Wednesday, April 18, 2007

They're coming to get us...

Ho ho, hee hee, ha ha... "They" have been after this beautiful little jewel for many years. They make little inroads here and there... They grab this, snipe that...

“They” are all those who want to turn our county into just another crowded suburb of Atlanta. We've been lucky for some number of years in that we've had some fairly stalwart guardians. However, there have always been some weak spots in our armour. A rezoning here, a sewer deal there, annexations everywhere.

Rather than looking at the big picture, rather than looking down the road to see the implications of a current action, exceptions have been made, and are being made by our elected officials for this developer or that friend.

Coweta (which we have zero control over) is developing right up to the edge of our borders. Peachtree City is annexing and developing the West Village. Surprise, surprise, Tyone isn't happy about it (the same Tyrone that has annexed and annexed and brought in sewer and exploded in growth over the past few years).

There's a developer wanting to put a high-density development right in the middle of the county on Ebenezer Church Road. It was turned down by the previous County Commission a few years back, but rumor has it that Herb Frady is working hard to get it passed this go around. The neighbors have gathered and they've shown up in force for the rezoning requests. It's back on the drawing board again so they'll have to gather one more time.

If you’re watching the papers, the online news media and the various city and county sites, you’re aware of all the rezoning requests. If you drive around the county you can see for-sale, signs for upcoming developments and rezoning requests everywhere.

Prior to Harold Bost, Greg Dunn, Linda Wells and Peter Pfeifer's tenure on the Fayette County Board of Commissioners there were activists who attended every County Commission meeting. They kept the citizens informed and yelled when deals were being cut or the land use plan was being corrupted. They stopped when the aforementioned Board members were elected. No need. They had excellent guardians who walked a tight line, adhering to the land use plan.

Tyrone was once a small town and almost to a person, that's the way they wanted to keep it. It ain't a sleepy town no more folks. They're growing so fast the town looks like a stuffed Christmas stocking getting ready to burst – except most of the long-time residents don’t seem to particularly like the presents in the stocking

What can we as citizens do to stop what’s baying at our doors? Go to your city council and /or county commission meetings. Look at the rezoning requests that are in the pipeline. When you see a rezoning request sign on someone’s yard, even when it’s across town or in another neighborhood, go online to see what they’re wanting to do. Don’t wait until they’re in your backyard. Once they’re in your comfort zone, it’s too late. The battle needs to be won when they’re making that first change.

There is a point in every battle that is decisive. It’s easy to see that point in time when you’re looking back studying the war. However it’s sometimes difficult to know that a particular action is so critical when you’re in the midst of the battle. We may have already passed our critical point in the battle to save the flavor of our county. There are many who are packing up and heading out already. If you plan to raise your children in this county, if you plan to live here until you die, if you want to save what’s left of the county then it doesn’t matter if the critical battle has been lost. We have to fight to save what remains. Maybe we can slow what looks to be the inevitable down. Maybe we can turn back the tide to some degree right now. No matter what, if we get involved and try we’ll make the future better.

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