Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review of Peachtree Corners Council Meeting - July 24

City Council lifts the moratorium on business
permits, licenses, etc.
The meeting started at 7:30 PM and did not adjourn until nearly 10:00.  Alex Wright was the only councilperson who did not make the meeting.  About 20 or so people made up the audience.  There were a lot of tedious items on the agenda.  A team of lawyers were present to go over amendments to the zoning ordinance, the sign ordinance, the Intergovernmental Agreement with Gwinnett, the contract with a zoning liaison, and the moratorium on building permits.  One businessman spoke during the public comments period about his need for a the last of his permits so he could open his new restaurant. He expressed frustrations at being stymied by the moratorium.  The mayor, after telling the man that he was not supposed to respond, responded to let the man know that the moratorium was on the evening's agenda.

The highlights of the meeting included the lifting of the moratorium on building permits, business licenses, etc. that have been frozen since May 1.  Everyone in the room was excited to see this business stifling moratorium lifted.  It is expected that the county will begin processing permits on behalf of the city today.

The other major item was the introduction and distribution of an application to be on the Zoning Commission or Zoning Board of Appeals.  The Mayor assured the audience that zoning would be done differently than in other cities.  The commission and appeals board are not to be political appointments but rather a citizen panel of qualified people with the best interest of the city at heart.  The Mayor promised broad representation from across Peachtree Corners.  The application is due on August 4th.  Click Here to download a copy.

The very last thing addressed by the council was a matter of litigation.  Apparently, a billboard company wanted to install a billboard on Peachtree Parkway near the Forum and is suing Gwinnett for some supposed procedural violation due to the moratorium.  I will not pretend to understand the legalese involved.  Bottom line is that the city has retained legal counsel to assist in dealing with this pending lawsuit.

Most of the meeting was dedicated to reviewing phrases and wording in various ordinances and agreements.  The council and lawyers tweaked little phrases and parts of ordinances in use at Gwinnett before they were adopted by the city.  It was detailed and tedious.