Mayor Haddix on Sany, walking signs, vacant building ordinance
To say the least, last week was eventful.
There was the Sany development meeting with DAPC. I voiced some expectations to be addressed before coming before the City Council, which seemed well received by the Sany officials in attendance.
I expect the areas still needing work or just clarification will be handled in additional meetings between DAPC and Sany.
On walking signs, the continuation was already requested in the packet. It was a procedural one of giving the Planning Commission an opportunity to make comments and suggestions first. There is a will on council to do something to bring walking signs into line with Peachtree City’s philosophy.
As for the vacant homes ordinance, that has been a hot item and will continue to be until a resolution is finalized. There is a need or we would not be working on it.
What happened was a new tool created outside of Peachtree City for the hundreds of cities with vacant home problems was discovered Thursday afternoon. I didn’t find out about it until after 6:30 p.m., along with one council member. There was not sufficient time to get more information or pass everything along to the rest of council.
So, the vacant home ordinance was continued to give staff time to research the new tool and see it would fulfill our needs without adding a new ordinance. With it already continued and having never been opened for public comment there was nothing more to say at that time.
Where does that leave it? If the new tool fulfills our needs it will be used along with our current ordinances. If not the vacant home ordinance will return.
Have we heard from Realtors voicing the position of the Realtor Board? Yes, we received around a hundred copy-and-paste emails from Realtors located from Savannah to Jasper. Still, this type ordinance has already been enacted in hundreds of cities across the nation and has been upheld in at least 11 legal challenges. Therefore it is neither illegal nor a violation of property rights.
To be fair, it should be said here not all Realtors and brokers oppose this kind of ordinance.
For those homeowners and HOAs with vacant homes problems, occupied homes violating existing code and other issues next door and in their communities affecting quality of life, health and home values, we are moving forward.
We just upgraded out park monitors’ authority to allow them now to issue citations, are reviewing and improving existing ordinances and working on streamlining and increasing our code enforcement policing.
Our concerns are not limited to homes. For a number of years there have been increasing incidents of vandalism at recreation fields and other locations. Backing down on defending our quality of life, health, safety and property values is not an option.
Regarding the approval of completing the path connection to the MacDuff tunnel and RAM property area, that is a more important project than many realize. It will alleviate a major safety problem of carts in Cedarcroft, improve the cart route by no longer going through a residential area and be in place when the West Gateway Bridge is eventually built to accommodate traffic from Wynnmeade and Planterra.
This will result in increased traffic to the RAM properties along Ga. Highway 54, which should greatly improve business and hopefully pay for the costs of the project over a relatively short term.
With this path connection authorized and paid for, Paschall Road scheduled for opening in about three months, the 54/CSX bridge already open for use and other projects and goals being completed, we are getting things done.
That leaves a lot yet to do, but we will be moving forward as fast as our resources allow.
[Don Haddix was elected mayor of Peachtree City in 2009, Previously, he had served two years as a council member. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.]