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PTC: Rezoning OK, but build MacDuff bridge before houses

A rezoning to allow 204 homes on 87 acres off MacDuff Parkway was given a partial blessing by the Peachtree City Planning Commission Monday night.

The density of the project would be about 2.3 homes per acre, or slightly less than a half-acre lot per home.

The commission approved the rezoning, with a condition that no construction permits will be issued until the MacDuff Parkway extension — including a bridge over the adjacent railroad tracks — is complete.

Jeff Kingsfield, the Atlanta Division President of John Wieland Homes, said the company is ready to seek permits for the road construction, which is required as part of a large-scale annexation deal back in 2007.

The road extension includes a bridge that will cross over the railroad track to connect MacDuff Parkway with Ga. Highway 74 at the current intersection with north Kedron Drive.

The final say on the rezoning matter is in the hands of the Peachtree City Council, which will discuss the request Thursday night. Council could change that condition or remove it entirely if they wish.

The site is currently zoned for industrial use and planning commissioners agreed that is a bad fit based on the property’s location.

Mayor Vanessa Fleisch has said she will abstain from voting on the rezoning since a fellow real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty has contracted with developer John Wieland Homes to sell homes in the Wilksmoor Village area.

“Though I will not directly profit from any such partnership, in order to avoid the appearance of any impropriety, I will abstain from any vote concerning the rezoning of the 87 acres,” Fleisch said.

The development proposal from Wieland includes several park and open space areas but no condominiums or townhomes as originally considered several years ago. The property includes the former construction landfill known as “The Peach Pit” and that portion of the property will remain open space with no development.

Likewise there is a buffer of at least 100 feet and going deeper in some places from the adjacent CSX railroad track.

Speaking about the road extension, Kingsfield said the hardest permit to get might be the one from the railroad company itself.

The hope is to eliminate several at-grade crossings in the area so the railroad would establish a quiet zone in the area.

The road extension will be a welcome relief for many if not all residents of Wilksmoor Village, who as of now only have one way in and one way out of their homes: using Ga. Highway 54 West to access the existing portion of MacDuff Parkway.

The area is the city’s worst when it comes to traffic, particularly during drive time, and the connection of MacDuff to Hwy. 74 north is highly anticipated by many who are frustrated with the Hwy. 54 traffic gridlock.

The extension of MacDuff Parkway will be two lanes but there will be enough right of way to widen the roadbed to four lanes in the future if necessary, Wieland officials said.

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