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

Hell No

October 19th, 2011
7:28 pm

zeke

October 19th, 2011
8:35 pm

YES! All current unincorporated areas must incorporate and close out any chance of the expansion of the dreadful city of Atlanta!

JS

October 19th, 2011
10:05 pm

Zeke, Atlanta isn’t in Gwinnett County. Milton County on the other hand sounds like a good plan, so North Fulton can escape ATL!

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

October 19th, 2011
10:33 pm

From what I understand, Peachtree Corners, as well as most of the newly-incorporated cities in Fulton and DeKalb Counties, wanted more to be townships than fully-incorporated cities mostly to have more control over their zoning and tax revenues than they had as unincorporated areas under the control of a county commission.

The state would never work on creating the township option for these unincorporated areas that wanted it so these areas had no choice but to become full-fledged incorporated cities with higher taxes, police and fire departments just to get more control over their zoning and tax revenues.

unincorporated gwinnett

October 19th, 2011
11:38 pm

Mr. Wayne Knox, I believe you left the word ‘additional’ out of your statement about taxes because your incorporation will already increase them by 1 mil.

DC

October 20th, 2011
7:59 am

It’s actually gotten some folks up here (in what would be Peachtree Corners City) kind of heated….can’t really figure out why. Whether this area incorporates or not isn’t, best as I can tell, a huge deal. The biggest pro seems to be self determination, and the biggest con a couple of hundred dollars in taxes. Neither of those really warrant the passion that some folks are showing on the issue, imo.

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
8:00 am

Yes, if the residents are willing to live, work, shop, and eat ONLY in Peachtree Corners. I’m tired of these little fiefdoms where residents obviously want the advantages of the metro area (bigger job base, major airport, more choices shopping and eating, etc.) without paying for necessary infrastructure.

If you want a small cheap town U-Haul is ready when you are.

thewindwhistler

October 20th, 2011
9:52 am

I think it should be a city, as I recall there was a great Goodwill Thrift Shop. What would it be called, Pechtree Corners City, or Peach City?

quick work break

October 20th, 2011
10:15 am

that’s exactly what we need: more, redundant government

Downtowner

October 20th, 2011
11:21 am

Thank you Aquagirl! An intelligent and factual response. These incorporations are the Republican way; expansion of government.

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

October 20th, 2011
11:38 am

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
8:00 am

“Yes, if the residents are willing to live, work, shop, and eat ONLY in Peachtree Corners. I’m tired of these little fiefdoms where residents obviously want the advantages of the metro area (bigger job base, major airport, more choices shopping and eating, etc.) without paying for necessary infrastructure….If you want a small cheap town U-Haul is ready when you are.”

It’s not anything where the residents want to be separate from the metro area or anything like that. It’s just about an outspoken neighborhood association that has had a very strong advisory role to the Gwinnett County Commission on zoning matters since the area was developed back in the 1970’s.

Now that the neighboring City of Norcross has started to encroach on the neighborhood by attempting to annex nearby industrial and commercial properties, Peachtree Corners feels rushed to have some type of legally binding say over zoning matters so as to be able to control the tax revenues from these business properties that Norcross is trying to also get control over.

It’s basically a little bit of competition for industrial and commercial tax revenues between the now-unincorporated neighborhood of Peachtree Corners and the incorporated city of Norcross which is threating to annex all of P’tree Corners’ possible future business tax base.

Peachtree Corners’ desire to incorporate is just a way of heading Norcross off at the pass before Norcross is allowed to completely expand and leave P’tree Corners with only residential properties.

If P’tree Corners is to become its own legally-binding entity in control of its own zoning and the commercial/industrial tax base and resulting revenues within its own boundaries then now is the time for the neighborhood association to act, otherwise P’tree Corners could very well be annexed into a growing incorporated City of Norcross down the line.

nocity

October 20th, 2011
12:18 pm

More Government? really? Another busybody trying to exert their thoughts on us, trying to expand his power while counting the days til we pay his pension?

This is how it starts. The city claims it is only going to control zoning and garbage collection. Within 5 years we will have a police force, plans for new municipal buildings and government complex, tax increases, and so on…

I can’t think of a layer of government that is trying to shrink…that is cutting its budget. One cent SPLOST for schools?….How about these people in our government spending wisely the tax money they already collect. How about you taxpayers stop giving a penny here and a penny there and demanding the people you elect actually do their job within the existing tax base.

We make money in exchange for our time…the more we are taxed the less of our time…our life…is ours. Demand more from those elected, refuse government expansion, demand freedom from those who wish to control you by taxation

mike d

October 20th, 2011
12:39 pm

Are the signs going to be in Spanish?

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
12:43 pm

If P’tree Corners is to become its own legally-binding entity in control of its own zoning and the commercial/industrial tax base and resulting revenues within its own boundaries

I don’t think you’re getting it, Last….what happens inside P’tree Corners DOES affect people living outside that area. Zoning for the exclusive benefit of a neighborhood leaves everyone else out. If you are a small town in the middle of Georgia, I don’t care. If you are a small neighborhood in a continuous urban/suburban area, that’s a whole different matter. Zoning to develop your own tax base affects traffic and development outside the boundaries.

Frankly if Peachtree Corners does this, I hope Norcross zones adjoining areas for huge stinking industrial toxic waste dumps. If you’re zoning only for yourself, the neighbors have no obligation to do otherwise.

Bryan -- Pro Atlanta

October 20th, 2011
12:51 pm

It’s funny everyone wants less government but then you want 50 million towns that will have there own government and more people in one region trying to decide what is right.

Aquagirl said it best! Move if you don’t like Atlanta and the region! Stop trying trying to create another town…. PREACHTREE Corners, Georgia.

As far as the Black and Hispanic comments, as a young Black male I’m extremely offended. It’s funny these people complain about the leadership but seems like Atlanta is doing just fine. Have you looked at the skylines of downtown, midtown, Buckhead, Perimeter, Cumberland, and just high rise buildings in the area in general. Companies want to be here. We have a population of almost 6 million so people want to be here too. The leadership must be doing something right because everyone wants to be here; not just Blacks and Hispanics!

concerned long time resident

October 20th, 2011
12:57 pm

One of your above comments states that Norcross is encroaching on the Corners, Duluth has already had a hearing to annex part of it. They want to take the industrial parks that Berkley Lake wants for the taxes to help Berkley pay for their dam. Where is the office for the Corners movement? I have heard it is on Buford Highway and being a resident of the Corners I never realized Buford Highway was part of the Corners.??? Why is the office not at the Forum if this move will help the property values of the homeowners in the Corners?

Resident

October 20th, 2011
1:10 pm

I have struggled with this decision. I don’t want more government layers, regulation, or taxes. But the decision seems to come to this question: if there is such a thing as “Peachtree Corners” which has its own identity, interests, risks, and aspirations, then shouldn’t it have its own governance structure in place that provides a venue and process for its citizens and their representatives to make and implement decisions? I think self determination is a pretty high priority that is worth a reasonable investment of personal and community resources.

VERY Concerned

October 20th, 2011
1:19 pm

As a long time resident I am very concerned about who will be running this new city. Will it be the same people who stole many of the NO CITY signs. Or maybe the same person that damaged the NO CITY signs on Jones Bridge. It could be the same person the HACKED the VOTE NO blogs last night. Is this really who we want to control what we can not do on our own property.
Please publish the correct information. Many business have asked both Duluth and Norcross to be annexed into their cities. Makes you wonder why they would pay more money to not be part of Peachtree Corners. Spreading this false information that Norcross is out to annex us is to a scare tactic

MARTA Rida

October 20th, 2011
1:23 pm

I must agree with Bryan-Pro Atlanta, businesses want to be in Atlanta, not Gwinnett or Cobb Counties. That’s why Atlanta has a skyline while Gwinnett and Cobb have strip malls and traffic. I moved to intown-Atlanta from Dunwoody because I wanted a nighborhood with identity and culture, not a suburban wasteland of strip malls and SUVs. I am proud to live in Atlanta and ride MARTA places, I never have to pay for gas or sit in traffic!

Vote No

October 20th, 2011
1:34 pm

My neighborhood is one of those that Peachtree Corners wants to annex. I have no idea why. We’re not close to what I consider to be Peachtree Corners. We’re actually bordered on one side by Fulton County and DeKalb on another side; it’s a well developed area so I doubt if Gwinnett County has any interest in making changes. I’m in favor of smaller government, not another layer of government. I see no benefit to being a city and will emphatically vote NO! to cityhood. However, I am very disappointed that I will not have the option to vote on Sunday alcohol sales. Not sure what’s up with that but hopefully one of my neighboring counties will vote to allow and I can make my purchases there on Sundays.

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

October 20th, 2011
1:36 pm

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
12:43 pm

I think you are kind of missing the point as the area that P’tree Corners emcompasses is actually totally and completely built-out.

The zoning issues are not about new development, but about fill-in development at this point as there is no place left within P’tree Corners for new development, just redevelopment.

This issue isn’t about breaking away from the Atlanta Region or even Gwinnett County as the county will still be providing police and fire protection and, of course, children in P’tree Corners will attend Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Tom Rice, the state representative from P’tree Corners even tried to get the State Legislature to create a township level of government which would’ve basically allowed unincorporated neighborhoods like P’tree Corners to control their own zoning and code enforcement without incorporating as a city. Since the Legislature never acted to create townships, P’tree Corners leaders acted to push for what they called “city-light” incorporation which would mean control over zoning at the neighborhood level (instead of at the county level), trash pick-up and code enforcement and retaining the industrial and commercial tax base to fund it before it is all annexed up by Norcross.

The township or “city-light” concept is a totally foreign and completely new concept to Georgia, but is very much common in Northeastern and Great Lakes states where unincorporated political subdivisions of counties (a division of government that is not quite an incorporated city or town) have control over zoning, code enforcement and in many states, schools, sanitation, police and fire protection.

Gerald Barnes

October 20th, 2011
2:02 pm

Peachtree Corners Votes Again

A few years ago the issue of incorporating Peachtree Corners into a full-fledged city was put to a vote. It was easily defeated in a general election year as a large number of people voted.

The referendum has resurfaced for another vote this November 8th as an abbreviated version of a city with limited jurisdiction (called “city light”). With this change the proponents hope it will pass in an off-year election when voter turnout is normally low.

We must assume their original goal to establish a full-fledged city remains, but, for now, they will settle for the mini version. The full-fledged city can and will be brought about later by political manipulations, of this there can be no doubt. We can rightly question why tens of thousands of dollars, maybe much more, are being spent in this effort.

I would like to respond to a mailing sent out to residents in early October by city proponents suggesting three main reasons which, they imply, should entice us to vote for making a new city, and become like Norcross, Duluth and Berkeley Lake:

1. Declining property values
2. Empty retail and commercial space
3. Poor quality of life

First of all, no credible evidence exists that these neighboring towns have higher property values, less vacant retail and commercial space, and an overall higher quality of life. What they do have is an additional layer of government for which they must pay higher taxes.

As it is, we do not have unmanageable problems. Peachtree Corners has thrived quite well because of decent residents, active home owners associations, and very good county representation. Civic involvement has been a hobby for many of our citizens. As a hobby, it is truly public service and is best to remain a hobby, which leads us to the second problem with the pro-city argument, one of motivation. I fear behind it are a few activists who would like to turn their hobby into permanent paid positions. Is it then public service, or will it become self-service?

Do we want to bear the financial burden of supporting a new class of politicians and bureaucrats? If approved, the new city will have public employee unions demanding ever-growing salaries, benefits and pensions. We will suffer significantly higher taxes.

An additional layer of government will not cause an increase in property values, bring in new businesses, or improve the quality of life. For those who believe otherwise, who place primary faith in government, and who decry their continued existence in unincorporated Peachtree Corners, well, they are free to pursue a more bureaucratic controlled “good” life in Norcross, Duluth or Berkeley Lake. Better yet, midtown Atlanta and downtown Decatur provide the major league version of incorporated city.

Peachtree Corners is a fine community. It is not broken. Therefore, it does not need to be fixed.

As a 25 year resident and business owner I will vote: NO CITY I ask you to do likewise.

Gerald Barnes

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
3:09 pm

The township or “city-light” concept is a totally foreign and completely new concept to Georgia, but is very much common in Northeastern and Great Lakes states

I don’t know about the Great Lakes region, but New England was settled and organized before Georgia, I can see why townships developed there as the local government instead of the County system. I would guess the strongly-organized townships developed near the large cities of the Great Lakes, and the surrounding countryside established that form of government because it was the norm in the state.

However, that’s a far cry from modern day Metro Atlanta, which is a creature of modern transportation. This peeling-off of a township in 2011 does not compare whatsoever to a N.E. township, which may have been established before the state.

Nope, this is the same thing that drives NIMBY-ism—selfishness. Sectioning off your suburb is a phenomenon of gated suburbanites who want to have their cake and eat it too…. while commuting through MY neighborhood at 60 mph on residential streets.

Boss Hawg

October 20th, 2011
4:40 pm

Damn right we need a town. Can’t let Doraville and John’s Creek get all the speeder money.
J.R.’s Log House can be City Hall.

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

October 20th, 2011
5:06 pm

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
3:09 pm

“Nope, this is the same thing that drives NIMBY-ism—selfishness. Sectioning off your suburb is a phenomenon of gated suburbanites who want to have their cake and eat it too…. while commuting through MY neighborhood at 60 mph on residential streets.”

Nah, it’s not anything about NIMBY-ism, selfishness or sectioning off your suburb but about rather a neighborhood board that wants their “opinions” on zoning and code enforcement to become legally-binding with the funding from industrial and commercial properties to do so.

P’tree Corners doesn’t have the so-called additude of exclusivity at all as the neighborhood is built-out, much of it with multi-family dwellings, apartments, condos and townhomes with a few extended stay motels thrown it for good measure as P’tree Corners ain’t necessarily the next coming of Beverly Hills or whatever, but is still a pretty nice community to boot.

No, this is more about having the money and power to conduct legally-binding rezoning and code enforcement on abandoned shopping centers on Jimmy Carter Boulevard and bank-owned foreclosures in single-family residential neighborhoods off of East and West Jones Bridge Roads, that’s it.

And much of the community appears to be against the cityhood idea (once again as Gerald Barnes mentioned) as it will increase the property taxes of many homeowners who are struggling in a wretched economy.

Whether the cityhood idea is approved or once again rejected like before, the United Peachtree Corners Community Association will still have a strong advisory role to the county commission on zoning and code enforcement issues within its boundaries and the area will still receive police and fire service and public schools provided by Gwinnett County as the community in no way has a mindset that it is trying to distance itself or be separate from Metro Atlanta.

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
7:41 pm

a neighborhood board that wants their “opinions” on zoning and code enforcement to become legally-binding with the funding from industrial and commercial properties to do so.

Are these industrial and commercial properties owned, run, and filled with solely with residents of Peachtree Corners? Nope? Well, golly, maybe they aren’t cash cows for residents of the nearby burbs.

But then if you incorporate just enough to control those properties, man, that must be nice. All the advantages of land grabs even though you can’t maintain your own infrastructure. Sweet!

I’ll reiterate once again—-it’s a suburb of Atlanta. If people don’t want to live in Metro Atlanta, they need to friggin’ MOVE. A conglomeration of houses and strip malls that grew up around other population centers is not a city. Right now it’s looking like a nest of hungry leeches.

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

October 20th, 2011
8:27 pm

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
7:41 pm

What are you talking about?

No one in Peachtree Corners ever said or even implied that they didn’t want to be apart of Metro Atlanta.

This basically boils down to being a competition between Peachtree Corners and Norcross over some high tax-revenue producing industrial and commercial properties, that’s it.

I don’t know where you got the “Peachtree Corners doesn’t want to be apart of Metro Atlanta” angle from when battles between counties and incorporated cities over adjoining high tax revenue-producing properties is an all-too-common fact-of-life throughout the entire metro area..

If anything the battle between the P’tree Corners neighborhood association, the City of Norcross and Gwinnett County over these properties and their tax properties proves beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt that P’tree Corners are unquestionably part of the metro area.

As for your assertion that Peachtree Corners is a suburb of Atlanta, well, duh! All 8,000-plus square miles of the Atlanta Region are suburbs of Atlanta except for the 150 or so square miles that make up the incorporated City of Atlanta.

Most of Metro Atlanta is made up of unincorporated neighborhoods in county areas and smaller incorporated cities and towns that frequently battle with each other for high tax revenue industrial and commercial properties as some incorporated cities even go so far as to incorporate the land of both sides of a major road while leaving the road itself to be maintained by the county so that the city can take in the tax revenue from the properties without being responsible for maintaining the road that the properties connect to so these little tiffs over tax revenues between neighboring cities and counties are far from unusual.

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
9:51 pm

I don’t know where you got the “Peachtree Corners doesn’t want to be apart of Metro Atlanta” angle from

A quote from “Peachtree Corners Yes,” the people trying to establish this fiefdom-lite:

“In summary, we would be best served by becoming the City of Peachtree Corners, determining our own future, with our own leadership, focusing on our own priorities, within our own borders, and as cost effectively as possible.”

The city-lite concept is being twisted for people who want power on the cheap. They can get County services fairly cheap because there is a large population base to maintain those services. Everything is cheaper in bulk. A fire department with 3 engines will pay more to staff/maintain them than it would cost a County to add 3 engines to a department with 30.

That’s why I say Peachtree Corners wants to have their cake and eat it too: taking advantage of available services as if they were unincorporated, yet wielding those most desired powers within their boundaries like an incorporated city.

Sectioning off these little pieces of the metro area creates a problem for everyone. This breakaway of suburban areas which grew up BECAUSE of neighboring cities is indeed selfish. Those people would not be there without the area around them, yet they want to zone for their own local use. Our traffic is a fine example of what happens with multiple small governments in one connected area.

People who want to create another little section for themselves are jackholes. Period.

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

October 20th, 2011
10:27 pm

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
9:51 pm

That quote from the article that you mention is in reference to some in P’tree Corners wanting to have full control over zoning, land use and code enforcement issues instead of letting the county commission have full control over them and can hardly can construed to be something akin to Fayette County, for example, which is actually trying to officially break apart and considers itself to be separate from the rest of Metro Atlanta and the region despite a very large proportion of its residents commuting into the city and the rest of the metro area daily.

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

October 20th, 2011
10:36 pm

“The city-lite concept is being twisted for people who want power on the cheap. They can get County services fairly cheap because there is a large population base to maintain those services. Everything is cheaper in bulk. A fire department with 3 engines will pay more to staff/maintain them than it would cost a County to add 3 engines to a department with 30…..That’s why I say Peachtree Corners wants to have their cake and eat it too: taking advantage of available services as if they were unincorporated, yet wielding those most desired powers within their boundaries like an incorporated city.”

While the taxes would be less than then would in a full-fledged city with police and fire service, the city-light concept isn’t THAT cheap as residents of P’tree Corners would see their property taxes rise by an additional mil to pick-up zoning, code enforcement and trash pick-up capability while still continuing to pay taxes to Gwinnett County for county police and fire protection, for which all residents whether opposed to or in favor of cityhood are overall very satisfied with.

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

October 20th, 2011
11:08 pm

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
9:51 pm

“Sectioning off these little pieces of the metro area creates a problem for everyone. This breakaway of suburban areas which grew up BECAUSE of neighboring cities is indeed selfish. Those people would not be there without the area around them, yet they want to zone for their own local use.”

People wanting to control land use and zoning decisions within their own neighborhood so that they can more easily hold their incorporated town or small city officials accountable for the decisions they make than they can commissioners in a county of 800,000 people is not selfish, just a desire by some to have a smaller unit of government that is closer to them on a personal level.

And it’s not like people in Gwinnett County would have no reason to want to have more control over zoning, land use, code enforcement and garbage pick-up after years and years of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners having a notoriously close and intimate relationship with land developers never meeting a building permit they didn’t like, being in on numerous questionable land deals over the years, cutting back code enforcement to almos being non-existent and their very messy and unpopular overhaul of trash service to the county.

Even when areas incorporate into cities like they did in North Fulton and North DeKalb in full force a few years ago they still pay for basic county services like mass transit, schools, the justice system and the county hospital.

These areas are still very much part of the counties they reside in despite incorporation, they just have more immediate local control over zoning, land use and code enforcement issues and have a greater say over the tax revenues that are collected within their boundaries.

Besides, seeing more neighborhoods in unincorporated areas wanting to incorporate into cities after they’ve become more heavily populated isn’t anything unusual in that it’s a fairly recent occurrence in Metro Atlanta, but happened in older and more established large metro areas around the country years ago.

“Our traffic is a fine example of what happens with multiple small governments in one connected area…..People who want to create another little section for themselves are jackholes. Period.”

Our traffic problem in the Atlanta Region is a result of the complete failure of the State of Georgia to take the lead on transportation planning issues like every other state/providence in the industrialized Western world does and has to when their largest cities grow and expand into their surrounding regions to encompass multiple jurisdictions throughout a state.

The Atlanta Region is no longer confined to only Fulton and DeKalb Counties but now encompasses close to 30 counties in North Georgia. When a metro region becomes that big and all-compassing it creates a traffic problem that two core jurisdictions can no longer manage alone and MUST have the help and coordination of the state to do so.

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
11:25 pm

in reference to some in P’tree Corners wanting to have full control over zoning, land use and code enforcement issues instead of letting the county commission have full control over them

That’s EXACTLY my point. The County is obligated to everyone in the County. Peachtree Corners will be looking out for themselves as # 1, and if it negatively affects other parts of the County, too bad. The Metro area is a mess because we have multiple, overlapping local governments. All have politicians who get re-elected by placing their residents needs ahead of others when there is a conflict.

And really, your entire 10:36 is simply a re-wording of my post: Peachtree Corners wants power where it matters: taking more desirable areas for their tax base. That’s a sheetload of power for 1 mill. If you want the power, you should pay for it in all areas. These people want to cherry-pick.

Also, if you think the people leading this are motivated by deep commitment to the democratic process, I have a bridge to sell you. Who do you think will jump right into those government seats and control this newly created power? Again, they get the good stuff (control of resources) without mundane pain-in-the-arse things like sewer, potholes, and the like. What politician wouldn’t want that deal?

Like I said, sweeeet…..for a small group. Everyone else gets screwed. Frankly we get enough of that from government. Let’s not create a new pig trough.

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

October 21st, 2011
2:20 am

“Peachtree Corners wants power where it matters: taking more desirable areas for their tax base.”

But the neighboring City of Norcross is doing the same thing, taking more desirable areas for their own tax base from the P’tree Corners neighborhood association and Gwinnett County.

“Again, they get the good stuff (control of resources) without mundane pain-in-the-arse things like sewer, potholes, and the like.”

But it’s not like the a new “city-light/township” would be shirking any responsibility because the residents will still be PAYING the county to deal with those services just as before.

Now if the residents of P’tree Corners became a city and had found some way to get county services like police, fire, sewer and street maintenance without payment then one could say that the city-light/township of P’tree Corners was shirking their responsibility, but they would still PAY the county to take care of those “mundane pain-in-the-arse things” just like other cities in Gwinnett like Sugar Hill, Rest Haven and Grayson PAY Gwinnett County to provide police protection to varying degrees since they don’t have full-time police departments, if any at all.

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

October 21st, 2011
2:24 am

Aquagirl

October 20th, 2011
11:25 pm

Each city in Gwinnett, except Buford which has its own city school district, also PAYS to receive public school services even though they are incorporated.

Aquagirl

October 21st, 2011
7:40 am

because the residents will still be PAYING the county to deal with those services just as before.

Again, you miss the entire point: The ELECTED OFFICIALS will not have to deal with the hassle of providing those services. They get all of the perks of holding office and none of the mess.

The county must balance development against the costs. As an example, look at the local roads when a new McMansion development is built. Big potholes will appear where heavy equipment is used. You can see this on North Druid Hills near Willivee. The entire stretch of road has been re-paved in front of brand new ginormous houses.

What happens when a small municipality can zone for re-development and benefit from increased tax base, yet the costs are borne equally by those outside? If Peachtree Corners wants to zone for denser housing, more students will show up at the local County schools. That cost must be paid by all County residents, who have no say in the development and added tax burden.

If you live in an area with 800,000 people and expect the benefits of a small town of 34,000, that is indeed selfish. You can’t have both—-unless you manipulate the system, which is what this little suburb is doing. Gwinnette has grown. If people there don’t like living with 800,000 neighbors, MOVE.

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.

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.

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

October 21st, 2011
9:56 am

“The county must balance development against the costs. As an example, look at the local roads when a new McMansion development is built.”

You know that we’re talking about Gwinnett where for many years the county commission was chaired by actual LAND DEVELOPERS whose only cost benefit analysis was how much money they could personally fill theirs and their friends’ pockets with off of a development, impact on traffic and schools be damned. We’re talking about a county that has continued to permit the virtually endless building of strip malls to continue even though there’s no businesses to fill them, a county government that has been INFAMOUS for overbuilding and overdevelopment in the last three decades and won’t hesitate to fill the roads and the schools to overcapacity as long as they can personally make a healthy profit or get a healthy campaign contribution or even a sizable kickback out of it.

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

October 21st, 2011
10:08 am

Aquagirl

October 21st, 2011
7:40 am

“What happens when a small municipality can zone for re-development and benefit from increased tax base, yet the costs are borne equally by those outside? If Peachtree Corners wants to zone for denser housing, more students will show up at the local County schools. That cost must be paid by all County residents, who have no say in the development and added tax burden.”

It’s too late for that, sweetheart, as all of Peachtree Corners is COMPLETELY built-out. All of the denser housing and multi-family developments that are going to be built in the neighborhood have already been built and long ago overcrowded the schools. Heck, a new building for Norcross High School had to be built in 2001 after it out grew the old complex and now the NEW building has exceeded capacity and has to use trailers to support the increasing enrollment and there is no place on the complex to build any new classrooms onto the school, nor is there anyplace in that part of the county to build a new high school because most of Gwinnett is built completely out from the years of overdevelopment permitted and ENCOURAGED by a county government full of land spectulators.

Aquagirl

October 21st, 2011
10:24 am

a county government that has been INFAMOUS for overbuilding and overdevelopment in the last three decades

I have little sympathy for people who buy in an area because of development, then turn around and complain because that development bites them in the @$$.

Gwinnett’s overdevelopment has bitten me too, and unlike the merry band of secessionists in Peachtree Corners, I have never had a voice on that development. I live in DeKalb, where literally hundreds of thousands of Gwinnett commuters clog the (bleep) out of our streets. See, I understand what happens when a local government decides they want to benefit themselves at the expense of surrounding communities. Peachtree Corners is Gwinnett all over again.

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

October 21st, 2011
10:37 am

Aquagirl

October 21st, 2011
7:40 am

“If you live in an area with 800,000 people and expect the benefits of a small town of 34,000, that is indeed selfish.”

You mean just like if you live in a metropolitan region of six million people and expect the benefits of a county of 800,000 by living in Gwinnett or a small town of 11,000 by living in the incorporated city of Norcross which is right next door to P’tree Corners?

“You can’t have both—-unless you manipulate the system, which is what this little suburb is doing. Gwinnette has grown. If people there don’t like living with 800,000 neighbors, MOVE.”

Oh, you mean the same way that Gwinnett County has manipulated the system over the years by building endless residential, commercial and industrial overdevelopment with no regard whatsoever on the (negative) impact that said overdevelopment would have on the region’s already overstressed and undersized transportation infrastructure?

Every city, town and county outside of the incorporated City of Atlanta attempts to have it “both [ways]” by NOT wanting to pay into a regional transportation network and NOT wanting to be affiliated with the City of Atlanta locally yet when someone from the 10-county area goes on the road to visit another city, what’s the first thing they say when asked where they are from? ATLANTA!

Every the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia has had it both ways by depending on Federally-funded and built Lakes Allatoona and Lanier and NOT wanting to PAY to build their own network of locally funded and controlled lakes and reservoirs for water supply and flood control until they absolutely had no choice.

Every muncipality plays that game, every where you cited in DeKalb, DeKalb County plays that game, although nowhere near to the extent that Clayton and ESPECIALLY Cobb and Gwinnett have played that game, claiming to apart of Atlanta while having their own “little fiefdom” the size of a county so that they can control and have access to tax revenues and public dollars collected inside of those counties, though at least DeKalb PAYS for MARTA and Grady, unlike Clayton, Cobb, Gwinnnett and the other counties in the region.

Dayshown

October 21st, 2011
10:40 am

Gwinnett already has 15 municipalities, do we really need one more? With annexations at some point all these burgs will literally grow together and the unincorporated county will cease to exist. What’s worst each little city means another new layer of government – public works, police etc., and even more taxes.

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.

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
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
11:20 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
11:22 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
11:55 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.

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.

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”!!!