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PTC to pursue 54W road swap

In a significant turnaround, the Peachtree City Council unanimously approved an informal agreement that could lead to a larger shopping center off Line Creek Drive than is currently approved.

The development also could lead to a new stoplight, which has been turned down in the past by state transportation officials because of its proximity to the existing stoplight for Planterra Way, which serves the Walmart-Home Depot shopping area.

Jim Lowe of Trinity Development said he didn’t think the new retail plan, which would be located behind a RaceTrac convenience store, would be over 150,000 square feet, which is the city’s size limit before triggering a review for a special use permit.

However, the development could have one or more stores over 32,000 square feet in size, which also would trigger a special use permitting process, which requires more detailed data with no guarantee of final approval from the city council.

The proposed deal is being hailed as an effort to lure at least one “anchor” store to the site to help make the center more economically viable.

Regardless of the outcome of a potential land swap deal, the RaceTrac convenience store is coming to the front area of this parcel, right off Ga. Highway 54. But it’s the remainder of that 13-acre site is slated to be developed in individual pieces instead of being built at the same time.

The agreement contemplates the swapping of city-owned roads — which would give Trinity flexibility to lure larger “anchor” stores — in exchange for additional land along the rear of the property near the Cardiff Park subdivision, additional land along the city-owned Line Creek Nature Area, a Trinity-funded access road linking the parcel through the nature area to a struggling shopping center off Hwy. 54 and MacDuff Parkway, and more.

A road swap deal was nixed by council earlier this year with no public notice, and Trinity responded by authoring a plan that legally met the city’s ordinance but allowed them to develop the site as a “subdivision” instead of all at the same time.

Assuming that the development will require a special use permit, Mayor Don Haddix said he wants the city to hire consultants to conduct the traffic and economic impact studies, with funding coming from Trinity Development. As the special use permit process stands, the developer applying for a special use permit can hire any company it wishes to conduct such studies, which are required to be provided to council for consideration as part of the SUP application process.

Haddix said he was skeptical about claims that better timing would improve traffic on Hwy. 54, because he has seen traffic getting worse where he lives.

At Monday night’s planning commission meeting, Councilman Eric Imker said he supports the agreement, even though he is wary about a new traffic light coming to Line Creek Drive. Having an “anchor” sized store there is important and will not take business away from smaller businesses in the city, Imker said.

Furthermore, Imker said without the agreement, the city could have smaller stores such as nail and hair salons, pawn shops, tattoo parlors and “used car dealers with easy credit.”

“If we keep those streets in the city, that’s what we’re going to get,” Imker said. “We have to give up those streets to not get those things in there.”

Residents in Cardiff Park, the subdivision abutting the rear of the commercially-zoned tract, are incredibly supportive of the land swap and plan for bigger retail on the site, according to Cardiff Park resident Tim Lydell.

The residents are also hoping to win concessions on limiting the hours of delivery and other matters pertaining to the operation of the center, Lydell said.

Cardiff Park will be protected by a 75-foot wide “transition yard” buffer that must be landscaped and bermed by Trinity, regardless of whatever commercial activities are built on the site.



Peachtree City is already full of empty retail spaces that can't find tenants and the traffic on 54 W is infuriating.How is another traffic light and more empty stores a good thing?

carbonunit52's picture

I see it backed up now to the intersection of 34 in Coweta in the mornings and to Lake Peachtree in the evenings. Fortunately for me, I am traveling in the opposite direction. Time the lights any way that you want to, another one in so short of a distance is going to make it a lot worse. Money is strong medicine in the capitalist community.

Cyclist's picture

So when will the announcement be made about the PTC bypass? After all, Fayetteville will have a west and an east bypass soon. (eyes rolling again)

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

PTC Observer's picture

PTC is in political turmoil and the council can't find its way out of a closet. So, don't worry about a bypass. They are focused on important issues like dogs on leashes, walking signs, and gas golf carts.

As far as the county commission is concerned, I think they have had enough of bypasses for now. ;-)

mudcat's picture

It is really quite simple. The bank owns this property and they are very motivated to sell it for a fraction of the original cost and the developer can easily afford to buy it because he will get most of that purchase price back from Race Track when he sells the valuable highway frontage to them. Then he will own the zoned land in the back almost free and clear which means he can afford to wait out the recession and then be able to build and market dirt cheap space to nail salons and tanning places.

And of course if the city doesn't do the land swap and give him what he wants, he will just put in small shops and market them to nail salons and tanning places.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

Regardless of what we give these people we are going to be sc---wed three ways to Sunday. We will give them the roads and everything else they want and still end up with nails salons and the ilk. When are we ever going to learn to say no....?

yellowjax1212's picture

If it will help regulate the gas prices in PTC (check Flash Foods in Fayetteville or at the crossroads in Newnan)I say - BRING IT.

Maybe it's time to revisit the TDK extension.

This council has come to the same conclusion as the people they replaced? Look out, the last bunch to act in the best interest of the city got booted.

David Downing

Steve Brown's picture

This is another developer trying to frighten the neighbors into submission in exchange for another plan that will wreck traffic on Highway 54-W.

A traffic signal at Line Creek is suicide for future traffic flow. A big box draw on the opposite side of Highway 54-W will also be a traffic flow killer.

Keep in mind there are no easy fixes to those obstacles.

Years down the road, people will be cursing the day these decisions were made.

The city has also punted any significant solutions to the 54/74 intersection as well, exacerbating the new problems above.

This is incredibly short sighted. Commuters are going to be furious.

Mike King's picture

...At least the last THREE proposals for this same site actually met and exceeded the zoning requirements for the parcel. According to you it seems property owners have no say.

Punting on 54/74 intersection? Care to comment, or be a little more specific than you were about saying that YOU would halt the West Fayette Bypass? Surely, you're not going to flip(again) on the TDK Extension?

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