Avoid lure of cityhood

Peachtree Corners enjoys a well-known identity as a community with high-end office, residential and retail developments. Its mix of housing and retail uses has created a live, work and play environment with a high quality of life that is second to none. It is a place where business interests and homeowners associations, in cooperation with Gwinnett County, have partnered together to improve the area. Peachtree Corners as a known community is a great thing. Peachtree Corners as an incorporated city is not.

In order to be a city under Georgia law, a number of certain services must be provided. If Peachtree Corners was to incorporate as a city, it would have to provide those services. The services include - but are not limited to - police, fire, roads, parks, planning and zoning, and water and sewer. Because many of these services would be cost prohibitive for the city to provide, the county may provide some of them under intergovernmental agreement. Either way, creating another city would create another layer of government and also a duplicity of some services. In reviewing the services the county provides to the citizens of Peachtree Corners, I cannot think of even one service that could be delivered any better or less expensive by a city of Peachtree Corners. On the contrary, I believe the cost of services would increase with residents paying higher taxes for the same, or perhaps even lesser services.

The situation with Sandy Springs is not comparable to Peachtree Corners. Citizens in Sandy Springs experienced a systemic neglect from elected officials going back years and paid taxes that not only did not go to improving their area but also did not have to be paid by residents of Atlanta. Citizens in Peachtree Corners have enjoyed an efficient and complete complement of government services. There is no service delivery issue in Peachtree Corners.

Community identity is important. Buckhead is not a city. Neither is Brookhaven. Tucker is not a city, yet it has an identity, including a main street and a newspaper. All of these areas have identities that evoke certain impressions and thoughts. It is important for Peachtree Corners to maintain its identity and to continue to pursue the things that make it great.

The county is participating in a program to erect "Welcome to Peachtree Corners" signs as well as adding sign toppers to selected road signs identifying the Peachtree Corners community. Programs such as these and other efforts of homeowners and business interests will continue to foster and promote the Peachtree Corners name. This can and should be done without creating an incorporated city, which would bring another layer of government where one is not needed and bring an increase in taxes. Peachtree Corners, yes; a city of Peachtree Corners, no.

Bert Nasuti is the District 2 commissioner for Gwinnett County.