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Governor Signs Bill for Peachtree Corners to Pursue Cityhood

Voters to decide in November on incorporation.

Wednesday Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation authorizing the residents of Peachtree Corners to decide by vote in November on whether their community should incorporate and become Gwinnett County's 16th city.

It was a momentous occasion for 15 people from the community who made their way to the Capitol Building to watch as the governor signed the bill. It was over in a matter of minutes but it had been a long journey for those who had put in so much effort in reaching this point.

For Mike Mason, president of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association (UPCCA), an organization that represents 33 homeowners associations in the community, it was the culmination of countless hours to reach this moment.

"We've been excited all day long," said Mason. "Some had tears in their eyes. It was very emotional."

"I knew we would make it," said Ruth Strickland, a long-time resident and the former assistant to Paul Duke, the man whose vision in 1968 was to create a planned community where people could live, work and play. Duke was also involved in developing Technology Park, a 500-acre business center that will be part of the new city.

But it's only the beginning for this community of some 35,000 residents, Mason acknowledged. Now the real work begins to educate and inform the residents just what cityhood means for them.

"It's when our official history begins," said Jeanne Aulbach, a Peachtree Corners resident who witnessed the official signing of the bill.

State Rep. Tom Rice (R-Dist. 51) authored and introduced H.B. 396 when the General Assembly convened earlier this year. The city's charter specifies that the City of Peachtree Corners will have a "city lite" designation which means the new city will provide limited services which include planning and zoning, code enforcement and garbage collection. Under the charter Gwinnett County would continue to provide all other services including police and fire protection.

It's been over a half century since Gwinnett County added a new city. The City of Berkeley Lake, whose city limits will border Peachtree Corners on the northeast, was incorporated in 1956. The proposed 16th city would be the county's largest in terms of land and the largest in population.

Deborah L. Mason May 12, 2011 at 12:16 PM
A tuly momentous day. It was awesome! Debbie Mason
Julie Koriakin July 09, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Control is an illusion. A big misconception about "city-hood" is that it will allow for greater local control when in fact it just shifts control from a larger governing body subject to greater checks and balances and moves to a smaller group of individuals with strong opinions and narrow interests. Smaller government may mean things get done a lot faster but that is not always a good thing. Just something to consider. I am not an isolationist. I already posses the power to petition the county for things I feel will improve my neighborhood and create change to effect the things that I feel are a determent to it. Having an incorporated Peachtree Corners is not going to change that. However, it may wind up costing me more in the future. There are a lot of things to consider and I wish this process would slow down just a bit so more residents like me can become better informed.
Byron July 09, 2011 at 03:36 AM
Julie, we need to work together. This cityhood is silly and so many feel the same way. We are fighting a UPCCA email list, but many are very angry about this. I wonder how a 501c4 can do this and keep its status. The county does a good job for us and i am not interested in another government having the opportunity at my wallet and my freedoms. No is the incumbant vote, since we crushed this vote in 2005. Recently, local business property owners have willingly approached Norcross to annex their properties. Imagine that. They are jumping ship. I think they are just getting all things set up for the election day. If things go for the new city, they will go to Norcross. Seems UPCCA isn't so business friendly. They drove off Walmart on Holcomb Bridge and Best Buy in the Forum recently. The Robert's Property people have been so frustrated by UPCCA over the years, I would not be surprised if they asked to be annexed by Norcross just for spite.
Byron July 09, 2011 at 03:39 AM
yeh, right
Keith FitzPatick August 28, 2011 at 03:51 PM
I really do not see what advantage we get from forming a city. It sounds like we are just forming a really big homeowners association. Peachtree Corners has no history, no downtown, no schools and no police and fire department. What makes it a city? I just do not see the point.
Byron August 28, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Well, Tom Rice and Mike Mason are putting on a sales pitches for the city. Remember that they is just that. In politics, there are no controls or ethics requirements. The presenters need no Errors or Ommissions insurance. They can say anything they want, so buyer beware. If you buy this city, you can't change your mind and buy something else, if you find out they left out some important stuff in the presentation. Do your homework. Talk to your neighbors on both sides, before you vote.
Byron August 28, 2011 at 05:56 PM
email me Byron Gilbert b_gilbert@bellsouth.net
Byron August 28, 2011 at 05:56 PM
email me b_gilbert@bellsouth.net
Alex J. Wright August 29, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Julie, I hope you can make it to the town hall tomorrow where any and all questions will be addressed and all sides will get a chance to make their views heard. I think it will help you form an opinion based on all available information. Regards
Alex J. Wright August 29, 2011 at 02:53 AM
If you get a chance please take a look at this chart. It clearly shows 501c4's can participate in political activity. http://www.afj.org/assets/resources/resource1/Comparison-of-501C3S-501C4S.pdf Also, the only vote help back in 2005 was an internal UPCCA vote. The PEOPLE have never voted on the issue of cityhood.
Alex J. Wright August 29, 2011 at 03:03 AM
Keith, I hope you can make it to the town hall tomorrow at PCBC where all these issues can be discussed in detail. IRT your comments about what makes a city..... PC does in fact have all those things... they just are not named after PC like they there are for current cities. I would say a sense of community is key for a city instead a "downtown" image of circa 1900 Norcross which is nothing more than the equivalent of today's Forum - a concentrated commercial strip near a major transportation route. For Norcross the railroad brought about that down town. In our case GA 141 brought about the Forum. But if that is the standard for a downtown then there should be no city of Dunwoody, or Johns Creek, or Milton or really even Sandy Springs for that matter. Though cities may not have down towns or in some cases schools named after them they certainly have a sense of community. Its the people not the things that make a community. Anyway, very valid questions. Hope to see you tomorrow. Regards
Betty October 14, 2011 at 12:25 AM
My I suggest that you go to a meeting and ask questions about anything that you don't understand.

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