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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.

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