I’m a socially liberal, fiscally conservative activist who served as the chairman of a county commission in another county in Georgia. Among other things, I also served as chair of the tax committee for the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia.

Steve Brown and I disagree on a lot of things, especially on social issues. However, he is a very bright man and sometimes he hits the nail on the head. In that vein, his recent letter on multifamily housing makes several good points.

Specifically, PTC residents rejected the so-called Livable Center Initiative (LCI) imposed by the CRA and the last mayor. Citizens here don’t want urbanization, removing the village concept and creating a traffic-choked downtown near the already congested 54-74 intersection.

The LCI would have helped real estate agents and developers, in a big way, but not us. We like PTC as it is, a nice bubble. Expand each village a bit to get more Line Creek Brewery type establishments, but otherwise, leave us alone.

Multi-housing developments are only acceptable if planned and managed properly. First, each unit must bring in sufficient tax revenue to be positive for existing taxpayers (i.e. taxes high enough to compensate for the services provided). When I was on PTC’s planning committee years ago, that meant somewhere in the $325,000+ range (according to Robin Cailloux, PTC’s Director of Planning). I’m sure if Robin calculated the numbers now it would be much higher.

Second, we need to consider quality of life factors for current residents. More specifically, will the addition of multi-family dwellings have a negative impact on traffic patterns? Shouldn’t we address that elephant in the room before adding more conjecture?

Personally, I would like to see a lot more emphasis on long-term traffic planning. Having lived across the country, the two things that can quickly ruin a community’s quality of life are high crime rates and heavy traffic. We are doing exceptionally well on the first element. But not so good on the other.

PTC is a planned community. As a former senior government and corporate planner, I can assure you that not everything is predictable. And mistakes are always made but need to be corrected.

A major mistake of PTC is that the traffic was not routed around the city, but rather through it. Thus, we have the horrible rumble at the 54-74 freeway intersection. The bigger problem is that former PTC politicians avoided addressing this perennial issue.

My feeling is that we have a “new sheriff in town”. And that our new mayor and city council will take the bull by the horns and do something about our biggest traffic problem. That “something” is bringing Coweta and Fayette counties into the picture.

The three political entities (along with their Senators and State Representatives) must together address the State Department of Transportation Commissioner. They need to secure funding for alternate routes around PTC for drivers coming from Newnan and Fayetteville.

It’s the only way to get the money. It’s called raw politics…and it works.

Jacques Bernard

Peachtree City, Ga.