The City Council of Peachtree City voted unanimously against a proposed residential zoning ordinance that would restrict citizens from painting their houses in any particular color.
Brought on the agenda by Planning and Development director Mike Warrix, the proposed ordinance would have limited citizen’s access to decorating the exterior of their homes as they pleased.
The proposal outlined several key adjustments. For example, the ordinance stated, “exterior colors shall be low reflectance, subtle, earth-tone, or historical colors from a major paint manufacturer’s historical palette.”
It also listed that “bright high-density colors, bright metallic colors, or fluorescent colors shall not be used,” along with other stipulations.
The wording confused several residents, and they voiced their opinion at Thursday’s meeting. One of the concerned residents was Ralph Hale, who lives in Crabapple Woods. Hale was against the proposal and raised questions about who would be available to enforce the ordinance if it passed. He suggested that the proposal should be put to a vote.
“If you really want to pass (the bill) as it is written, it is something that should be on the ballot,” Hale said. “The citizens of Peachtree City should vote yes or no. Then, once you get that vote, people would understand that is the way it is. They would have their voice heard.”
City Manager Jon Rorie heard all the concerns. He said that the issue was something that was a part of a larger problem. He opened the discussion reading several emails and comments from citizens over the past few years.
Rorie’s argument was centered on the expiring covenants in the city. He said that only 47 sub-divisions in Peachtree City have Home Owners Associations (HOA). Rorie also realized that the city is nearly 60 years old, and he wanted to be sure that they continued to adhere to the mission statement of providing to the needs of all citizens.
“We aspire to do great things and be a community where we are addressing and providing high quality of life to our residents,” Rorie said.
He followed that Peachtree City municipal government doesn’t force HOA regulations. Rorie felt that the big issue is with the covenants and that the council should table the discussion on the choice to deciding what color residents should paint on homes.
“I am in a position to make a recommendation to table this and look at what the historic pallet colors are,” Rorie said. “I am perfectly okay with that position.”
Other city council members didn’t want to wait that long. Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch thought it would be a good idea to vote on the painting issue and not have it linger until later meetings.
Councilmen Terry Ernst and Mike King agreed. They felt it was time to go ahead and resolve the issue.
“ I don’t feel I was elected by the citizens of this town to tell anyone what color they can paint their house,” Ernst said.
He expressed a need to look at the covenants much more closely than what they had been doing. King felt that the decision was needed as well.
The council voted against the decision, but council advised citizens that more discussions on covenants are coming.