10/20: Should Peachtree Corners become a city?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Cities are popping up across metro Atlanta: Johns Creek, Sandy Springs — where next? A report will help determine whether Brookhaven should pursue cityhood.

Residents of Peachtree Corners go to the polls Nov. 8 to decide whether to become Gwinnett County’s 16th town. Today, we offer two views — one that favors incorporation of that community and one that doesn’t.

What do you think?

48 comments Add your comment

Mr. Johnson

October 24th, 2011
9:48 pm

I was for the city until I read HB369. You’re being sold a large heaping bowl of crazy. This is not going to be a “city-lite” (who came up with that???), it’s going to be a full fledged, big boy city with the minimum amount of control initially,to make it palatable for our normally reasonable neighbors.

It will start small, but within 5 years when home values don’t rise at the pace some expected, the answer will be “we need to grant the city more power to control this or that”. Of course it will be for the greater good of the community…yada, yada, yada. I can promise you there will be a nice corresponding increase in taxes and fees to “support” the new “services”.

We’ve all seen this story play out before. ***Spoiler alert*** Government, no matter how big or small, doesn’t do anything well. Everything ends up being more costly and more complex than it was originally planned.

This is a HUGE mistake, please go vote “NO”!!!

Run100miles

October 24th, 2011
1:15 pm

All this political banter is funny.

I believe that if you peel away all the political rhetoric what you get is good ol’ fashioned southern yee-haw prejudice.

I live in the Amberfield Subdivision of Peachtree Corners.

My neighborhood is predominantly white, professional (or retired professional) families. All of the fields neighborhoods, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods, are pretty much the same.

Am I generalizing? Yes; but if you live here, you know what I’m saying. Spend an afternoon at the Forum and you’ll get a good general feel for “our neighborhood”.

Many of the residents I have come across in our neighborhood do not celebrate diversity and instead fear it. I believe a significant portion of those wanting to be a city want to do so to carve out a little white-picket-fence community that discourages diversity and change.

I think it will work, too. I think that Peachtree Corners as a city will raise property values overnight as “Norcross” carries a lot negative connotations lately. More crime, quality businesses leaving, and gold pawn shops opening.

But, I also think it will make P’tree Corners homes targets for more home invasions and crime, as well as elevate an us vs. them element in the area.

It’s not about measly tax increases – that’s just a front. That will happen anyway no matter where you live. It’s a simple function and reality of any government. Furthermore, our neighborhood’s residents, especially compared to the median, have significantly more discretionary income and would have no trouble with $120 increase in annual taxes (or more).

This looks, smells, and feels like an us vs. them tactic, and nothing more.

Becoming a city, in and of itself, will require a lot of needless overhead expense; and while I do see advantages on both sides of the fence, I do not see any one advantage that makes all the effort, expense and drama worthwhile.

Aquagirl

October 21st, 2011
11:55 am

There’s no harm if a community chooses to PAY localize its zoning decisions while continuing to PAY the county

I gotta disagree. Gwinnett residents PAY state and federal taxes while placing additional burdens on surrounding areas through their zoning and development. They have argued for years that they contribute a tax base to the state through more development, etc. and what’s good for Gwinnett is good for Georgia. It’s not a simple dollars and cents equation when you’re talking about zoning. If Peachtree Corners alters traffic flow, the upgrades and adjustments could easily wipe out the savings in trash collection for the county.

People who want to incorporate Peachtree Corners have no problem saying it will allow them to zone for their benefit. If their benefit does not conflict with the rest of the county, why would they need this power? Inevitably “more responsive” translates into “doing what’s best for us.” Which is much easier when your neighbors can’t object.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 21st, 2011
11:22 am

Aquagirl

October 21st, 2011
11:03 am

“”Every muncipality plays that game”……..Then why are you arguing to add another? The answer is obviously fewer little kingdoms, not more.”

Not necessarily. There’s no harm if a community chooses to PAY localize its zoning decisions while continuing to PAY the county it is in both for services it will and will not receive, which actually BENEFITS the rest of the county, as the county government can focus more of its attention throughout the rest of the county because it won’t have to provide full service to an area that it will still be getting full payment from.

P’tree Corners will be paying for its very own trash pick-up and code enforcement service while also still paying for the trash pick-up and code enforcement service from the county that it will NOT receive, service that will be increased elsewhere in the county at no additional cost to taxpayers in the rest of the county as code enforcement has already been cut into the bone leaving existing officers spread terribly thin throughout a county of 800,000. Remember P’tree Corners residents will see their taxes INCREASE by a mil on top of what they are already paying to Gwinnett County.

Aquagirl

October 21st, 2011
11:20 am

Makes no difference to me

Then why do you care? Especially when you pointed out all municipalities jockey for power and money, but somehow adding another leaves you entirely unconcerned?

As I said before, I know what it’s like to have a local government next door that looks out for #1 and screw everyone else. It eventually affects people outside that area, and not usually in a good way. So it does make a difference to me.

If it made no difference to you, you wouldn’t be posting. Duh. Sorry, no sale on that one.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 21st, 2011
11:08 am

Aquagirl:

“Frankly I think you have a personal stake in Peachtree Corners and are intentionally playing dumb. I’m sure you’ll deny this but there is no other reason to deny these points.”

Nothing to deny as used to live in Norcross and I still have lots of close personal friends in the area. Makes no difference to me whether Peachtree Corners officially becomes a city or not as the UPCCA (United Peachtree Corners Civic Association) will still play a very strong advisory role to the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on zoning and code enforcement matters inside the boundaries of the neighborhood if residents choose to remain an unincorporated neighborhood.

If residents choose to incorporate into a new city-light, then they will still be paying the same taxes as before to Gwinnett County in addition to having to pay a new tax to the brand new city government for localized trash pick-up and zoning decisions and increased code enforcement.

(P’tree Corners residents will still be paying the tab for services that they won’t be receiving from Gwinnett anymore like county garbage pick-up and code enforcement, so it is THE COUNTY that will actually come out ahead in all of this still collecting money for some services that they won’t have to give)

Aquagirl

October 21st, 2011
11:03 am

Every muncipality plays that game

……..Then why are you arguing to add another? The answer is obviously fewer little kingdoms, not more.

And I also don’t understand why you’re still complaining about Gwinnett. Evil Orcs did not invade yesterday. The County has been in bed with developers for DECADES, that’s why so many people moved there. They LIKED the development. It BENEFITED them in the short term. The Commissioners weren’t stealth candidates, none of them hid their unabashed love for strip malls and sprawl.

If people moved to Peachtree Corners and didn’t know that, they’re stupid. They have inflicted their stupid on other Counties, so again…no sympathy here. They made their bed, now they can lie in it like everyone else who had no choice.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 21st, 2011
10:54 am

Aquagirl:

“Residents outside these little fiefdoms should be aware of why they exist—people inside them want the benefits of a large urban area but run their own neighborhood as they please, and if it causes problems outside their locality, they don’t care. NO FREE RIDES.”

Every other city, town and county in the Atlanta Region takes advantage of being in a large metro area, but runs the area inside their designated boundaries as they please and for anyone to call-out Peachtree Corners as the only example of that is hypocritical at best and complete demagoguery at its absolute worst, ESPECIALLY when citizens of that area would continue to pay the same taxes to the county that they did before on top of the taxes that they would be paying to the new city government and most of the original damage, development-wise, had already been done before the neighborhood association was even formed and started taking a strong advisory role in matters of zoning and land use with the overdevelopment and speculation-crazed Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners who now seem to be hellbent on plopping a new commercial airport down in the middle of Downtown Lawrenceville to add to their long list of misguided overdevelopmental EXPLOITS.