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Fischer Crossing hearing comes with economic impact report

It’s all coming down to the meeting on Sept. 16. The Coweta County Commission that night will conduct a public hearing on a request

by the Fischer Crossing Development Group to rezone approximately 35 acres near the northeast corner of Fischer Road and Ga. Highway 34 and reroute a portion of Wynn’s Pond Road.

The request would locate an additional 225,500 square feet of commercial space for Kohl’s and other retailers along with three community football fields immediately north of the previously approved Fischer Crossing retail development. An economic impact on the development shows that, if left as is, the property would generate a total of $5.2 million in property and sales taxes as opposed to the $7.1 million generated if the current request is approved by commissioners.

The request by developer Scott Seymour comes in two parts. The first portion involves the request to rezone 20.56 acres immediately to the north of the previously approved commercial development and along Fischer Road. The request would remove two previous conditions attached to the C-7 (Commercial Major Shopping District) zoned property. Those include the commission-approved stipulation that access to Wynn Pond Road be prohibited unless requested by the entire Featherston Fishing Club and that a 100-foot buffer be maintained along Wynn Pond Road with an additional 50-foot planted buffer, according to county Planning Director Robert Tolleson. The stipulation is based on the county’s Comprehensive Plan that calls for protecting the county’s cultural and historic character.

The 20.56-acre tract is proposed to be the site of 225,500 square feet of commercial space that includes a Kohl’s Department Store serving as anchor along with six outparcels.

The second portion of the request involves a conditional use rezoning of the 14.07-acre tract immediately to the north of the 20-acre tract from Rural Conservation (RC) to C-7. Included in that portion of the request are three proposed football fields and a day care facility.

Also in Seymour’s request is the closure of the current portion of Wynn Pond Road where it intersects on the south side of the 20.56-acre tract, a short distance from Fischer Road, and rerouting the road 840 feet along the north side of the tract without coming in contact with the commercial development, then west to intersect with Fischer Road. If rerouted, Wynn’s Pond residents would have a road by which to enter and exit their property that would not be subject to traffic from the commercial development. If the request is denied, the Featherston Fishing Club property would be directly linked to the commercial development.

The proposed project has received a Development of Regional Impact (DRI) approval with conditions from the Three Rivers Regional Commission along with approval with conditions from the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA).

The county Board of Zoning Appeals last week recommended approval of the request, though that recommendation came with a number of conditions.

The Coweta County Planning & Zoning Department has recommended denial of the request.

Seymour late this week released an economic impact report on the Fischer Crossing development, including the portion of the development that is the subject of the Sept. 16 public hearing. The 16-page report, entitled “The Economic Impact of Fischer Crossing Shopping Center on Coweta County” was compiled by Dr. William Smith and Dr. Hilde Patrol-Boenheim, both of the University of West Georgia’s Department of Economics.

Pertinent to the Sept. 16 rezoning and road abandonment request is Pod B and Pod C. Pod B would be the location of the Kohl’s, T.J Maxx, a sporting goods store, other retail outlets and a restaurant. The southernmost portion of Pod B is situated in the property already rezoned. The northernmost portion, along with all of Pod C, is situated in the property up for review by commissioners. It is in this portion of Pod B that the Kohl’s store would serve as the anchor, along with three large retail buildings to the east. Pod C is the proposed location of the three football fields and a daycare facility.  

According to the University of West Georgia report, Pod B in total would contain more than 270,000 square feet of commercial space and employ 310 people with wages totaling $6.75 million. Pod C would be the site of a 12,500 square-foot day care center along with the three football fields. The daycare facility would employ 15 people with wages totaling $206,000. The football fields would be used by community teams.

In total, the Fischer Crossing is situated in five pods. Of the remaining previously approved portions of the property, Pod A is located on the extreme eastern portion of the northeast corner of Fischer Road and Hwy. 34 and includes the NCG Cinemas now under construction, an aquatic center and other retail outlets, all totaling more than 60,000 square feet and projected to employ 100 with annual wages estimated at $1.5 million.

Pod D is situated on the northwest portion of the property and includes the Sam’s Club, also currently under construction, along with retail stores and a restaurant, all totaling 158,000 square feet and employing 233 people with wages totaling $5.2 million.

Pod E is located on the southwest corner of the development and currently has no commercial space under development. The report noted that, once developed, the pod will include retail stores, a bank and restaurant totaling 300,000 square feet and providing 320 jobs with an estimated payroll of $7.5 million.

As significant as the shopping, jobs and wages that the development is expected to bring are the tax revenues that would be collected for Coweta County. The report notes the difference in property tax revenues and sales tax revenues depending on the decision of commissioners to deny the current request and keep the development as it currently stands or whether they approve the current requests and allow for the expansion of Pod B and the creation of Pod C.

“If partially developed as specified, Coweta County property tax revenues are estimated to be $1.2 million or 3.9 percent of current property tax revenues, the majority of which will remain at the local level. County sales tax revenues are estimated to be $4 million or about 21.7 percent of current sales tax revenues,” the report said. “If fully operational, property tax revenues are estimated to be $2 million or 6.5 percent of total property taxes. Sales tax revenues are estimated to be $5.1 million or 27.7 percent of current sales tax revenues. Thus, local revenues (sales and property taxes) generated by the operational phase is estimated to be between $5.2 and $7.1 million annually, or between 8.7 and 11.9 percent of total county revenues.”

While not part of the report, there is yet another factor that figures into the sales tax equation. It is one that comes with the business reality that, when it comes to shopping, dining and entertainment preferences and convenience, county lines have long since evaporated. In that regard, it is undeniable that the Fischer Crossing development is likely to draw significant numbers of Fayette County estimated 107,000 residents, including those living in Peachtree City less than a mile away.

Meantime in other areas of the Fischer Crossing retail development, construction on the 136,000 square-foot Sam’s Club store on the northwest corner of Fischer Road and Hwy. 34 is now well underway. Referring to the east Coweta business as its “Peachtree City” store, Walmart representatives said recently that the opening is expected in early 2011.

And on the easternmost portion of the northeast corner of the intersection, the 10-screen NCG Cinemas is also under construction. The theater is expected to open around Thanksgiving followed by the aquatic center in spring 2011.



yellowjax1212's picture

I guess this would be the same Khol's that PTC pooped all over and said we didn't need it. No one would support it.
So they build it a mile down the road and Coweta County gets the tax revenue.

PTC Observer's picture

Yep, that's the one.

You can point fingers if you wish. I have read the papers and attended council meetings and heard the cries of the citizens--"We don't want Kohl's. We don't want Lowe's." Well, "we," the citizens got from our officials exactly what we asked for.

The only problem is, we now will live with the unintended consequences of the traffic and possible crime from these retail centers--without benefit of any of the revenue from the taxes. So, blame the city leaders, if you like, but the truth is, We have NO ONE to BLAME but OURSELVES.

We are at a stage in the development of our city where MORE than "gut feelings" and "knee-jerk reaction" is needed in making decisions about development. Formal studies need to be carried out that will define the impact of retail centers coming in. Perhaps, the unintended consequences might have been uncovered had we insisted on a formal impact study. Because we didn't call for a study, we will have to live with the problems created by the likes of the Fisher's Crossing.

There will be more opportunities arise like Fisher's Crossing. How we deal with them is up to our leaders, but more importantly, us as citizens. The revised "Master Plan" is going to have an impact on all of us. We had better get involved and insist that our leaders do right by us. We had better insist that the decisions are not made by a few vocal citizens at the council meetings. We had better insist that the impact studies be done! It is up to us the direction the city takes. Let's not find ourselves saying, "Woulda, coulda, shoulda." Let's get all the facts on the table for the next round of development...especially, in light of not having a DAPC to help us. I mean, after all, the council just handcuffed them to the desk.

NUK_1's picture

Any clown can simply sit around and poll the noisiest residents and decide how to vote, but that's not what Mayors are elected to do, however. It comes with the job that sometimes you have to educate and inform the citizens on issues and maybe he even advocate the opposite position from the vocal minority or even majority.

When you screech "development...NO NO NO!" and "no one in PTC will shop in Coweta" or even "PTC citizens won't shop at Wal-Mart/Home Depot," that's NOT leadership whatsoever or even bothering to think about an issue.

yellowjax1212's picture

You are right Imagine. The vocal portion of the citizenry (I don't know if it was a majority or not) and this paper have been screaming for years - NO MORE BIG BOX!
Put aside the feeling and opinions any of you may have about Mayor Logsdon but he stated (and was pilloried) numerous times, that if we continue to throw roadblocks up they will simply go across the county line and build it. leaving us with all of the traffic, possible crime and not one penny of tax revenue.
And now all we have is Frick and Frack yelling at each other in council meetings.
Miss him yet?

I felt like the compromise they tried for Kohls near the Tennis Center was the best thing for PTC. It was showered with opposition by many citizens and Council. I'll admit I wasn't thrilled in the beginning, but the writing was on the wall with the development just over Line Creek in Coweta.

Kudos for your "Frick & Frack" comment.

Can't help but wonder if any of them have shopped at a Kohl's. I find quality merchadise at reasonable prices--and even more reasonable when they have their 15% discount days for Seniors!

Not sure I miss Logsdon so much as I wish Cyndi Plunkett was mayor rather than Frick and Beth Pullias was on council rather than Frack. Throw in Shelby Barker instead of The Big Hair and we'd have a pretty good council except for the lap dog.

NUK_1's picture

What is sort of ironic is that Planterra Ridge was mostly OK with Kohl's, and they are a known grumpy group of residents and also the ones who would be most affected by Kohl's, yet were on-board with the compromise.

You are exactly right. We get the government we deserve. Rather than use financial impact studies as Coweta and other govt entities do when considering these type of developments, policitians like Brown, Haddix, Imker, etc. with their NO NO NO politics exploit the voters by using scare tactics (the criminals are gonna move in and assault grandma) and false information (costs outweigh the benefits). But too often voters are like sheep being led to slaughter and rather than questioning the validity of what is being said, swallowing hook, line and sinker what these hack politicians say just to get elected. Go back and look at the number of jobs and wages being created with this development. Throw in the tax revenue this development will generate and this is a no brainer. But then again, you gotta have a brain to begin with. Something lacking in too many of our local politicians.

NUK_1's picture

Of course, PTC was so "smart" and had a huge spazz over this Kohl's, and now it is going to be right down the road less than a mile away. WHOA.....we showed them!!!! No "sub-standard shopping" here! Wooooooo.

Would someone please tell me what was accomplished in opposing Kohl's? You stood on "principle" and that failed miserably yet again?

Maybe also explain to me why Senoia was denied access to WASA and all the revenue that would have brought in and instead Senoia went to Coweta after being rejected by PTC and got TWICE the sewer capacity? Great job! can't wait for the extra development on PTC's border without any additional revenue yet again.

PTC is becoming a total joke thanks to people like Steve Brown and Don Haddix who took over and couldn't lead a fish to water. I would include Logsdumb in this, but he was better than Brown and the only other choice at that time.

Great job, Donnie! Oh but wait...that's said one time that it didnt matter...folks from PTC weren't going to go over to the Dark Side (Coweta) and shop. Yeah, right! Just watch that steady stream of tax revenue pour outta PTC shoppers' pockets right into Coweta's coffers at a time when PTC sure could use some much needed revenue. Jeez...when is your term up?

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