Peachtree Corners continues to lay groundwork

NORCROSS -- Peachtree Corners won't officially be a city until July 1, but that hasn't stopped the mayor and city council from laying the groundwork for the city once they go live.

At Tuesday's special called meeting at the Robert Fowler Family YMCA, the order of business was discussing the functions of the planning and zoning commission, in addition to other items.

"There are three responsibilities for this group," said Sandy Springs City Manager John McDonough. "They are in charge of planning and zoning, building and inspections, and code enforcement.

"The planning commission will mirror the number of elected officials and is all-volunteer. Buildings and inspections are primarily responsible for permits, accepting and reviewing plans, and actually doing the inspections. Now, most of this is usually outsourced by the city, but they're ultimately responsible. Then, the code enforcement is responsible for getting everyone to reach compliance. They're the most important group out of the gate."

Mayor Mike Mason echoed that sentiment saying that just about every conversation he had with residents over the last year, at some point code enforcement was brought up.

"Everyone wanted to know about code enforcement and what we were going to do," he said.

McDonough said his city swore code enforcement officials in at 12:01 a.m. at the birth of Sandy Springs to let residents know they were serious about enforcing the codes.

"We started with a heavy code-enforcement team, but have scaled it down once residents understood what they needed to do to be in compliance," he said. "A lot of times, they just don't know what the code is for certain things, so a code enforcement officer coming to tell them so is all that will be needed."

One thing that was agreed upon by Mason and the rest of the council was that with a month to go before the city is official, there is still a lot of work to do.

The council also discussed using Answer Connect as a way for residents to get their issues or complaints to the right person in the early stages. While it will be relatively simple to start out with, according to Post 2 council member James Lowe, it can be as complex as the mayor and city council want it. The service will provide a live person that will direct residents' calls or complaints to the proper departments, whether it will be to a city council member's cell phone or email, or a department head.

A motion was passed to enter into a contract with Gwinnett County for ad valorem tax billing and collection at the cost of $3,437.20.