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Reader Urges 90-Day Moratorium Be Reversed

One Peachtree Corners resident says the public should have been notified before City Council decided to pass the moratorium.

Letter to the Editor:

Shocked, betrayed, and angered are words to describe my reactions upon learning the new Peachtree Corners City Council members approved a 90 day moratorium on certain services including, building permits and business licenses.

While I had my doubts about the proposed new city, I have been a supporter until this moratorium came to my attention. I was excited that so many candidates with impressive education, work experience, and community leadership experience stepped up to lead our new city. After the elections, it appeared we were fortunate to have a diversified council with a depth of experience. That is why I am so shocked to learn that one of the first things the council decides to do is: a) impose a moratorium before allowing the public to be informed and provide feedback; b) create an adversarial relationship between the city and the local business community.

Right off the bat, the new city council members agreed to have a parent-to-child authority relationship with the business community, as opposed to a balanced adult-to-adult relationship. Prior to approving the city charter, I heard both opposing and supporting voters express apprehension that the new city could act like an overbearing busybody homeowners association (HOA) on steroids. Despite the appearance of competent people on the new city council, their approval of the moratorium without due consideration of the impact on the local business community is exactly the kind of irresponsible nonsense HOAs are known for. That leaves me feeling betrayed and angry for supporting the new city. There is no room to shift blame onto simply following the suggestions of legal advisors working for the city, because this is a breach of common sense, and a failure to analyze the consequences of actions by the city council members.

Business must go on. We have a very challenging economy, and many businesses are laying-off employees and/or failing, so they do not have the luxury of putting operations on hold while the new city council works through the machinations of getting the city operational. For example, landlords and tenants have been committing to lease contracts – which include preparing the building for occupancy in time for a scheduled move-in date. Substantial money is at risk in executing the lease terms in a timely fashion. With companies moving, there are also numerous employees that are potentially impacted by construction scheduling. A little deductive reasoning suggests that landlords and tenants will be justified in blaming the City of Peachtree Corners for costly delays in permits and inspections. A tenant scheduled to move into the city may find itself without a place to conduct business if their existing lease expires, but they cannot move as planned, due to construction delays generated by the moratorium.

In another example, a struggling tenant may seek to lower their operating expenses by subleasing a portion of their space to another company. Delays in permitting construction and obtaining a new business license could result in tenant business failure, a lost opportunity to attract a new business to the community, and loss of revenue to the landlord. All this adversarial impact from the moratorium is opposite of the stated goals of the city.

Council members speak of marketing Peachtree Corners; well, this is NOT THE WAY TO DO IT. A city that dictates to the community without listening is choosing an authoritative parent to child method of interaction with adverse consequences. To foster a symbiotic relationship with the business community and residents, the city must develop a culture of mutual respect and adult-to-adult cooperation.

I urge the Peachtree Corners City Council to quickly reverse the moratorium and provide the leadership we were promised.

Wei Li,
Peachtree Corners resident for the past 19 years.

 

Editor's note: The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the writers and do not necessary reflect those of Peachtree Corners Patch. If you have an opposing view to the one expressed here, email your opinion to the Patch editor or use the comment box below.

Bob Martell May 09, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Wei, your disdain with the manner in which this moratorium was passed is understandable. The city council has had several poorly publicized meetings now, and as a result they were poorly attended as well. The lack of communication from the council, despite their campaign promises of open and transparent government, compounds the issue. The reason for the moratorium was to avoid some issues that other new cities have experienced with 'undesirable' businesses sneaking in at the last minute, and also to reduce confusion resulting from a project starting under one inspection regime and finishing under another. I offer that information as an explanation, not an excuse. The PCBC was in attendance at the special meeting last week and we were satisfied that the council did a decent job of vetting the issue before voting for the moratorium. But as shown by the examples you wrote of, even the most well meaning government actions can have unintended consequences. I would urge you and all the residents of PC to let the mayor and council hear your opinions. Their email addresses are all listed on the city's new (and temporary) website http://cityofpeachtreecornersga.com/index.html . And attend the council meetings whenever possible. Let them know you're watching.
Mark K. King May 09, 2012 at 08:40 PM
I too am dissapointed in the moratorium. This essentially stops businessess and individual homeowners who need permits from making improvements to their properties. If this isn't a reason for the Peachtree Corners Business Association to engage the new city, I don't know about their existence as business advocate.
Sharron May 10, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I am not surprised. This is the kind of tactics I expected from the former "fraternity" of power.
Richard T. May 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM
What do you expect from a bunch of PTA & HOA "activists?" The city was a bad idea from the beginning, but the nanny state supporters got their way.

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