Moratorium Causing Concern for One New Business Owner

The new city of Peachtree Corners issued a 90-day halt to new businesses as it prepares to stand on its own July 1, but it's creating real problems for some.

The intentions were good, but the new city's moratorium is wreaking havoc for at least one business owners trying to get her doors open by summer.

The new city of Peachtree Corners, which will officially become Gwinnett County's 16th - and largest city - on July 1, 2012, issued a 90-day moratorium while it gets organized and hire the necessary personnel in place to manage the city.

But it had unintended consequences according to a report aired on Channel 2 on Monday. The station's consumer investigator Jim Strickland spoke with new business owner Sheri Snyder who had planned on opening a summer art camp, Objet Gallery and Studio, in time to attract children out of school for the summer.

"I should have between 50 and 60 kids children a week here," said Snyder in the report. "And well, we're empty," she said. The new business is located in the Village at Peachtree Corners shopping center near The .

Snyder told the reporter that she had cashed in her 401K to fund the new business and missed the deadline to apply for a business license by one day before the moratorium went into effect.

Bill Riley, Peachtree Corners' city attorney, said the moratorium is designed to keep undesirable businesses such as adult entertainment stores and billboard companies from applying for business licenses before the city is established.

Some 48 business owners are waiting for their business licenses which are likely to be issued in late July. But Snyder fears it will be too late.

"The worst case scenario is if this goes on much longer, I'll be bankrupt before I even open my doors," she said.

Riley said the city is doing what it can to minimize the impact on the new businesses.

Cathy Jo June 12, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Curious as to how a moratorium keeps "certain businesses" from opening. Isn't it simply a matter of denying their permit. Oh wait, that makes sense--never mind. This article is somewhat different than the one on the WSBTV.com sight. This on says there isn't enough staff in place, the other one talks about unwanted companies. Interesting.
Judy Putnam (Editor) June 12, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Cathy Jo, the story was taken from Channel 2's website and rewritten as we do not have permission to republish verbatim. It was not intended to confuse you. Sorry if it did. I inserted the information about the staff because I have been attending the meetings (unlike Channel 2) and knew that was one of the steps needed to get the new city up and running on its own. And if you read the Patch story again, you will see reference that the moratorium was intended to keep unwanted companies. You may want to attend a City Council meeting and speak directly with the mayor or city council, I'm sure they will be happy to answer your questions.
Harry Dorfman June 12, 2012 at 10:57 PM
I thought one of the rules of speaking at council meetings is that the chosen ones will listen but not respond (maybe a gratuitous nod and an opportunity to kiss a hand). I hope I am wrong with my understanding.
Sheri Snyder June 13, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Cathy Jo, that is what we intended to ask tonight at the regularly scheduled weekly council meeting, that was rescheduled at the last minute today. I don't understand blocking 48 businesses from opening for 3 months for a risk of an undesirable business, at the cost of six-figures to my business alone. Apparently the City Council meeting is on Thursday night at 6:30pm at the YMCA (unless, of course, they cancel or moved it again).
Sheri Snyder June 13, 2012 at 12:47 AM
I'd really like to know how they are lessening the impact on our businesses. I can't even get a return email or phone call from any elected official in the city or county, or from the director of Gwinnett County Planning & Development (for weeks now!) Are planning to give my business a grant in the neighborhood of $200k? That would help.
Judy Putnam (Editor) June 13, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Mr. Dorfman: The agenda for the City Council meetings provides for Public Comment. But the council does not respond. However, if you would like to speak with the mayor or a council member, they are available after the meetings.
Shelly Roberts June 13, 2012 at 09:41 AM
This is outrageous and egregious. And a terrible way to begin a new government ideally created and implemented to aid and assist its own citizens in their legitimate endeavors. Surely there must be a better, and more timely way to respond to this need, even in the midst of the setup chaos. We can do better. We must do better. Else why are we?
Dawn June 13, 2012 at 03:01 PM
It is very unfortunate to think we may lose good businesses before we are even officially a city. I can't imagine there are that many "undesireable" businessess trying to "sneak" in. Don't we already have 2 in our vicinity? Please give our city a chance and help these legit businesses get going!!
YouHaveGotToBeKidding June 13, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Sheri why could you not start your business and a pay penalty for not having the business license?
Sheri Snyder June 13, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Well, I thought of they but first off, the fire marshall would shut me down immediately without the C.O. since businesses can't get any permits at this time either, so the Sign Permits, Certificate of Occupancy and the Business License are all on moratorium. But the most important reason is with children in the art camp, I must be completely legal to be properly insured for the camp. I would never risk anything concerning the children!
UHaveGotToBeKidding June 14, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I am not suggesting you do anything illegal. If you are incorporated that would suffice for obtaining the insurance needed to protect the children. The firemarshall is not going to shut you down, i would be shocked if you saw them the first year of business. Signage would be and issue and a business checking account would be a problem. But in the interest of losing all of your money, it is the only smart business choice you have. Welcome to the business world!
Sheri Snyder June 29, 2012 at 04:26 AM
We were given permission on Wednesday to complete our process for our business license, thanks to the city officials and attorney, and county attorney, county commissioner. We now have our Business License and Certificate of Occupancy, so we are moving in and expect to open on July 5th, with our Grand Opening on July 14th.


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