When one of my neighbors put a “No City” sign in her yard, I asked her to give me her thoughts on the matter. Her first response was, “I don’t want to talk about it!” Upon a little gentle probing, she soon revealed that she really had no accurate details, but thought she didn’t want “another layer of government.”
My response to her and any others like her is this: If you like the way Peachtree Corners looks, thank the dedicated volunteers of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association (UPCCA). If you like the way Peachtree Parkway looks with its almost four miles of landscaped and mowed medians, thank the volunteers of UPCCA who raise the money for and oversee the yearly commercial landscape contract. If you like the looks of The Forum and enjoy shopping there, thank the volunteers of UPCCA, who diligently and faithfully held the developer to the conditions of the zoning so the place looks as good as it does.
UPCCA has been the de facto government in the Peachtree Corners area of unincorporated Gwinnett County since its inception in 1993, always looking out for our quality of life here and the value of our homes. The concept of being responsible for our own destiny has been paramount throughout and has always justified the hundreds of volunteer hours that have been invested by so many into maintaining the quality of our live, work, and play community that was founded by Paul Duke more than 40 years ago.
Peachtree Corners is completely surrounded now by other municipalities which have been seeking the opportunity to annex our tax-rich parkway for several years. The volunteers of UPCCA searched for a way to secure our Peachtree Corners boundaries against annexation by other cities, and ultimately determined that the only legal way open to us was incorporation. Now this question of whether or not to incorporate as a city is on the Nov. 8 ballot for the voters in the area to decide. The charter is for a city with authority in three quality of life areas only: Planning and zoning, code enforcement, and solid waste collection. The tax for this is one mill.
The issue is self-determination here. The choice of doing nothing is no longer available to us because three cities have indicated they want us or parts of us. UPCCA has led the initiative for incorporation now because if Peachtree Corners is not incorporated by the residents who live here, we will most certainly be annexed and controlled by residents who do not live here. The millage rate would increase then by far more than one mill.If you like Peachtree Corners now, you can thank UPCCA. Why would anybody think that UPCCA would sponsor an effort that was not in the best interest of us all?
Gay Wiley Shook lives in the Peachtree Corners area.