October 23, 2011
Peachtree Corners was founded in 1968 by Paul Duke as a work, live, play community. From the beginning, residents felt a strong sense of community identity. When asked where they worked or lived, the response was always “Peachtree Corners.”
Over time, the idea of formalizing the community through incorporation as a city was discussed with increasing frequency. The one obstacle that stood in the way was the cost of providing the full scope of city services.
In 2009, the city of Norcross made an attempt to annex Technology Park through the legislative process. The citizens of Peachtree Corners, working through the UPCCA and our representative, Tom Rice, turned back this attempt.
Tech Park has always been the business heart of Peachtree Corners. Without this “heart,” the dream of cityhood would be impossible. Our community began to look for ways to make the city a reality.
In November 2009, a vote was taken by the UPCCA membership to proceed with the steps toward cityhood. A new concept, a “Planning District,” was initially proposed combining the benefit of legal boundaries, limited services, and a very low tax rate. Because it would have required a change in the State Law to enable this new form of government, it was too late in the legislative session to proceed in 2010. But the work began to introduce legislation in 2011.
The first step was the decision to become a full city, but with limited services and limited cost, i.e. a “City Lite.” The state of Georgia only requires that a city provides three services. The three services chosen were those closest to the heart of our community: Planning & Zoning, Code Compliance, and Trash Collection. All reflect our desire to maintain the quality of life we have all been accustomed to as well as our desire to control our own destiny.
The next step required a feasibility study. The prestigious Carl Vinson Institute of the University of Georgia was selected to perform this study. The results showed that we did indeed have the ability to support ourselves as a city. The results of the study are here http://peachtreecornersyes.com/charter.php.
The following steps were to develop the city charter http://peachtreecornersyes.com/charter.php and map our boundaries http://peachtreecornersyes.com/map.php. These processes involved several months of hard work and discussion on the part of the teams, but the end result was House Bill 396, the legislation that allows us to hold a referendum to realize our dream of becoming a city.
The governor signed the bill into law on May 11. Members of the UPCCA and the community were there to commemorate the occasion, including Ruth Strickland, a long-time resident and the former assistant to Paul Duke. You can see additional details of the signing ceremony in the article here on the Peachtree Corners Patch http://peachtreecorners.patch.com/articles/governor-signs-bill-for-peachtree-corners-to-pursue-cityhood.
Where do we go from here? That will be the topic for our next blog – steps remaining on our journey to become a city.
For more information about the city initiative, please visit our web site http://peachtreecornersyes.com/.