Haddix: PTC needs an annexation plan

I believe the citizens deserve more information on the Future Land Use Plan than has been given in The Citizen as of April 20. This is an extremely important matter that is not going away.

Since this was my agenda item and proposal, here is my presentation as read on the dais:

Our lack of a Future Land Use Plan for property surrounding Peachtree City has been a concern to me for years. It is one component of our needed but nonexistent Comprehensive Strategic Plan for Peachtree City.

I am very aware of the rezoning and the types of construction the county has allowed on our borders. Recent events have moved the requirement for a Future Land Use Plan to the top of our needs list for me.

I am not saying we need to be out there annexing everything in sight. I still adhere to the idea we annex to fulfill a real need in a controlled manner, not to just grow.

So why then, do we need a plan for annexing property? I will elaborate.

One of the agenda items for tonight is a step one annexation request by Scott Bradshaw. That has resulted in an email from Commission Chairman Steve Brown expressing concerns. That does not mean they would object, but it raises the question of what if they ever did object to any annexation?

As a Georgia annexation arbitrator i know what it takes to file a valid objection, what the arbitrators would look at and how they would approach a judgment. One set of documents they would study are the Fayette County Future Land Use Map and the Peachtree City Future Land Use Map for annexed property, which Peachtree City does not have. That is a mistake that must be remedied.

Then there are the concerns of property owners in Peachtree City along and near Ga. highways 54 and 74 and the area in between over property development. They are concerned over what the county has wanted to do in the past and will want to do in the future. They are concerned over what developers want to build.

There is also the very real issue of Fayetteville seeking to annex over 1,000 acres to bring [Pinewood Studios] into Fayetteville. That is a major jump of their city limits west toward Peachtree City. It is a dramatic change to the nature of Fayette County and a huge impact on Peachtree City.

But, it does not end there. Another block of land, extending to include the Fayetteville West Bypass area, has approved plans by the county for about 2,000 new homes and a lot of retail development. The plan by Fayetteville, at that time, was to annex this into Fayetteville as well.

Then there is the property between the West Bypass and Peachtree City that is developing. Where will Fayetteville stop?

For those who doubt this is a real concern, before 2008 Fayetteville was actively growing its boundaries. Look at the map of Fayetteville and you will see the corridor growth along Hwy. 54 toward Peachtree City. That was stopped by the economic issues of 2008.

When Fayetteville’s sewer capacity was almost to maximum they expanded their capacity for even more growth. Having talked to the engineer who designed the extra capacity and to WASA, Fayetteville has about 4 million gallons a day of unused capacity. That is comparable to WASA’s excess capacity, but existing in a city less than half the size of Peachtree City.

There are a lot of reasons to be concerned about Fayetteville’s growth and plans. But to make it clear, I am talking about Fayetteville, not just today, but under future councils. We have seen the push on the past councils, see what this council wants to annex to date and have no idea what future councils will want. So we must be ready.

Then there is the growth in the unincorporated county. It is happening and cannot be ignored. A simple reality is counties were not intended to build into and function like cities. When the growth hits a certain level in an area, it either becomes its own city or is annexed by an adjoining city. In the extreme, the county and city merge into one government with the county having very limited power. The county does not control annexation, the cities do.

The realities and choices we are facing were not anticipated in the past, but the questions are very real today. What is the Hwy. 74 corridor going to look like in the future? Who is going to control the Hwy. 54 corridor? Will it develop to county, Fayetteville or Peachtree City standards? Where are the city limits of Fayetteville and Peachtree City going to be? Will there even be any unincorporated county in the future along Hwy. 54?

I do not have the answers, but this is a conversation that has to take place. Part of that conversation is establishing a Future Land Use Plan for properties surrounding Peachtree City. I firmly believe it will provide not only the opinions and feelings of Peachtree City residents, but those in at least the immediately surrounding unincorporated areas. Indeed some have already expressed a desire to become part of Peachtree City, not liking what the county has done and not wanting to be part of Fayetteville.

There are more questions than answers at this time. We need to get some answers.

I brought this up to the city manager in the past, to which he said he was already thinking about it. When I added it as an agenda item to move it forward, he said staff was already discussing it. So, we independently are on the same page, which says we need this.

The city manager added several details. He began with the copy of the Fayette Future Land Use Plan I had provided him. He noted our borders with Tyrone and Coweta showed no unincorporated land to annex but addressed south of Peachtree City and some other details that need consideration.

You might find it interesting to look at the county plan as well, seeing a colored map showing how far Fayetteville has already annexed toward us. Adding in past the West Bypass gives one room for pause.

We need to have a conversation and a plan. We need to decide exactly how we want Peachtree City to be in the future. We need to be aware of how we are being affected by other governments.

Using the city manager’s expression, we cannot afford to continue to be reactive. We need to be proactive. This is indeed but one more component in developing a Comprehensive Strategic Plan.

Don Haddix, mayor

Peachtree City, Ga.

Josh Bloom
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PTC Comprehensive plan

PTC's current "Partial Comprehensive Plan" that is dated April 2008 has guidelines set forth on what the city should look like in terms of housing, commercial, economic development, transportation, recreation, land use, natural resource, community services, and of course community aesthetics. I believe what The Mayor is asking for is a strategic plan or a forward looking plan in regards to border expansion through annexation. The timeline to prepare such a document would correspond fairly well with the timeline of when our "FULL" comprehensive plan is due, which is February of 2014.

Josh Bloom
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Whether we like it or not it is coming

Annexation is coming and I agree with the Mayor that we need a comprehensive plan laid out that expands outside our current city limit. Our borders are set North against Tyrone and West against Cowetta County. There still may be some movement South but by the shape of our county and Peachtree City it would be minimal (maybe to GA 85). The real possibilities of moving our borders East could be in the near future.

The Mayor is correct in that we need to start formulating a plan sooner rather then later. I don't know if it is just me, but I am seeing more and more "for sale" signs pop up along the 54 corridor East bound since the announcement of Pinewood Studios. This could be just another sign that the property owners are seeing the potential of what is in the near future.

Robert W. Morgan
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Right you are, Mr. Bloom

Welcome to you as a candidate. I am glad you get it - the difference between leading and being proactive as opposed to governing and sitting around waiting to regulate things that other people propose.You will be a great addition to city council.

You will be 1 of 3 new people coming into a leadership role at a very important time for our city. The mayor's proactive planning idea is not new nor is it even his plan, but nevertheless he is 100% correct that the city needs to do it. Hope that is job #1 for you in January. Economic Development has to be a priority as well. Of course the 2 things are connected if one thinks deeply about it.

The way the Bradshaw proposal was handled was a perfect example of how not to do things. First of all, there was no conceptual plan that showed the city's vision of that land (although Mr. Peterson pretty much created that for everyone) and council was in full reactive mode. Keep that up and don't be surprised if Fayetteville doesn't creep into the Publix center.

Josh Bloom
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Robert Morgan

Your last sentence is the scariest one of all "...don't be surprised if Fayetteville doesn't creep into the Publix center."

We need a strategic plan and sooner rather then later is better.

mudcat
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I think pumpkin helped the mayor write this letter

Seriously, does this sound like the same guy that mangles the English language in his postings? This has pumpkin's paws all over it. I mean Haddix using words like elaborate, proactive and "gives one room for pause"? No way this is his creation.

GeorgeDienhart
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Outing someone is

a terms of service violation- Cal will revoke your posting privileges if you name names. Just saying...

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Outing

Either you are not getting it or playing politics. She is trying to repeat the old accusation it is my wife without specifically saying it, which is a total lie.

If saying it is my wife is outing, several bloggers should have already been banned, but have not.

I called her on it and she has no real response to offer. Just saying...

Don Haddix
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Haddix: mudcat

Who is pumpkin? I have no knowledge of this bloggers real name.

If you possess such information, please elaborate.

mudcat
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Ginger Sling is my favorite pumpkin

I hope Cal does not delete me for this but I love PTC and I think da mayor and his ghost rider in the skies need to go away - far, far away. Please.

I think it is cool you are now using big words - "elaborate" Wow!

So, who wrote your scree on annexation or whatever it was about?

borntorun
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mudcat: Donnie's Scree

That was a big word for Donnie. Maybe he's been listening to the Learn English version of Rosetta Stone.

Robert W. Morgan
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Mayor is 100% correct on this one

Although I proposed this about 5 years ago as a means of allocating the excess sewer capacity to projects the city really wanted or needed. Called proactive planning as opposed to reactive planning - which is doing nothing and then acting surprised that Mr. Bradshaw made a request that we are not prepared to discuss. If we had prepared a proactive plan 5 years ago, Mr. Bradshaw would have presented something consistent with that plan because that's the kind of guy he is. Not sure about the foot doctor, but he may have fallen into step as well.

But, when you ignore good ideas, do nothing proactive, then scramble around for a quick answer, you make mistakes, annoy the property owners, invite lawsuits and get a reputation of being anti-business. This one idea fixes all that.

One PTC discussed this proactive planning on our borders idea as well last year.

I certainly think it is more important than spending $65,000 on a study to tell us what we already know about sexual harassment. In fact, an annexation and expansion land use plan would cost less than that if we use staff and GA Tech interns and citizens.

Using sewer as a political weapon has a long and rich history - here and elsewhere. Doing a proactive study about how we (the citizens) want to allocate our excess sewer capacity and what we want out borders to look like takes that power away from the pols and gives it back to the people - provided there is sufficient citizen input. Might be a good first project for One PTC.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Morgan

I didn't propose it on past Councils because the Staff was not on board at the time and there were not the events in the County to drive the need. It was DOA.

Now, the events, a supportive Staff and the need is there to move it forward. It is as simple as that.

OnePTC was on board with my Comprehensive Strategic Plan across the board, not just border planning.

The OnePTC is done and over. The Needs Assessment Survey, OnePTC and the Future Land Use plan are all components of the complete plan. I am ready to initiate the final component needed, Town Halls, to move this into the planning stage. But that cannot be done until January because the current Councilmembers are not on board.

Scott Bradshaw is not prepared to submit a site plan for at least 3 years. He could have brought it in as AG to get access to City resources, but didn't. His choices. But without a site plan or as AG, it isn't coming in. His current zoning request is not going going to be approved either.

dar thompson
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RWM

Right on target!

Larry.Sussberg
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RWM - Dar

It's the role of the mayor to get council on board to move this forward!

Council is not communicating and clearly not with this mayor.
Now it's election time and 3 out 5 are running for mayor and this incumbent blames council members. Anyone surprised based upon his past history???? Seriously!

For 6 years Haddix has been on council, 4 as mayor.
We sadly have total dysfunction in and around City Hall at every level.

Do the citizens realize and will they turn out to vote in a sweeping change?

Robert W. Morgan
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The mayor is right again. Twice in one day. Look what he said.

" But that cannot be done until January because the current Councilmembers are not on board."

January. OK. Let's wait until January. I think he thinks the councilmembers will be replaced and he will still be mayor and he will lead the new councilpeople on this issue. Whatever.

We know there will be some new faces up there in January, so that seems like a good time to bring up this idea again. It really is a good idea to be proactive and plan land uses on and even across our borders. And as you point out, it is the job of the mayor to lead on this issue. I do know staff is 100% on board.

Husband and Fat...
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Mr. Mayor - This is true, we need a plan

But I think you had a little to much caffeine in your coffee the morning you wrote this letter. Don't you remember the infamous survey you commissioned? Or how about all the times you were able to develop a consensus?

Pass this off (delegate) to someone else to manage. This is a good 6 month project and you will be too busy packing up your office or campaigning to give this the proper time it needs.

Larry.Sussberg
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Future Land Use Plan

Let's let the next mayor hold this conversation with Dr. Pennington, Mr. Rast and the PTC Planning Commission.
Enough with the letters!

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