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PTC says no to retail size caps

A suggestion to put variable maximum sizes on new retail development based on the type of business failed on a 4-1 vote of the Peachtree City Council last week.

The “size caps” would have eliminated the existing special use permit process, which requires a special permission from council for any company wishing to build a new retail store over 32,000 square feet or any retail center with stores totaling a combined 150,000 square feet or more.

In doing so, the city would be changing from a subjective measure that takes into account various data such as traffic studies to a hard and fast “yes or no” for larger retail stores.

There are very few parcels zoned for new commercial development that would allow a new big box store, officials said. Beyond that, the Peachtree City Planning Commission was concerned about losing the flexibility of the special use permit process.

The proposal was not recommended by city staff; instead it was being brought to council to determine if staff should investigate the matter further.

The city’s new Economic Development Coordinator Joey Grisham recommended council not pursue the policy.

Under the existing SUP process, the developer must win council approval, giving council more direct control over the final product as opposed to stores which are under the size limits and may be built on any parcel zoned general commercial as long as it meets setbacks and other various city ordinances.

Councilwoman Kim Learnard said she worried that with the size caps replacing the special use permit process “we would have no flexibility.”

The city has only had one property apply for a special use permit. The special use permit for the Line Creek shopping center, proposed for the southwest corner of Ga. Highway 54, was approved Feb. 2008. It has since expired because no activity has taken place on the site for more than two years.

Mayor Don Haddix was the sole vote in favor of the “size caps” with council members Eric Imker, Vanessa Fleisch, Learnard and Doug Sturbaum voting against.

“All five of us ran for election staunchly opposing big boxes,” Haddix said.



Don Haddix's picture

Just a couple of comments here concerning points not included in the article.

The argument of flexibility has no merit if there is no intention to give a SUP. A lot was given up to CCD that was later made non negotiable by passage of such as the Transition Yard Ordinance.

It makes no sense to have to give up and negotiate what should be required up front.

That applies to more than the SUP issues. It applies to plans that only process through Planning.

Council sets standards and Planning is bound by them. During past Councils there have been plans that only go the Planning that have been approved which Council and citizens didn't like due. It was able to happen in part due to lack of Council set standards.

It makes no sense to make a developer go through a SUP process if it has no chance of passage. That is a waste of their time and money. It is a waste of our time and money.

It makes no sense to make a bowling alley go through the SUP process, which it now must, because the current law treats all types of GC as the same thing. They are not.

It makes no sense to open the City to a lawsuit based on the precedence of giving CCD a SUP but not others. As said by the judge in the Lowes case personal opinion is not law. PTC lost the case but fortunately construction did not proceed.

Our City Attorney confirmed the point of personal opinion when asked by Councilwoman Fleisch as to the validity of what I said.

The SUP process is personal opinion. There is absolutely no way around it.

It was 4-1. That does not means support for Big Boxes. But it could mean support for other points that put the City at risk.

The assumption Council is in complete control is a dangerous one to make.

With those additions for the conversation I expect to take place here I take my leave. Until something changes the SUP and one size fits all approach remains and there is nothing more to say.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

NUK_1's picture

As usual, you're on the losing side and cannot fathom how the rest of the Council doesn't share your viewpoint as gospel. Hell, even Sturbaum for the second time recently voted against you.

Your statement of "flexibility has no merit if there is no intention to give a SUP" means that YOU think there will never be any intention to grant a SUP, it does NOT mean the other 4 councilmembers are totally opposed to granting a SUP, which is obviously why they want to have that flexibility that Learnard rightly mentioned as did the Planning Commission.

"It makes no sense to make a developer go through a SUP process if it has no chance of passage. That is a waste of their time and money. It is a waste of our time and money."

Again, you ASSUME ANY development above a certain size you think is too big would have no chance of passage. That doesn't mean the other 4 or majority of Council agrees with you.

It's also completely irrelevant on what political platform all 5 on Council ran on originally as that isn't binding on anything at all except maybe voter trust and it's very well-known that people say a whole lot of BS to get elected and then do the exact opposite afterwards. Look at how many issues Steve Brown ran against prior to becoming Mayor that he flip-flopped on once getting elected as well as many of our infamous politicians on higher levels of government.

What is it going to take to get you to keep your mouth shut!

Just as with the apartment fiasco, that you initiated, you open your mouth and set the city up for yet another lawsuit. Having stated up front; "It makes no sense to make a developer go through a SUP process if it has no chance of passage. That is a waste of their time and money. It is a waste of our time and money."

So what will your defense be now that you’ve clearly stated that a developer will have NO chance of ever getting a SUP approved by this council without at least hearing the request?

I see another lawsuit coming our way thanks to you.

I hope the rest of the council slaps you with an ethics violation hard enough to get you to keep your thoughts to yourself. Hell, if we’re lucky enough the rest of council will find a way to toss you butt out.

Move on...the vote has been taken and this one was 4 to 1.

With Sturbaum voting against your wife planning to run for council with you supporting her to replace Don? Is that why she is speaking out on the issues and threatening a city employee? Apparently she supports the DAPTC over a staff employee the way you did?

Oh, the pitfalls of pillow talk!

mudcat's picture

Did we ever get clarification on that comment about how you and Doug were somehow both half Native Americans? If you did reply, I missed it and apologize. But I would love to hear your answer.

I suppose the "only good Indian, is a dead Indian?"

Makes that much difference to you about his race, huh? What is a mud?

mudcat's picture

Mr. Haddix said this last week
"On racism, everyone needs to note the attempt was to declare the Council vote as a whole racist, not my vote only.
I am half Indian. Councilman Sturbaum is half Indian. The mere hint of racism is personally offensive. The idea Council is racist is absurd. "

Fine, having 2 sitting councilpersons each of whom has 1 full-blooded Indian for a parent is a statistical anomaly that needs to be explored for truthfulness, a notation in Mr. Ripley's book OR perhaps a larger opportunity.

If true, we need to research Eric, Kim and Vanessa's bloodlines and see what is lurking there. If we can get a majority on council with Indian blood, maybe we can make PTC a reservation and then a permit to build a casino. Hello, slot machines; goodbye economic problems. Best of all, we would fill all the empty retail and even industrial space and build on the vacant land - 32,000 square feet is just right for a small casino.

only the state of GA can sponsor gambling (Lottery). However maybe it warrants looking into to see if there are enough Indians (1/8 is good enough)
to submit for a license. I'm sure any bank will finance it.

Talking about a boom town!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

I just wish they could be non-smoking. That second-hand smoke takes all the enjoyment out of surrendering my social security check every time we go to Cherokee or Biloxi.

Live free or die!

in Vegas. Harrah's Cherokee is the worst place I've ever been in in this regards. I won't go back.

I take it you lost?

Left with about five extra Franklins, a free comped room and stinking clothes. That place reeks.

Busy Bee's picture

When he said he was half Indian, did he mean from southern Asia, or did he mean native American? The casino is a great idea if he is native American (Hardrock Cafe - Peachtree City). But if he is Asian Indian, perhaps he could bring in a Bollywood studio, to complement the film industry in Senoia!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Never would have thought of that.

Live free or die!

The city’s new Economic Development Coordinator Joey Grisham recommended council not pursue the policy.

Dandy Don, you really need to stop blogging before you get the City sued yet AGAIN. What credentials could you possibly have that would give you any credibility to argue against the one person in the city who is truly educated and experinced at economic growth. You have managed to alienate this city from every govenment entity in the state plus three of the five council members and now it finally appears Doug is coming to his senses - time will tell.

Quote by Haddix
"Council sets standards and Planning is bound by them"

Planning Commission's primary role is to follow and uphold what is written into the comprehensive land use plan. It is not the role of city council to control the planning commission. Planning commission hears all zoning and re-zoning requests and recommends to the city council based upon what is written into the land use plan.

Mayor Haddix...since you have stated that we disagree on planning issues....if your statement is accurate, I want to be the first to apologize. Let's do this...

You make copies of your training documents and/or research articles that shows that my statement is not true...Post on this blog that you will do that and leave it at the front desk of city hall. I will pick it up at City Hall..on Thursday March 17.

I will post an apology on this blog since do not want to criticize you when you are right.

Thank you.

Mike King's picture

Reading your retorts over the previous two years I have concluded that that not only are you egotistical, but on Wednesday morning after over hearing you wife , Cathy, tell Joey Grishham (DAPC Coordinator) that his time in Peachtree City would be short, I had to ask myself if it was you who was elected. You do realize that Mr Grisham is a city employee and that threats from your wife are just as serious as if they came from you, the potential for further lawsuits continue.

Yes, it was overheard by others than myself.

Are you the mayor, or is Cathy our defacto mayor?

Can't get much rougher than this!

It's confusing anyway: a city employee does the selling of PTC, yet we have a special independent group doing the same thing!

Pretty vicious accusation, maybe. Mayors may be able to say what they please, I don't know!

mudcat's picture

What in the world is going on? The mayor's wife is insulting a city employee? Is she half-Native American too and sampled the wine?
This does rise to the level of WTB - worse than brown, although that seemed impossible. Brown's wife was invisible, probably embarrassed, but invisible. So we may have a new winner.

Is this true, Mike? Did you really hear that?

Joey has told me and others that he is unsure of the city's commitment to serious business growth, but this kind of stuff is inexcusable - if true.

Mike King's picture

It's true. Get Don to deny this one.

First a law suit, and now his wife threatening city employees. Yep, WTB.

Are you sure that was the whole context of the conversation? Maybe you didn't hear the introduction!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

To all city employees who were hired after 2000, our apologies.

Please understand several basic facts of life in Peachtree City:

-Almost everyone that lives here loves it and considers PTC the very best community in the country.
-Yes our taxes are a little on the high side (for the south) and there are a few minor problems with management that usually get worked out by themselves.
- City staff is first-class. Hardworking, accessible, knowledgeable, helpful.
-Our city charter calls for a strong city manager/ weak (meaning ceremonial) mayor form of government. The mayor is supposed to preside over meetings, cut ribbons, greet visiting VIP's, etc. That's all.
-We got a bit off track during Lenox's second term when a new resident and agitator named Steve Brown became a very vocal opponent of all things that resembled business as usual or a good old boy network. Brown was correct about some irregular and even technically illegal activities, but he went over the top with his accusations -- then Lenox went over the top with his responses.
- That was when mayors started overriding the city manager and started pretending that mayor was a full-time job.
- Sadly, Brown was elected to 1 term and his foolish behavior in office encouraged others to run, first Logsdon as an Anybody But Brown candidate, then Haddix, who as you can see from these blogs is approaching WTB (Worse Than Brown) status.
- We survived 1 term Brown, we will survive 1 term Haddix. Life will go on.

-Most important. There are maybe 20 or 30 people (several, including Brown, with multiple identities) on here posting opinions every day that range from insane and downright hateful to thoughtful and helpful. You can figure out which is which, but rest assured the overwhelming majority of the 38,000 people who live in PTC do not blog, read the blogs or either of the newspapers. Therefore,please don't judge the city by what you read here - just meet the regular people who attend meetings, seek you out for discussions and use their real names.

Live free or die!

PTC Observer's picture

are insightful again. It is interesting that Mayor Haddix became mayor by posting to this board. If you recall he didn't spend much money on his campaign and raised awareness through his postings.

In my opinion Mayor Haddix will be a one trick pony. Not only has he used this board to get elected, he has used it to get un-elected.

mudcat's picture

Joey's deal was 1 year. Does anyone see him signing up for an extension?

I ditto Morgan's apology. We are so much better that this silly, petty, juvinile behavior.

So you don't like Indians either? "Firewater," indeed.
Steve's wife was invisible? Embarrassed?

I have come to the conclusion that the only way some on here will be happy with a Mayor is to elect Cal Beverly to that office. Or Sally.

I'll bet if Mr. Mudcat was Mayor, or had been Mayor, or are you a maiden, that some of these stories would be hidden.

Who is this fellow, or female, Joey, anyway? Does he tag along on everything?

Was Mrs. Price there? Was Roy Clark?

very involved in the old guard which ran PTC some years ago.

G35 Dude's picture

Roy was supposed to be there but that was just too early for a 78 year old to get up.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

I was there too at Fresh Market's opening. I saw good ole Donnie right up there in front making himself seen by as many folks as possible. An ego that's beyond Pluto.

I also saw the lovely Ms. Mayor Haddix but don't know who Joey is by face, only name. If Ms. Haddix did indeed say what's purported (btw – it’s all over city hall so there must be some credibility to the statement) then as she being a spokesperson for the mayor I can only say, "PTC, we have a problem." Telling somebody they hope their time at their job is short lived is an insult let alone despicable. What a piece of work. I hope the other councilmembers, including Mr. Sturbaum have the fortitude to take this matter up in public so we can get an explanation from the mayor.

I suggest that if this is true, you bring this issue to the city manager and/or head of human resources for the city.

Personally, I hope that is not true.

But, if it is true, it needs to be documented and someone in authority needs to address it.

I no more believe your statement about Cathy Haddix than the man in the moon. You are nothing but a trouble maker and the entire city knows it.

Obvously you do not know the man.

It's clear you like to defend this mayor, may be because you voted for him.
I suggest you and others including MajorMike and MoeCurlyLarry wake up to what's happening and realize that Mayor Haddix is a "loose cannon" who operates on impluses not truths and facts.

Wake up and stop defending him.

I have the ability to defend what I think should be defended and also to criticize the same person when they are wrong!

Some like you have a hard time doing that due to polarization of one way meeting all purposes.

For instance, can you say one good thing about the Mayor, or President Obama?

His cannon is at least being used instead of listening to sour grapes all of the time. He doesn't hide behind old timers.

Don Haddix's picture

My wife did not threaten to terminate Joey, she has no authority to do so, Joey is not the DAPC Coordinator and we did not see Mike King anywhere in the store when we were there.

My wife is a private citizen, not an elected official.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>


I feel sorry for the abuse you get. I would leave office before I would take all this crap on this 2nd rate paper. I know you are not in it for the money seeing as it doesnt pay anything worth talking about. It also does not matter who is mayor. The yahoos will tear apart anyone who is mayor. They always have. Have a nice weekend Mayor Don.

I have had it with this mayor. And now his wife. Good grief, how much more can we take. I'm ready to support a recall.

Haddix says his wife 'did not threaten to terminate'. Of course he can say that to his God in all good consciense. That's because that's not what was said. Here is the mayor playing the same old damn word games he's been playing all along. The statement was telling a city employee his time was going to be short. So unless the exact exact exact same words were used then 'My wife did not [insert God allowed verbiage here] ...'.

Then to distract from the issue he lays into the title of the employee. SO WHAT! Losers distract like this.

Then he tries to prove a negative. 'did not see Mike King'. Whoopie. Yep, great logic. This is the same logic used in most his thinking. You know, I bet he didn't notice somebody else in the store either, so that person wasn't there either Right?

Why does this guy even try to defend such an losing position.
Peachtree City and its staff are the losers here because of this mayor.


NUK_1's picture

Anyone surprised by Haddix needs to get better informed because it's been obvious to me since he first got elected to Council the guy simply is as dumb as a box of rocks yet has an unsurpassed ego in that only *he* knows what it is best. He's had to drop the "Sturbaum and I" bit lately since 'ol Dough has started thinking for himself I guess.

Haddix came on here as Steve Brown version 2 and used the same populist BS, mangling of facts and a butchered pseudo-intellectualism to snow a lot of people who will believe about anything if it sounds nice to them at that moment. Now, much like Brown as terribly failed Mayor and even worse State candidate, the place here has turned vicious on Haddix when everyone should have realized at the start the man lacks the intelligence and anything resembling leadership to be anything but a one-term failure as Mayor, exactly like Brown.

I know, I know, the choice between him or PLunkett was a real gag but so was Brown vs. Smith or McCarty vs. Maxwell. There is a shortage of people in FC ready to get ripped to shreds in order to serve the public, so we are stuck with grandstanding morons or self-serving people who are looking to enrich themselves. Or just clueless fools who had no idea what they were getting into in the first place.

There's a simple solution here. Ask Mr. Grisham at the next council meeting if something was said. If he confirms it then the mayor will have been caught lying ... again. The truth is a moving target to this mayor. I remember just a couple weeks ago where he couldn't vote to change the minutes to reflect the truth despite it being on video tape in front of the whole city. Now he and his wife have been caught together this time.

By the way Mr. Mayor. This blog is not "Over the line." Your wife [and what she said] and you are over the line. This is politics at its best when its started by the one now whining. Please just resign now and end this failed, miserable, dragging the city down into the dirt, lying, know it all, egotistical, law suit infestation, embarrassment of an administration.

To Mr. Grisham. If you've already spoken to your HR rep at city hall [and I hope you have] then its already a matter of public record and FOI will permit us to find the truth. Might as well speak up when asked so we can conclude this matter with as little expense [defending the mayor with a legal defense at PTC tax payer expense] as possible.

To Haddix. This issue is not going to just go away as I know you are hoping. You're toast.


Mr Mayor....Mike King did not say that your wife threatened the economic development manager....he said she told him his job would be short lived.

Would you mind answering the "right" question

Did your wife tell Joey Grisham his job would be short lived?

Agreed...people have crossed the line if this is not true.

Please advise!

Don Haddix's picture

No, she did not say his job would be short lived.

In fact she said if she was wrong on anything she said, as her opinion, not mine, she apologized.

She made it clear she was speaking for herself only.

Every member of Council voted to hire him, approve his budget and wants him to succeed.

I have in fact worked with him on the bowling alley, forwarded several other city wants to him, given him asked for information, etc. He knows if he needs me to help in a project I will be there.

There is a very real difference on Big Boxes and the SUP. Those were not hidden and were brought out during the last Council Meeting.

Support of Big Boxes is not popular in PTC, as you well know.

The line was crossed. My wife is owed an apology.

We do not want to bring in the spouses of elected. On every Council spouses have had their own opinion on issues, to which they are entitled. They are not public figures and should not be treated as such.

That is a reality on this Council as well, not restricted to my wife.

Leave Council spouses alone. All of them.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

OK - Now we have you confirming your wife did indeed talk to Mr. Grisham.
Now we know Mr. King was right.
Are you now saying Mr. Grisham is lying now too?
Again with the cutesy subtle statement of what or was not said. You disgust me.

Now to the rest of your meaniale fake attempt at saying you are in support of Mr. Grisham. Your wife reflects your opinions. Don't deny it. She said exactly what the two of you are really hoping for.

Wow - So you voted to hire him. Well you couldn't vote no and be known as not supporting development now could you?

Its so obvious you and your wife hope the new direction of the Development Authority is turned around with the implication that as soon as you get the votes you'll see Mr. Grisham to the door and turn around and stick it to the citizens for a couple hundred thousand tax dollars given to a wasteful, overhead burdened duplicate authority of the county's development authority.

Keep blogging. And open your mouth just a little bit more. Your ankle isn't in there yet.

Don Haddix's picture

You cannot even get my position correct. I want Mr. Grisham to be the Development Direct of DAPC. I want to expand his abilities, not limit them.

If you have not done the math we are funding Mr. Grisham over $150,000 a year. That is the initial funding through September 30, 2011. Not even a full year.

The one supposed statement about the City not backing economic development concerned the City, not individuals. That took on all of PTC.

If not that statement then what statement by Mr. Grisham are you referencing?

I have answered the key issues. I will not bog down in repetition.

I fully realize the same people who opposed me as Councilman and now Mayor have not given up the attacks. As well I realize what Morgan said is true. There are those who post under multiple names.

Unless something new arises I am done with this subject.

Really sinking to an all time low attacking spouses.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

hutch866's picture

Don said "As well I realize what Morgan said is true. There are those who post under multiple names." They would be who?

I yam what I yam

I can not clearly decipher what you say 3/12 at 2:01pm!

development direct

expand his abilities

the whole third sentence

what opposing you a for office has to do with thkis, I don't understand--it indicates revenge!

multiple names?

I'm afraid if A SPOUSE SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND IN CONTEXT, IT WILL BE USED BY SOME. Not on the street but at a meeting is a no, no.

I still advise you to get off here or report on happenings only.

I am in favor of being kept up to date, and I don't remember any other Mayor doing so, but it apparently doesn't work very well here.

I can not clearly decipher what you say 3/12 at 2:01pm!

development direct

expand his abilities

the whole third sentence

what opposing you a for office has to do with thkis, I don't understand--it indicates revenge!

multiple names?

I'm afraid if A SPOUSE SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND IN CONTEXT, IT WILL BE USED BY SOME. Not on the street but at a meeting is a no, no.

I still advise you to get off here or report on happenings only.

I am in favor of being kept up to date, and I don't remember any other Mayor doing so, but it apparently doesn't work very well here.

NUK_1's picture

"No, she did not say his job would be short lived.

In fact she said if she was wrong on anything she said, as her opinion, not mine, she apologized.

She made it clear she was speaking for herself only."

Well, it's really to ascertain that anything she allegedly said was in fact negative as King stated and maybe when the wife of of the Mayor decides to say anything to a city employee besides "Hi, how are you?" that it probably crossed the line already.

Haddix quoted
"No, she did not say his job would be short lived.

In fact she said if she was wrong on anything she said, as her opinion, not mine, she apologized.

She made it clear she was speaking for herself only."

Although very confusing....

Assuming she did not say this - APOLOGY OFFERRED

Don Haddix's picture

She did and meant it.

It was never a conversation for public consumption anymore than anyone on Council or Staff being stopped by any citizen on the street.


<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>


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