Good development thwarted by ‘not in my backyard’ mentality

Peachtree City has screwed up the development of the “Line Creek” site, south of Ga. Highway 54, over and over again.

It’s cost us hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of dollars in lost revenue and staff time. It’s given us a great honkin’ gas station and likely yet another fast food place. And we’re about to screw it up, again.

Once again, the developer is offering a cohesive, comprehensive site plan that is in the spirit of Peachtree City, with good aesthetics; high-end architecture, lighting, and landscaping; golf cart paths and connectivity; and minimum negative traffic impact.

The development would relieve the city of responsibility to maintain Line Creek Drive south of Hwy. 54. The site plan is optimized with respect to the Line Creek Nature Area and will reduce the cost for the Line Creek dam and pond. The development likely would have brought in a nationally-known tenant to an anchor store.

Once again, however, it appears that this vision will be destroyed by people blinded with a “not in my backyard” mentality. There is opposition to adding a traffic light on Hwy. 54; that traffic light has been in planning documents for more than 12 years. There is opposition to adding a cut-through to Planterra Way. The cut-through has been in planning documents for more than 12 years. The site has been zoned commercial since the 1970s.

It’s time for the people in Planterra and associated subdivisions to suck it up, and live with it. If you didn’t do due diligence before you bought; if you believed a real estate agent, developer, or politician who said that the site could never be developed because of the terrain and rocks; it’s your fault.

You’re like the person who buys a house near a railroad or an airport because it’s cheap, and then complains about the train and plane noise.

There will be commercial development. The only question is, “What kind of commercial development?” If things continue as it appears to me they will, there won’t be coordinated development of this site. Parcels will be sold off piecemeal (the process has already started). The city will have to maintain Line Creek Drive south of Hwy. 54 in the face of increased traffic.

And rather than a quality tenant, we will more likely end up with an assortment of nail salons, tanning emporia, title pawn stores, and the plethora of bound-to-fail franchises that seem to spring up in so many other communities.

The traffic that a large store would create, both on Hwy. 54 and Planterra is trivial compared to existing traffic and the traffic that will be created as development continues just across the line in Coweta County. The traffic that a large store would create is not a whole lot more would be created by a bunch of uncoordinated little stores. (Those assertions are based on observation, review of Fayette and Coweta County transportation plans, some training in traffic management, and common sense.)

The most significant traffic problem in Planterra seems to be northbound, anyway. The expressed fear that children will die if there is a cut-through from Line Creek Drive to Planterra is an example of the logical fallacy, the “red herring.” It’s a poor technique that’s often used in place of facts.

It’s time for the City Council to suck it up, too, and to think of what is best for the city as a whole, rather than cave to the anecdotal (and perhaps apocryphal) complaints of a strident minority.

We’ve done triage: the problems have been categorized based on their severity (that’s all triage is, by the way). Now it’s time to start treating the patient before he expires.

I urge the City Council to make it clear that the proposed development, including the “large” store that requires a variance, the stoplight and the cut-through would be welcome and would receive the Council’s support when it clears the Planning Commission.

Paul Lentz, rather angry curmudgeon
Peachtree City, Ga.

ptctrader2010's picture
Joined: 03/06/2010
PAUL: Peachtree City may NOT be for you!

As a resident of Planterra these past 17 years; having watched the "growth"... Paul... "YOU SUCK IT UP... SHUT UP... and move to Newnan where they have all the BIG STORES YOU SEEM TO WANT". Some of us remember when there was only one (1) traffic light on hwy 74 between I-85 and Peachtree City. Let me just say... Those were better days.

Good bye Paul. Your thoughts make no sense to those of us in Planterra and Cardiff Park.

Don Haddix
Don Haddix's picture
Joined: 08/17/2007
Haddix: 2001 54W Master Plan

It states the light is contingent upon the construction of the South Secondary Road. It was never intended as just adding a light alone.

I have no problem with a Publix there. But the demand for a connection to Planterra Way and a light when there will be a right in/right out and traffic light at MacDuff is excessive, unwanted and not needed.

As for the old CCD, they got 3-50K buildings with smaller ones and the traffic light, just as was asked for. They never built.

Steve Brown
Steve Brown's picture
Joined: 12/02/2009
Ultra Curmedgeon

Paul, you are now in the ultra-curmudgeon class. The Planterra Ridge and Cardiff Park homeowners will just have "to suck it up." Wow. You know, it's not a "not in my backyard" issue; rather, it's through the heart of my subdivision issue - literally. No Golden Rule in Paul's bag.

Planterra Ridge actually has a shot at rapid appreciation with the entrance of the new Lake McIntosh, pumping additional property taxes in the city's general fund. That is gone with shopping center cut through.

Paul, you are complaining about a lack of facts, but we do not see any from your end.

Here are some facts: (A) 12 years ago - and up to 2006 - you could not build that large development because of the PTC big box ordinance; (B) 12 years ago you could not build that large development because of the PTC traffic impact ordinance. The ordinances would not allow it. You cannot just tell half the story.

The only thing allowed would have been a medium to small size establishment.

Paul, you talk about "what is best for the city," but how is a sixth traffic signal, further cramping traffic flow, in the anyone's best interest. Your claim of "some training in traffic management" is certainly not apparent in your letter. Even the developer's own engineer had to admit to a large future influx of traffic from Coweta by virtue of their zoning along the SR 54 corridor - more big box stores. And what about a significant increase in traffic from the Huddleston Road redevelopment plans - guess we suck that up also.

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