Once just a remote stretch of Hwy. 54 connecting Fayetteville to Peachtree City, the West Fayetteville corridor since the construction of Piedmont Fayette Hospital and the very recent Pinewood Atlanta Studios has become one of Fayetteville’s highest priority areas in terms of development potential.
Especially since Pinewood set up shop on its 288-acre campus along Veteran’s Parkway and Sandy Creek Road, city officials have sped up plans to develop Fayetteville’s west side as a live-work-play community, which would help to accommodate the demand for housing and commercial support for Piedmont and Pinewood. However, city officials say the necessary infrastructure is not yet in place to support such a development, which leads to concerns over how that infrastructure, such as sewer lines, roads and sidewalks, could be funded.
Thursday night, Fayetteville City Council members unanimously approved a study to consider whether the city should reclassify Fayetteville’s west side as a Tax Allocation District for the purposes of using that extra revenue to fund what they consider to be the needed infrastructure.
A Tax Allocation District (TAD), such as the one already in place in Downtown Fayetteville along portions of Highways 54 and 85, is an area in which most or all of the property tax revenue goes back into improving that specific area. Essentially, the county government and the county school system would have to forego their portions of the tax revenue for a set period of time so the money can be used to enhance the infrastructure of the TAD. In theory, when the TAD classification is lifted, the normal government tax splits resume and everybody is better off, because the tax base has been strengthened.
“Over the last few years, the City has seen the growth of the West Fayetteville Area including the development of Pinewood Atlanta Studios,” Fayetteville City Manager Ray Gibson wrote in a memo to city council members. “The main issue with future development of the area is the lack of necessary infrastructure (water, sewer, multi-use trails).”
Atlanta-based Bleakly Advisory Group has now been hired by Fayetteville to conduct a TAD study to help the city determine not only the feasibility of creating a second TAD in the city, but also to help the city negotiate terms with the county and the school system should they decide to move forward with the idea. Bleakly Advisory Group was also retained to help Fayetteville create its first TAD.