Baha'i News -- Standards, Dacula strip await commission

GWINNETT MONDAY May 27, 2002

Standards, Dacula strip await commission

Brian Feagans - Staff
Monday, May 27, 2002

Plans to establish the county's first Baha'i Center and extend the Mall of Georgia's architectural standards to the Lawrenceville city line hang in the balance awaiting Tuesday's County Commission meeting.

But the hottest debate may be over plans for a commercial strip, day care and oil-change facility near Dacula.

Crystal River Ltd. wants to put the businesses on 8 acres now occupied by a church and a softball field at Dacula and Auburn roads. It is asking the county to rezone the property for commercial uses and reduce the required 75-foot buffer.

Nearby residents fought the request at last week's Planning Commission meeting, saying it would worsen traffic and make it easier for commercial development to bleed down Auburn Road. The planning panel agreed, and recommended against the proposal.

The commissioners also will hear a request for a special-use permit that would allow the Baha'is of north Gwinnett County to convert a ranch house off Little Mill Road into the county's first Baha'i Center.

The permit also would let the group build a new, larger center on the 6-acre site.

Commission Chairman Wayne Hill said Friday he's still undecided about a plan to extend standards governing landscaping, architecture and parking lot design to within two miles of the Mall of Georgia.

The Planning Commission has recommended applying the guidelines along Ga. 20 to the Lawrenceville line at the urging of neighborhoods near the corridor.

But Hill said that could create an incentive for landowners along Ga. 20 to seek annexation by Lawrenceville to avoid the strict rules.

The standards would apply only to nonresidential property. They ban metal siding and require pitched roofs for smaller buildings. Developers in the district must install sidewalks, bicycle racks and monument-style signs. Shade trees are required, along with landscaped islands in parking lots.


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