a Quick Trip to scare the locals into submission.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Four Adds

1. The crosswalk is not going to happen because golf carts are not allowed to do grade level crossings on highways. As well GDOT does not approve this type of signal, as stated by Commissioner Vance Smith. That request may be withdrawn.

2. Ted Meeker also agreed that while Council can declare the abandonment legal if taken to court by a citizen they can, and have, ruled such abandonment illegal.

3. By law if the road is relocated to serve the same purpose then it is not illegal. David Conner brought it up and I agreed. LAI, the engineering firm for the developer, remembered the road change I had proposed and that was made part of the CCD proposal on this issue. So with that change abandoning of the rest of the roads would be legal.

4. The possibility of connecting to the McDuff intersection via the Shops at McDuff is being looked into. That should benefit both developments.

The plan is back at the Planning Commission.

Spyglass
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Crosswalks are perfectly legal..

Just not for golf carts in this situation.

Not that anyone in PTC follows the law that requires one to stop for pedestrians in a cross walk. But that's another story altogether.

SPQR
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golf cart crossing

I have read the GDOT code prohibiting golf carts crossing a state highway except where permitted.The section I read does not say a pedestrian crossing is or is not permitted. Logically we should be able to conclude if anything else is permitted to cross at a pedestrian crossing a golf cart would also be included. Further,if golf carts are indeed prohibited at pedestrian crossing how would anyone legally get a golf cart across a state highway in other parts of the state? Are there designated at grade golf cart crossings? I've never seen one. Would GDOT really expect golf carts to be either trucked across or taken to peachtree city to get to the other side of the road.

Next week: why and how do chickens cross the road?

Cyclist
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SPQR - Golf Cart Crossing

GVC:40-6-331 (Authority of local governing bodies; crossing streets under jurisdiction of Department of Transportation )

(c) Ordinances establishing operating standards shall not be effective unless appropriate signs giving notice are posted along the public streets affected.
(d)(1) Motorized carts may cross streets and highways that are part of the state highway system only at crossings or intersections designated for that purpose by the Department of Transportation.

(2) Motorized carts may cross streets and highways that are part of a municipal street system or county road system and used by other types of motor vehicles only at crossings or intersections designated for that purpose by the local governing authority having jurisdiction over such system.

I would say that (2) is applicable for PTC since the operating environment is within the city limits.

As for operating a golf cart in or on a "crosswalk" that's an interesting one. In Georgia, golf carts are defined as a "motorized vechicle" and as such the intent of the law is that crosswalks are the domain of pedestrians if they're present. So that means all other vehicles - this includes bicycles - must not occupy a crosswalk when a pedestrian is present. In PTC this is one of those cases where the law is sort of bent to accommodate multi use paths.

Oh, the GDOT really has nothing to do with it. Rules and regulations of the road - AKA Georgia Vehicle Code - are the domain of our fine group of legislators that meet once a year in Atlanta. In other words, it's codified law.

SPQR
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cyclist

You did a better job than I digging this up. I agree, (2) seems applicable.

It certainly does point to the city and not the state putting the quietus on at grade crossings. Why?

Spyglass
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Nobody ever goes a mile per hour over the speed limit either....

I do understand how having golf carts crossing State Highways in our fair city at will would be quite the fuster cluck.

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