Controversial Zoning Tops Agenda at UPCCA Meeting
Peachtree Corners' watchdog group eyes C2 zoning request for Sturbridge Apartments
A rezoning request that could negatively impact the quality of Peachtree Corners will be one of the main topics tonight at a meeting of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association.
The UPCCA, Peachtree Corners' watchdog group since 1993, meets 7:30 tonight in the fellowship hall at Christ the King Lutheran Church.
At the top of the meeting agenda is an update on what’s going on with a request to rezone the Sturbridge Square Apartments.
Currently, Sturbridge is zoned for residential housing, but the request to rezone the property to C2 could lead to commercial zoning that “is not consistent with what we’re trying to keep there,” says Mike Mason, UPCCA president.
Sturbridge is the oldest apartment complex in Peachtree Corners. It’s located on Holcomb Bridge Road near the intersection of Peachtree Parkway.
The apartment complex has seen better days. Once a place of residence for employees of Technology Park, the property is now run down and has changed ownership several times.
The current owner received an offer from a developer who wants to rezone to property to C2 zoning, which would mean that “practically anything” can be put on that property, Mason says.
The UPCCA apposes the rezoning. It would “set a precedent” that ultimately could lower the property values of homes in the 30092 ZIP code.
Peachtree Corners currently manages to hold its own despite the plunge in real estate values, because it provides a high quality of life for its residents.
That’s why it’s important to limit the property use to high-end zoning that is consistent with the Peachtree Corners’ image.
Also on the agenda is cityhood, a topic that directly affects Peachtree Corners’ ability to have any say in zoning issues.
With cityhood, Peachtree Corners would control its own destiny on planning and zoning issues and not have to rely on “five people out in Lawrenceville” to make that decision, he says. “Becoming a city allows us to control those quality-of-life issues."
Cityhood too would protect Peachtree Corners from being engulfed by surrounding cities that would gladly annex the area to pick up tax revenues from Technology Park.
In fact, Norcross tried a couple of years ago to annex Peachtree Corners. While the move was defeated in the legislature, Norcross still eyes the move.
“These are hard times for cities, and they would look to Technology Park as a source of revenue,” Mason says. “They are only doing what’s in their best interest.”
And that's why Peachtree Corners needs to do what's in its best interest to protect its identity. Cityhood would accomplish that mission.
So what would it cost of cityhood be to residents? According to a feasibility study, the cost to a homeowner with a $300,000 a year home is about $120 annually, which is a small price to pay to protect home values from plummeting thousands of dollars as a result of spotty zoning decisions.
Cityhood too would give Peachtree Corners the ability to maintain the beauty of the area, be more competitive with grants, and expand the branding of Peachtree Corners to enhance property values and promote community pride.
While cityhood is the goal, Mason wants to dispel the myth that Peachtree Corners is against Norcross. “That’s not how we define it,” he says. “One of the mottos we have is that we define ourselves by who we are, not by whom we are against.”
Scheduled to speak tonight are Gwinnett County District 2 school board representative Mary Kay Murphy, Gwinnett County District 2 county commissioner Lynette Howard, and District 52 Georgia state representative Tom Rice. All residents of Peachtree Corners are invited to attend. The meeting is 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Christ the King Lutheran Church is located at 5575 Peachtree Parkway, next to Wells Fargo Bank.