Buffer variance OK'd for Lake Mac recreational area

One of the final hurdles has been removed for construction of the recreation area at the new Lake McIntosh reservoir.

The Peachtree City Council Thursday night approved a variance to the city’s water resources protection ordinance, which requires a 100-foot undisturbed buffer and an additional 50-foot impervious buffer from the normal pool elevation of bodies of water.

The final site plan for the recreation area shows that the majority of the amenities will be located in the watershed protection buffer, according to a memo from city staff.

The park will include boat ramps, two walking trails, a picnic pavilion, a playground, a gazebo and restrooms. In addition to parking for boat trailers, there will also be parking for automobiles and golf carts.

Although the lake is county-owned and funded by the county’s water system, it will serve as a significant new recreation area. Beyond that, however, the 650-acre lake will be capable of producing up to 10 million gallons a day of drinking water.

The lake will be located on Line Creek but it will be filled by rainwater, so it is expected to take some time to reach its full elevation.

The lake will stretch just south of Ga. Highway 54 south toward Falcon Field Airport. It will be located along Line Creek though most of the land is in the jurisdiction of Coweta County.

Construction is slated to wrap up soon. Brad Cole Construction was awarded the construction contract with a low bid of $8.23 million. The county has also spent more than $7 million in land purchases, mitigation sites, wetland credits, studies and consultants for the project. The county previously approved a $16.5 million revenue bond to pay for the dam, reservoir, a pump station, mitigation site construction and wetland credits.

The county owns the entire property encircling the lake, so there will be no private boat ramps for lake access, officials have said.