Council, despite promises, seems to want to find excuses to annex 74S.

I was glad to see the City Council in Peachtree City delay their decision on the proposed 77-acre annexation on Ga. Highway 74 to the south (Southern Pines Plantation) called “The Gates.”

The Planning Commission narrowly passed the plan on a 3-2 vote, and this project needs to be researched thoroughly before the council votes to approve or disapprove this project.

The three council members most likely to vote for the annexation appear to be willing to go back on their campaign promises to voters in 2009.

The Citizen did an excellent job of asking the important questions. You can find the responses on the Internet at the following addresses.

http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/40235

http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/40238

http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/40241

Council members Eric Imker, Vanessa Fleisch and Kim Learnard made it very clear they didn’t support annexation for residential purposes back in 2009. It’s an obvious drag on our services and steals land for job creation and revenue growth.

We already have around 1,400 residential lots already in the city limits that have yet to be developed.

Councilwoman Fleisch said, “It is foolhardy for a ‘planned community’ to go so far outside its land use plan to rezone industrial land into residential.”

I can’t agree more. And taking a piece of land so close to the industrial area with the possibility of locating a corporate headquarters there and turning it into more housing makes no sense.

She also said, “Adding more homes would cost the city a great deal in infrastructure and services that would always be a part of our budget.”

Thoughtful statements like this got her elected. Councilwoman Fleisch, a real estate agent, knows these facts to be true back then and still true today.

Councilman Imker said in 2009, “Residential annexations will create unneeded competition in this current economic downturn for those trying to sell their homes.”

I am sure anyone selling their home here in Peachtree City can most certainly agree with Imker’s statement. As of writing this letter there are over 130 homes on the market in PTC. The developer wants to add an additional 90 homes to compete with our already bloated home market.

In 2009 Councilwoman Learnard told us, “The new development projects our city needs are light industrial, quality manufacturing, and corporate headquarters. These types of development projects bring good-paying jobs to the city; they call for modest sized facilities and infrastructure in appropriate locations.”

I can’t find anyone who disagrees with her. Wouldn’t you say the appropriate location is adjacent to the current industrial area? As an engineer Councilwoman Learnard has intimate knowledge of what these types of developments bring to a community, jobs and increased tax revenue that far out-paces a residentially zoned plat.

So now we need to ask, “Where does it end?”

They promised not to pursue costly residential annexations in the first place. There’s no reasonable excuse for doing the 77-acre annexation for 90 houses when we need more job creation instead of new houses. Our existing home sales are going far well below the appraised values of years past as Councilman Imker said.

Right now it appears the City Council is searching for reasons to make this residential annexation happen. Why?

Joshua Bloom

Peachtree City, Ga.

mudcat
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Bloated home market? 1400 undeveloped lots? What & where?

Let's examine these one by one. 130 homes for sale in a community that has almost 11,000 homes? That's a tad over 1%. Nothing excessive or bloated about that. And even if you added all 90 of those proposed homes at once - which is wildly unrealistic, that is still only 2%.

I guess the 1400 lots of which you speak are in the area annexed for Wieland. I think there was a promise made back when the market was really strong to extend McDuff Parkway and build a bridge and a connection to Hwy 74 N. As a famous Presidential Press Spokesman said "That promise is no longer operative" meaning no lots or houses for a very long time.

You ask why are they looking for reasons to approve this now? I guess just simple common sense. They have decided to stop bashing the mayor because October is "befriend a baby seal" month. So they have time for normal business. Better to approve these 90 lots and 2 office buildings now and have them built to Peachtree City standards instead of having the county plop something down there that we don't want. All this cost benefit analysis is totally useless if we turn down this zoning and annexation and a gas station or something worse goes there and it outside of city limits - no tax revenue, no new sewer users, no sign restrictions, no landscape buffers.

Larry Sussberg
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Joined: 02/12/2009
Josh Bloom & 74S Annexation

I can not disagree with some of your logic regarding this property and I applaud you for standing up on this issue..

However

Can you guarantee that

1-Mayor Haddix will not try to find another factory like LOW TEMP to put on that property then annex it.

He uses the word "INSTITUTIONAL" in a recent statement, which is what this property is currently zoned for but his attempt was "INDUSTRIAL".

A large custom food service fabricator does not belong at Peachtree City entrance near homes, shopping centers and ballfields. Thats why we have an industrial park. Corporate headquarters, yes....manufacturing/factory, no.

2-Fayette County will not allow a competing retail shopping center just yards away from the PTC Publix center. We already have too much retail and another shopping center nearby, in the county would pull tax revenues from the city.

So, just maybe...based upon the last 2 development attempts on this property, if the financials hold up and that is the mllion dollar question, annexation makes sense.

I suggest you hold off for now AND if the numbers do not prove themselves, then its clear, don't annex.

BUT if the financials do prove themselves and they vote to annex...

Well I guess we know that Don Haddix can NEVER use this as a rallying point in a re-election bid because LOW TEMP was wrong. Using this as a political issue by him would be DISHONEST and DECEIVING based upon his previous plan not to mention how he approached the whole process too!

This is a complex issue for consideration and I'd rather see people think it through.

Robert W. Morgan
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Joined: 10/26/2005
Please Josh, layoff the "90 houses chill the market" nonsense

Having 90 residential lots approved will get us 90 houses built over maybe 5 or 6 years and probably half of them will be presold to buyers, so all that will have no effect on existing houses for sale. Even if it did, that's not a valid excuse to deny this application. There are valid reasons, but no one seems inclined to pursue them. Instead, they say, additional study is needed. So, you may be right - they are looking for reasons to approve this. Fine.

And the campaign statements are not a valid reason to turn it down either. People change, people learn things - even city council people. You will have a chance to turn down those 3 city councileople next election, if that's what you want. Better yet, you will have a chance to run against them. Just don't be using the Steve Brown demonization techniques. You are smarter than that. Stay in control of your own genuine thoughts and feelings.

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