The Peachtree City Council tabled the concept plan for the proposed 650-home “active senior” development in the city’s West Village as the city still does not see entirely eye-to-eye with some of the developer’s requests.
The biggest snag may be that Florida-based Kolter Homes would like to be able to sell up to 200 homes prior to the completion of the MacDuff Parkway extension.
Brian Rochester of Rochester and Associates, speaking on behalf of Kolter at Thursday night’s meeting, said the road construction is being held up by factors outside of Kolter’s control. In the meantime, he said, being able to sell a portion of the homes would provide the “relief” in the form of revenue that would justify their significant investment in the project.
The matter is complicated as Kolter is still in the process of purchasing the property from owner Brent Scarbrough, and Rochester said getting permission to sell the 200 homes up front was “very much [needed] for the project to continue to move forward.”
The property, now referred to as Brent West Village, was originally annexed in 2007 along with another slightly to the south owned by John Weiland. At the time, the city made it a condition of development that the owners of the two properties would pay to extend MacDuff Parkway up to Senoia Road. That extension involves crossing the CSX Railroad, which requires obtaining a permit that has thus far taken over two years to get with no clear end date known.
The Weiland property recently received a rezoning which included an allowance for 100 Certificates of Occupancy to be issued prior to the completion of MacDuff. Prior to that change, both properties were allowed no certificates prior to completion.
Council member Eric Imker said he felt the city was “snookered three or four months ago in believing the parkway was going to get done in 17 months” as Weiland representatives projected. He said he doesn’t expect the road to be completed until 2017, leaving the “folks on the west end with this horrible traffic problem for another three or four years.”
Council member Mike King agreed it would be hard to approve the request for 200 Certificates of Occupancy without any guarantee on when the extension could be finished.
Rochester confirmed he could not make any guarantee.
“I couldn’t say we could commit to [17 months],” Rochester said. “[The permit from CSX], that’s the reason I don’t think you could make a bet on 17 months. The financing will be there to build the whole road, but that’s outside their control.”
Rochester said the infrastructure investment for a planned community like what is proposed is extensive.
“All our client’s asking for is a little relief on the millions and millions they’re going to invest,” Rochester said” [to know] that they’re going to get some relief by starting to generate some revenue.”
He described it as a “chicken and egg situation” in that, without that concession from the city, Kolter was less likely to buy the property and go forward with the development, in which case the Macduff Parkway extension would still not be built.
“As a citizen, I would weigh that at least you do get it done and you ultimately see a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said of potential worries about increased traffic.