PTC: Rezoning OK, but build MacDuff bridge before houses

Wieland: ‘we’re ready to start MacDuff extension’

A rezoning to allow 204 homes on 87 acres off MacDuff Parkway was given a partial blessing by the Peachtree City Planning Commission Monday night.

The density of the project would be about 2.3 homes per acre, or slightly less than a half-acre lot per home.

The commission approved the rezoning, with a condition that no construction permits will be issued until the MacDuff Parkway extension — including a bridge over the adjacent railroad tracks — is complete.

Jeff Kingsfield, the Atlanta Division President of John Wieland Homes, said the company is ready to seek permits for the road construction, which is required as part of a large-scale annexation deal back in 2007.

The road extension includes a bridge that will cross over the railroad track to connect MacDuff Parkway with Ga. Highway 74 at the current intersection with north Kedron Drive.

The final say on the rezoning matter is in the hands of the Peachtree City Council, which will discuss the request Thursday night. Council could change that condition or remove it entirely if they wish.

The site is currently zoned for industrial use and planning commissioners agreed that is a bad fit based on the property’s location.

Mayor Vanessa Fleisch has said she will abstain from voting on the rezoning since a fellow real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty has contracted with developer John Wieland Homes to sell homes in the Wilksmoor Village area.

“Though I will not directly profit from any such partnership, in order to avoid the appearance of any impropriety, I will abstain from any vote concerning the rezoning of the 87 acres,” Fleisch said.

The development proposal from Wieland includes several park and open space areas but no condominiums or townhomes as originally considered several years ago. The property includes the former construction landfill known as “The Peach Pit” and that portion of the property will remain open space with no development.

Likewise there is a buffer of at least 100 feet and going deeper in some places from the adjacent CSX railroad track.

Speaking about the road extension, Kingsfield said the hardest permit to get might be the one from the railroad company itself.

The hope is to eliminate several at-grade crossings in the area so the railroad would establish a quiet zone in the area.

The road extension will be a welcome relief for many if not all residents of Wilksmoor Village, who as of now only have one way in and one way out of their homes: using Ga. Highway 54 West to access the existing portion of MacDuff Parkway.

The area is the city’s worst when it comes to traffic, particularly during drive time, and the connection of MacDuff to Hwy. 74 north is highly anticipated by many who are frustrated with the Hwy. 54 traffic gridlock.

The extension of MacDuff Parkway will be two lanes but there will be enough right of way to widen the roadbed to four lanes in the future if necessary, Wieland officials said.

Husband and Fat...
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Tonight's meeting

It will be interesting to see what goes on tonight.

The mayor will not vote due to the conflict of interest. What will the others have to say?

Learnard and the others, if they move the same way they did a few weeks ago, will have to say no to the age range targeted since it doesn't fit in with the young families the Vision folks are targeting.

Has there been any traffic studies, school studies, emergency service studies?

Guess we will all have to tune in tonight and listen for Learnard to call someone else out.

moelarrycurly
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100 homes with no road

completion. There you go. No traffic study on the existing subdivision traffic on MacDuff already (Chadsworth, Centennial & Cedarcroft) by anyone, including Weiland. No children allowed in any of the 208 homes. No results from the taxpayer 70K traffic study or GDOT.
Peach Pit party for staff, council, and Weiland hosted by giddy realtor mayor at 10PM tonight. BYO...

mrobinson_ptc
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Wieland Rezoning - One month difference...

...between first occupations and road completion based on their timeline. Yes, I watched online, it's pretty easy. Do you have $6 million to float for them without any homes in play? Is CSX calling you once a year asking when it's going to be done? Yeah, you make it sound like the road will never be done, and that was simply not the case.

Not sure about that "no children" part, I heard the Wieland man use the phrase "open to all" and "no age restrictions". Some of the floor plans are popular with active adults, but they said, clearly, it's a mixed community. With a kite park, for goodness sake, where the Peach Pit was (I thought that was funny...kites? Really?)

The "soul of Peachtree City" isn't getting ripped out for money, Mr. Imker - people are going to get another place to live here. Get a grip, kids, it's a good thing.

And the "real estate" mayor ABSTAINED from the vote and discussion. Spin, spin, spin...

Spyglass
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Road/bridge completion is part of the deal, no?

Which one of us is confused?

moelarrycurly
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Out of the mouth of the blonde

"....until the parkway is completed and opened to traffic no more than 100 certificates of occupancy will be issued."

mudcat
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I don't think city council should traffic in age discrimination

Where does a city government get off making marketing decisions for a private business - especially one they have coerced to build a road and a bridge already? If there is age range targeting being done, it should be entirely Wieland's decision and something they can change whenever market conditions dictate.

I had not thought of this until now, but that was what was troubling me about the whole visioning thing. It is fine that they - a bunch of private citizens or even the chamber- have a vision, but partnering with government to "enforce" a vision? I don't think that is reasonable, legal or constitutional. What's next - is government going to tell us what cars to drive and what kind of insurance we need? You let these control-freak bureaucrats into your life just a little bit, they'll try to own you.

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Mudcat
mudcat
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"They" didn't set a precedent, but maybe Kim did

City council voted not to lift the multi-family moratorium - nothing less, nothing more. All the feel-good stuff presented by the developer was really irrelevant. If they had lifted the moratorium, then they would have opened up the process to actually discussing senior housing or assisted living or whatever, but they did not do that.

Sad to say, but Kim editorializing perhaps in an effort to explain her vote really wasn't needed. All she had to do was hold up her hand or not. This could come back to bite her because as you say it had the appearance of setting a precedent.

Once again, government should not insert itself in marketing decisions - that should be left to the developer and of course the marketplace. Rest assured, before building the developer and his bank would have been able to count the existing senior housing in the city - although they will get a much lower number than Kim did.

Husband and Fat...
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Mudcat, One of your girls

Has been going off the deep end a lot lately. What's up with that?

The visioning thing is good. And I agree that we need younger people to relocate here. But the vision people have no right to dictate to the local government. Let the market decide. If the developer and the bank thought they could make a profit with lower cost homes, great. But not many young families can afford $350k homes.

But Ms. Learnard opened her mouth and said she wants to lead this agenda.

Here is where she has to put up or shut up.

She can easily say yes, she approves it without any studies
Or
She can say no and stand behind the vision quest and anger the mayor.

Now let's talk vision. If the government isn't somehow involved, than how did they come up with the chair who happens to be the commissions best friend? Someone wanted him as chair to gain government approval. How can any of this be enforced?

There has always been something fishy about this group and the way it was formed by the COC.

mudcat
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But back to tonight's meeting

Need a motion from Kim or someone to back off the age targeting thing if it appears in any of the official zoning documents or even the developer's agreement.
2 reasons
1. City should not meddle in marketing decisions
2. Attracting more seniors is a violation of the official Visioning mantra

That should produce a lively debate and give everyone a chance to speak without screwing up the free bridge and road we are getting. Say, do you think Wieland may have timed this so Haddix was no longer there when he makes his presentation?