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Friday, October 16, 2009

Saving Crabapple


Dear Citizens of Milton,

I and a large number of people attended the Crabapple Antique & Art Festival on October 3rd.

Row upon row of high density structures, most standing empty, some with weeds growing in the surrounding yard, were standing incongruently around the historical buildings that had occupied the Crabapple Crossing for all of my life.

In contrast, throngs of people milled around the antique display booths among the original buildings and yards.

Doesn't this frame the issue of "controlled, intelligent" development, rather than development solely to generate income for the government regardless of its consequences to the local community? If Milton is to be a unique destination for residents of Milton and surrounding communities, what will better enhance the Milton image and attract outsiders to spend money in Milton? Unique utilization of the historical assets enhanced by complementary development, or sterile high density development that detracts from the existing assets?

The Antique & Art Festival provides part of the answer. There can be wonderful community enhancing events, activities and managed growth without submitting to overdevelopment that sets a terrible negative legal precedent.

High density development is being touted by some as the "inevitable" source of tax revenue needed to support the Milton City Government. Crabapple undermines this assumption. Not only are many existing new structures empty, they require government services - fire and police protection. And, of course, there is the question of how to handle the future traffic as the empty buildings become occupied.

Unfortunately, more density in Crabapple has been approved than is currently built. In fact, only 30% of the office space and 62% of the retail space that was approved has been built out. More density will certainly follow in response to sewer extensions approved by my opponent.

Is this what Milton citizens want and need? Not from comments I receive daily from citizens concerned over the future of the City they love.

How did we get here?

Milton has ordinances that provide a template for developers to follow. These ordinances reflect the Milton originally envisioned by its founders and its citizens. Unfortunately, Crabapple's fate was partially sealed prior to Milton's formation when certain members of the Crabapple Master Plan Committee successfully pushed for significant density expansion. At the time, the Crabapple Master Plan was incomplete, premature, and lacking key details needed to ensure that Crabapple's development would result in the village atmosphere desired by the community. This unfortunate circumstance allowed some local developers to bypass established ordinances and gain approval of Crabapple's high density development without regard to boundaries, traffic, and cost of required infrastructure.

More recently, one of the same developers applied for additional development rights in Crabapple. Rather than rejecting this request, the developer was allowed by the City Council majority to withdraw the request so it can be resubmitted after the election. This same developer is under a continued investigation by the EPA for violating established environmental protection laws and has been fined one of the largest fines ever by the EPA for illegal environmental degradation.

A key person involved in the initial push for significant increased density -- from the Crabapple Master Plan Committee to the election-driven, temporary withdrawal of additional high density -- is none other than my opponent, Karen Thurman. In fact, representatives of the developer described above attended my opponent's campaign party three weeks ago and are large financial contributors to her campaign along with multiple other developers.

What do I offer that my opponent has not?

As a Milton citizen with no ties or obligations to developers, I will strictly adhere to the ordinances that define the future we were promised, rather than consistently granting "variances" allowing developers to bypass these ordinances. I will oppose sewer expansion policies leading to more high-density development. I will propose and support policies that restrict clear cutting and destruction of historic buildings. I will support impact fees for new development to pay for required infrastructure.

Strict enforcement of the ordinances will result in developers having a clear understanding of what they must provide to our community. I will require developers to conduct market surveys of the locality to define the wishes of the community. This will provide developers the incentive of zoning approval for imaginative projects that would be enjoyed by surrounding residents and attract outsiders as well, within the design template of a rural Milton.

Not only will this save Crabapple from the ravages of additional non-conforming development, but it will protect the remainder of Milton as well. This is a challenge for Milton citizens.

On November 3rd if we are to achieve the community we were promised. will we, the citizens, rely on Council members who give developers a free hand to destroy our neighborhoods with poorly controlled high density development to provide income to our government? Or shall we instead elect Council members who will "think outside of the box" to provide services that are desired by Milton and surrounding communities, within the context of the Milton vision, to achieve this goal?

Please vote for me, Bernard Wolff, on November 3rd to ensure that our future is what we want, rather than more of what we see in Crabapple. Please send this to your fellow Milton citizens.

Let's demand the Milton we were promised, feel free to contact me to share your ideas.

Sincerely,Bernard Wolff
Candidate for Milton City Council
District 1, At-large
1000 Lackey Road
Milton, GA 30004
770-754-0003
Paid for by the Bernard W. Wolff Election Committee

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernard you should be embarassed and ashamed of yourself! If you were a respectable man as you say that has been sucessful, then why are you being made look like a fool by Julie Bailey, Cary, and Laura? It is so obvious that they scripted this for you as it is their typical mis truths and scare tactics. It also shows that you dont have the facts as most of the stuff you printed is inaccurate.

Remember negative campaigns and mis-truths have not worked in Milton in the past!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie,

Have you ever had any experiences with developers in Milton? Why don't you explain how you handled them in the past?

Anonymous said...

If you think there are mistruths in his release, then why don't you email Bernie and ask him for the proof that backs up his claims?

Anonymous said...

Ironically, Thurman takes credit for the mess Crabapple has become. She wants city hall, a library, and God knows what else to go in Crabapple and yet look at all that has yet to built out! My God, what a mess Crabapple will be if she has her way. But her family will be richer and her developer friends will be able to pay their bills. Guess that's what matters most...to THURMAN anyway.

Anonymous said...

Bernie dosent have a clue. He will have to ask Julie what to say next, so youo might as well ask her what, in her mind, is the answer.

Bernie can tell you where he grew up and where he went to school and what countries he has traveled to and that he went to the Crabapple antique festival for the first time, but other than that, ask Julie.

Might as well get used to it because if he is elected he will just be another Tart, just not as sweet!

Anonymous said...

Bernard Wolff was a pleasant surprise! He was laid back, like he was talking to close friends. He was knowledgable, polished, and confident. He's got my vote.

Anonymous said...

Why did Joe Longoria get cocky over the gating question and copped an attitude? He lost my vote.

Did you see how awesone Tina was? Tina was polished, never copped an attitude, and was confident. You go girl!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bernie couldn't string two sentences together without sounding like Elmer Fudd. He's a one-trick pony, er, donkey. If Julie wasn't feeling so desperate about his performance the other night she wouldn't have been throwing this around.

Hey Bernie, if you had actually taken the time to view that meeting online you would have understood what happened with that withdrawal-- and how yet again Julie and Tina would have put us in line for law-suits if they had succeeded in denying the withdrawal. Oh, and, as an added plus, my conservation minded friend, if it had been denied it would have been a full year before they could have admitted an appeal and developed changes that might address some of the neighbors immediate concerns like drainage, erosion, oh, and flooding.

And while we're at it... love that subcontracting services idea you keep bantering around, but it sounds strangely familiar. Could it be that we just backed out an arrangement with a company that does just that because it didn't work?

Anonymous said...

In looking over this email and comments, it escapes notice that all the problems Bernie mentions came from Fulton, not the current council. The fact that a "node" exists as a positive element at all is due to the work of constructive contributors like Thurman and Buck Bell, among others.
If this was so important, why hasn't the extremist faction in Milton brought it up til now?

Oh, and "...you go girl!!"???? I guess any female will do, huh? No matter how corrupt? Thanks for that from "citizens united for nice trails"

Anonymous said...

Interesting that one of Tina's co-hosts now actively endorsing her challenger.
Guess they realize the problem and are concerned about actual record, qualifications and the future of Milton.
Corruption-free.

Anonymous said...

Saving Crabapple! The charm of Crabapple was lost years ago. The death knell was sounded when John B's. offered a wine list. Now there is a push to create a historical preservation ordinance and add another level of government with a commission. The present draft is nothing more than a zoning body. There are much better ways to document and present the history of Milton.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the scourge of alcohol.

Anonymous said...

He Captained over 120 successful Swift Boat missions and you idiots think he can't think for himself. You keep on trying to discredit him because that is all you can do to try and defend your Queen of Development, Karen Thurman. Ask her for the names of the people who are behind the secret Foundation that wants to develop Crabapple, she won't tell you. How come. Maybe her Father, Collins, has a big stake in it, along with Weiland, Wallace, and JT. Vote her back in and she will make a nightmare out of Crabapple. She is NOT for the people of this community, she responds only to the developers who attend her fundraisers.

Anonymous said...

That is absolute and utter BS. I'm an ordinary citizen who worked with Karen on a couple of key projects before Milton was ever a city. She has always had a real heart for Crabapple and has worked very hard for improving the quality of life in the area. Including out with here own tools and sprayers making the running/walking trail around Milton. I live in Crabapple and really like her work and plans for our area. Sure, Fulton county kind of messed things up a bit, but it's still not lost. I'm voting for her.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Trail - that was the Trail built around Milton High School which is a great local amenity.

Anonymous said...

7:51 poster. Obvious you are oblivious. The reason several of Tina's "co-hosts" bailed on Tina was because she showed her support for managed growth candidates. These developer friendly co-hosts never intended to support Tina, only to keep her at bay so she would not do what she did - endorse the challengers running against development queen Thurman and her lackey Lusk. If there is any corruption and collusion on the city council, which I have no doubt that there are, look no further Thurman, Lusk, and Lockwood. Follow the money.

Anonymous said...

Which ones out of your reference to Lockwood, Lusk, and Thurman actually have the "money"?

Anonymous said...

The reasons everal of the people that Tina listed as co-hosts, with or without permission, are now supporting her opponent only because Tina came out with support for two other challengers andn they realize that with a council dominated with absolutely no growth, JZB pawns, that it will not only be back for them but all of our city.

Hey even the lawn service people will be hurt?

Anonymous said...

Why is managed development bad? If Bernie is calling Thurman pro "high density housing" than it appears that the "protectionist side" thinks anything over 1 house per acre is "high density housing"!

Wake up Milton subdivisions! The radical west side contingent will not look after your interests!

And don't forget "Tina loves the Law more than anything else..."

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

To scourge: Don't think the comment was about alcohol. More about "putting on airs", lipstick and pigs. Some folks like the horses, but don't want to smell the manure.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Confuscious... I think there should be a rule about cross use of metaphors on ths site. That last post is why I will have an aneurysm later.

Anonymous said...

Get back on that weed eater and shut up.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, the photos from yesteryear on campaign propaganda don't work. Ask Gordon Hunter, Clint Johnson and good ole OB.

Anonymous said...

Somebody got a case of uniform envy?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Oh I see Mr. Gutter Brain is back online. You are a closet homosexual buddy. Anyone knows the ones who make the most jokes are secretly fascinated and preoccupied. Just find another place to enjoy yourself. You're boring me.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

For a better outlook on life: new glasses plus an enema.