By Pat Cooper
Tomorrow night the Peachtree City Council will get a chance to vote on the proposed 77-acre annexation request from the Southern Pines Plantation Group and no one is sure which way the five members will go.
Southern Pines is requesting the city annex the tract on the south end of the city, currently in unincorporated Fayette County, and then rezone it for residential use. It would then be built-out with homes, with a design for 90 single-family homes on approximately 20,000 square feet of lots.
The tract sits adjacent to Highway 74 and Redwine Road, and part of the front along 74 would be reserved for office buildings similar in design and feel to the surrounding businesses.
Planning and zoning Administrator David Rast explained that the tract had been zoned for industrial use and had "come up in discussions before for a variety of potential uses; everything from an industrial refrigeration plant to commercial office use." Under the industrial zone designation, the parcel would offer about 177,000 square feet of potential industrial development.
After two separate meetings with the Peachtree City Planning Commission, hoping to convince them to support the annexation (which they did in a 3-2 vote) the plat now proposes a total of 9.1 acres of land to be deeded to the city as greenbelt, along with 18.2 acres of wetlands, streams, floodplains and associated buffers.
Approximately 9.8 acres of land would be deeded as right-of-way. Subtracting the office acreage (4.1 acres) from the gross acreage of the site (77.1 acres), the gross residential density would equal 0.81 units per acre. Subtracting the office acreage (4.1 acres), the greenbelt, buffer and pond acreage (27.3 acres) and the right-of-way acreage (9.8 acres) from the gross acreage of the site (77.1 acres), the net residential density would equal 0.40 lots per acre.
The densities are consistent with many of the existing residential subdivisions within the southern portion of Braelinn Village.
Southern Pines will donate a 50-foot greenbelt around the property for the city to control for extensions of the sewer system and the sewer mains will be located 200 feet from the nearest property line.
The company will also donate a 60-foot greenbelt along Highway 74 and landscape the entrance to keep a uniform look with other landscaped buildings along the corridor.
Their intent, said developer representative David Kirk, is to provide an estimated $300,000 in contributions to the city, by way of providing an estimated $36,000 for paths.
Another $160,000 is estimated to be the cost of land donation for the greenbelt areas, right of way and land for the entrance to the development, as well as right of way for the sewer connection path.
“There’s a significant amount of land being set aside, with some nine acres of land set aside for green belt and buffers, and an amount of land for connection to Brecken Park.”
Additionally, since the Meade field restrooms are on a problematic septic tank, Southern Pines was committed to not only pay for the Meade field portion of the proposed regional sewer lift station to serve the basin, but also to tying in the existing restrooms at the facility. The estimated cost of that is just over $60,000.
Additionally, the company is helping to fund the sign for the new location, since it will be a gateway into the city, with a $10,000 contribution and a deal of $100 a month towards maintenance for the next 20 years.
Fayette County commissioner Steve Brown expressed, in a letter to the city, his own concerns regarding the possibility of a new subdivision.
“The industrial zoning will be ‘capped-off’ at the southern end with residential. When the land to the north was rezoned from industrial to commercial retail years ago, I had hoped the remainder of the land to the south would be reserved for corporate headquarters and other types of white-collar applications.”
Further, Brown pointed out that Peachtree City is rapidly running out of suitable sites for corporate re-location, the way it had for Cooper Lighting and NCR in the past.
The outlook on potential revenue to the city is much greater with a corporate campus than with residential, he noted.
Despite Brown’s concerns for the area, the Fayette County commission declined to officially object to the annexation request.