It's official - the City of Peachtree Corners now has a Downtown Development Authority approved and ready to take on its first task - buying the undeveloped property across from The Forum.
But the first step was approving the DDA's organizational by-laws and electing a chairman and vice chairman for the seven-member board.
Dan Graveline was nominated by the board to chair the DDA, and Bob Saville was approved as the vice-chairman.
The chairman sets the agenda and signs agreements, the vice-chairman acts as a backup should the chairman be unavailable.
The secretary-treasurer position will be filled by Diana Wheeler, the Community Development Director for the city. She will maintain the DDA's records, keep meeting minutes and keep track of finances.
Attorney Jim Woodward with Gray Pannell & Woodward provided an overview of the duties and powers of the DDA to the seven members which also include Ruth Strickland, Mike McLaughlin, David Willey, Gene Witkin and L.C. Johnson.
"You have authority that a city alone cannot have," said Woodward. "The DDA has the ability to negotiate directly with companies, promote commerce in the city and offer incentives to businesses. The DDA is a viable tool of the city to attract new business."
The DDA is not part of a city's charter, but rather is the result of state legislation passed in 1983 granting cities the ability to form a DDA. "The Georgia General Assembly got together and decided to create a statute so that all local and county governments have to do is activate a resolution," said Woodward. "Most all cities have a DDA."
The DDA will focus on a defined area for development. A map showing businesses along both sides of S.R. 141 from the Chattahoochee River to the city limits that abut DeKalb County are the defined area (map included with this story). However, the "map can be amended as needed," said Woodward.
The DDA members will receive an additional mandatory eight-hour training class to be completed within the next 12 months.
The DDA is required by law to meet at least once a year but the board's chairman, Graveline, recommended the DDA meet quarterly. The board will meet again on May 20 (11:30 a.m. at City Hall) to consider a draft of a Request For Proposal (RFP) to attract buyers interested in developing the 20.6 acres on S.R. 141.
The city's comprehensive plan will be a guide to how the property is developed said Wheeler. "We want to hear back from citizens before deciding on what should go there," she said.
"The DDA has jurisdiction over the property," said Wheeler. Closing on the property is expected to take place on Monday, May 13. A 24-month interest only loan has been arranged through Georgia Commerce Bank in Peachtree Corners.
Wheeler said the city expects to sell the property to a developer or team of developers within that period.
Downtown Development Authority to Meet Monday
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