Major Concerns Over Peachtree Corners Council and Mayor Expanding Powers

Peachtree Corners City Council will vote tonight to expand its powers. The Peachtree Corners Ballot Committee has major concerns about this effort.

The city of Peachtree Corners is designated as a very unique form of government - a city-lite.  This is because the city is charted by the state legislature to provide just three services - 1. Planning and Zoning  2. code Enforcement  3. Trash Collection.  The city has not even been functioning a year and only one of the 3 services is completely operational.  Yet the council and mayor are already looking to expand their powers. Tonight's city council meeting has two items on it that attempt to do just that. 

1. The council is looking to pass an ordinance removing the second read requirement to pass ordinances in the future. This is a problem because it gives us, the citizens, no time to react to the proposed law before the council can vote it into being. They argue that this is holding up businesses who need zoning changes and that the second read is really moot because they could hold back to back meetings to meet the second read requirement. We are OK with the idea of changing the second read requirement on business zoning issues that have already passed the zoning commission vetting process. We do not want the council's powers expanded to pass any ordinance this way. They may circumvent the requirement by holding the back to back meetings, but then we would at least be alerted to the fact they are up to no good and trying to block citizen input. We want the ordinance eliminating the second read to have tighter, more limiting language.

2. The council wants to expand the charter to allow them to provide a 4th service. The resolution reads "A Resolution of the Mayor and Council of Peachtree Corners, Georgia requesting the local legislative delegation of Peachtree Corners, Georgia to introduce a local law authorizing Peachtree Corners, Georgia to have redevelopment powers pursuant to the redevelopment powers law; and for other purposes."  It appears they will put this on the ballot for a November referendum. We believe they are already breaking their promises to keep this a city-lite with this expansion of powers. We think they should get the other 3 services implemented and running smoothly before they try to convince us they deserve more power and more money to spend.

Add this to the elimination of the second read in item 1 above and you have recipe for all sorts of abuse without the citizens able to react or voice their objections before the council buys land, builds infrastructure or otherwise spends tax money the way they want. 

You can read the full agenda here: http://www.cityofpeachtreecornersga.com/1__2013-03-05_-_City_Council_Agenda.pdf

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Brian March 06, 2013 at 02:19 PM
I agree on all counts, Ali. I adamantly oppose eliminating the 2nd read provision. And while I don't disagree that there are benefits to having redevelopment authority, it would be nice to see everything else running smoothly first. Let's hope for real progress in the coming months. Also, it will be good to know what these redevelopment powers truly entails before casting my vote in November.
Ali Stinson March 06, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Thanks Brian. Mim Harris and I each articulated the objection to the waiving of the second read during the public comments portion at last night's council meeting. I am happy to report after some discussion amongst the council, the ordinance was tabled for further review and work by the council. We hope to see the future ordinance focused on waiving the read only in cases where the issue has been vetted through the planning commission process rather than this broad, blanket waiver first proposed.


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