Planners question wisdom of building homes near PTC airport

Phoenix Development President Gene Lavine shows the takeoff and approach pattern relative to the location of Callula Hill. Photo/John Munford.

Callula Hill developer sees some positives in building at Falcon Field

Phoenix Development Team made its initial pitch to the Peachtree City Planning Commission Monday night in a bid to rezone a 37-acre site from industrial use to allow 80 single-family homes and a special events center.

An earlier plan with the same name received Planning Commission approval in mid-2009 but was pulled by the developer before the City Council could act during a time of rising opposition to the proposal.

The Callula Hill tract overlooks the nearly-completed Lake McIntosh reservoir, making it ideal for a residential zoning instead of the current industrial zoning, said Phoenix President Gene Lavine.

Lavine said the proximity to Falcon Field Airport is also a big plus, as he suspects retiring Delta pilots and others will see the value in living near the airport. He also committed that if any part of the site is determined to be in the runway protection zone at Falcon Field, no buildings would be constructed in those areas.

The planning commission gave feedback to Phoenix but took no vote on the proposal. The commission is expected to weigh in at a later date with a vote of recommendation, but the final say on the rezoning rests with the city council.

Lavine said the homes would be designed for empty nesters looking to downsize, but there will be no guarantee that younger families won’t decide to purchase homes as well, Lavine said. Because of that, the subdivision will have one of its three parks serve as a bus stop under a covered pavilion.

The site plan contains three parks and a walking trail at the perimeter. The events center would have 12 overnight cottages and would host events such as weddings, parties and the like. There also would be a condition that larger parties exceeding a certain number of people will trigger a requirement for the events center to provide security and parking attendants, Lavine said.

Lavine said Phoenix wants to extend a golf cart path from the development along the new road to Lake McIntosh and then northward on Dividend Drive at their expense. He said Phoenix is also interested in taking the path south on Dividend as well toward Falcon Field and will be working with airport officials in hopes of making that happen.

Planning Commissioner Lynda Wojcik encouraged Phoenix to also extend the path along the Lake McIntosh access road all the way to the lake’s recreational area as well, and Lavine said that could be considered.

Commissioner Patrick Staples said the proximity to Falcon Field is a significant issue with the rezoning with the potential for noise disruptions, along with the fact that it would remove raw industrially zoned land from the industrial park.

As for the proximity to Falcon Field, Lavine noted that current takeoff procedures will make sure departing airplanes don’t travel directly over the subdivision. Phoenix Development will also include a deed notice about the airport’s proximity to make sure the first owner and subsequent owners are aware of the airport location, Lavine added.

Lavine noted that the city would get some $465,000 additional revenue in property taxes each year if the site is zoned and developed as residential instead of used for an industrial site.

Phoenix plans to market the homes for a range between $350,000 and $700,000.

As for the value of the industrial zoning, Lavine said the site has been zoned that way for about 30 years and there have been no takers so far. However, because the site is adjacent to industrial businesses that are already active, there is some concern about having homes near industrial companies.

David Bergman, president of NAECO, an industrial business directly across TDK Boulevard from the Callula Hill site, said he was concerned about having a number of residences so close to a six-acre tract he just bought to expand in the future.

Bergman noted that he has about $2 million invested in new equipment and building as his company continues to add jobs. Bergman said one of his main concerns was making sure residential traffic doesn’t interfere with industrial park traffic.

Lavine said traffic coming to the subdivision and events center would travel down the extended road path for TDK Boulevard to a separate entrance instead of going through the current access to the property via the Southpark industrial area.

Lavine said in addition to the lake, the adjacent Planterra Ridge Golf Club also makes the site attractive for residential development. He suggested that because of feedback from community focus groups several years ago, he thinks as many as half of the homes will be pre-sold.

Critics of the earlier version of the plan complained the rezoning would depart from the city’s land use plan, would create a residential area isolated from any other similarly zoned land in the city and was too close to busy Falcon Field.

tunnelmotor99
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Bring on the NIMBYs!

Building houses next to an airport..really? Then all we'll hear about is the idiots who bought homes there complain about the noise from airplanes. It's just like when they built the houses behind walmart right next to the railroad tracks. What happened? People moved in and started complaining about the noise from the trains and having trains sit in the siding there. When will developers learn?

tunnelmotor99
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moelarrycurly
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Lake McIntosh

Anyone who thinks that gargantuan dug out hole is going to ever, in this millenium, fill with water, must also want to live in an industrial park in their retirement.

I think a few questions are in order here for FC Water Dept. First, take a ride down to the end of Terrane Ridge to the cul de sac overlooking the golf course and pond there. Look beyond that, and you will see the largest 2nd growth forest growing in the state of Georgia. Who is spending the money to get the bulldozers in there (once already this summer) to cut all this back to keep it an empty lake bottom? Is this coming from the FC water bill money we all pay or will it come out of that money when any set-aside money is exhausted from repeated clearings?

This reservoir was planned by the Army Corps of Engineers over 30 years ago. Would you build a house or ANYthing using a 30 year old model? We all appreciate the fine job they did on those levees in New Orleans, though.

Lake Horton hasn't been near full pool since it was built. Busted.

Lake Lanier? Busted.

Callula, you can promise water views till you're blue in the face. Not going to happen. Mud pit, maybe.

AtHomeGym
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MLC & Horton Reservoir

Think you're wrong about it never being near full pool--I've been going out there often since it was flooded. I'll admit my opinion is only from a visual history but I bet te FC Water Dept can provide details.

NUK_1
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Callulah Hills
John Munford wrote:


Lavine said the homes would be designed for empty nesters looking to downsize, but there will be no guarantee that younger families won’t decide to purchase homes as well, Lavine said. Because of that, the subdivision will have one of its three parks serve as a bus stop under a covered pavilion.

Empty nesters looking to "downsize" to homes that are 350-700K? Hmmmmm. Some how I doubt the veracity of the developer here, especially since he added the caveat of putting in some bus stops just in case younger folks had the audacity to purchase homes here.

Quote:

As for the proximity to Falcon Field, Lavine noted that current takeoff procedures will make sure departing airplanes don’t travel directly over the subdivision.

Uhhhhh...that is something you as a developer have no control over actually. Maybe this was a misquote.

Quote:

Phoenix Development will also include a deed notice about the airport’s proximity to make sure the first owner and subsequent owners are aware of the airport location, Lavine added.

That worked SO WELL with Planterra Ridge where a good chunk of idiots bought houses there and immediately went whining to Council and the HOA about those damn railroad tracks and trains actually using them.

Quote:

Lavine said in addition to the lake, the adjacent Planterra Ridge Golf Club also makes the site attractive for residential development. He suggested that because of feedback from community focus groups several years ago, he thinks as many as half of the homes will be pre-sold.

LOL. I hope no one on the Planning Commission actually believes that.

Quote:

Critics of the earlier version of the plan complained the rezoning would depart from the city’s land use plan, would create a residential area isolated from any other similarly zoned land in the city and was too close to busy Falcon Field.

Earlier critics were right then and are still right now. A really, really bad idea.

Robert W. Morgan
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This guy is just going through the motions

He is not serious about this project. I suspect he's just getting a fee to make a presentation. 2 more quotes that are priceless:

" as he suspects retiring Delta pilots and others will see the value in living near the airport." Well now, I guess the roar of the engines and smell of jet fuel is how Delta pilots envision their retirement.

And this guy used to work for the same company that couldn't get deed restrictions done for Planterra Ridge, yet he says"Phoenix Development will also include a deed notice about the airport’s proximity to make sure the first owner and subsequent owners are aware of the airport location, Lavine added."

No, he's not serious, he's just phoning it in to collect a fee from the out of state bottom-feeders who bought the thing out of foreclosure. He does have a good subtle sense of humor, I must say.

Doug Mitchell is dead and gone. His dream of a conference center is just as dead. Bad idea, wrong place and certainly the wrong time. We have "Fireman" Don Haddix ready to spray his sputem on this idea and since he has almost total control over "his" council - just like Steve Brown had over his, the idea is dead, dead, dead. Just sell the land to Canongate and save the sewer capacity for the nice man on the southside of PTC who wants annexation.

mudcat
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I doubt this land has any serious value

I wonder how much they paid for this piece of land. Sure hope they didn't rely upon zoning promises from Mr. Levine and his group. Isn't the going rate on undeveloped industrial land about 30 cents on the dollar nowadays?

Why do you think Mitchell is dead? I think he's just hiding from creditors.

Robert W. Morgan
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Saw his obit - what else do you need?

And dead is not that bad for him.

NUK_1
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Doug Mitchell of PCDC is not deceased

Is this a joke or something? You must have seen someone else named "Doug Mitchell" in the obits section.