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2000-08-01
Peachtree City, GA. Wal-Mart Hits Snag

We reported on 11/20/99 (see newsflash) that many residents of Peachtree City did want Home Depot to branch out in their city, but in recent months residents have been fighting the developer, appropriately named "RAM", which is now trying to get a Wal-Mart shoved onto the same site as the Home Depot. But on July 24th, the City's Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny Wal-Mart, arguing that the store will violate the city's traffic ordinance. The developer plans to appeal the rejection to the City Council. The city's traffic ordinance requires developers to make traffic improvements if studies show the project will degrade traffic flow in the area. The city's traffic consultant said the plan didn't meet the ordinance, and the city's attorney told the Commission they must reject the project. According to the Citizen News, the Wal-Mart project "would throw traffic so far out of whack that no road improvements will help the situation." If the roadway on Highway 54 were widened, a Wal-Mart might be possible -- but the Atlanta area, which includes Peachtree City, is in violation of clean air standards now, and road widening is not likely to happen soon unless the developer paid for it. The widening would also require expansion of an existing bridge, and so is very costly. Planning Commission member Robert Ames told the Citizen News that local citizens were not happy with the way the site was planned, and he questioned the reasoning behind Wal-Mart's decision to locate in Peachtree City. The Wal-Mart would be located right across from the entry way to the Planterra Ridge residential subdivision, behind the Home Depot.

What you can do: In what is often the case, the city hired an independent traffic consultant, and their consultant came up with traffic numbers that "varied substantially" from the traffic study that was paid for by the developer. When the developer learned that its traffic study was not being "bought" by city officials, RAM's response was: "Technically and legally we do not fall under the traffic ordinance." Local residents have made it clear to the city that if this Wal-Mart is built in addition to the Home Depot, Peachtree City will end up with Peach jam on its roadways.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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