Dacula City Council annexes 2 acres for offices

DACULA - Two office buildings will rise along Harbins Road on 2 acres previously zoned residential/agricultural in unincorporated Gwinnett County. City councilmen Thursday unanimously voted to annex and rezone the property to office/industrial use. No one spoke against the project. Plans show two 5,000-square-foot office buildings constructed of brick on four sides, with a 50-space parking lot in front. The developer will build a deceleration lane and sidewalk along Harbins Road and maintain a 50-foot buffer and 5-foot-high fence along the southern and western boundaries where the acreage adjoins residential property. The parcel is designated as low density residential on Gwinnett County's Future Land Use Map, and Dacula's Planning and Zoning Department recommended approval of the project. The Harbins Road area, which was formerly farmland, recently has been the object of Dacula's attention. The two acres adjoins Dacula to the east, where city councilmen recently annexed and rezoned 8 acres to office/industrial use for a child day care center. The north end of the property, across Harbins Road, was recently annexed into Dacula and rezoned transitional residential district for single family units.

Contractors' building to be constructed City councilmen voted unanimously to rezone from residential to general business 0.875 acres fronting both McMillan Road and Maxie Street. The property is surrounded by land zoned general business and residential, which includes property owned by First Baptist Church on Maxie Street. The Planning and Zoning Department recommended approval of the project, which is designated residential on Gwinnett County's Future Land Use Map. Greg Smith plans to construct a 7,000-square-foot contractors' building, housing offices for plumbers and electrical contractors. Conditions placed on the project prohibit an entrance from Maxie Street. Smith agreed to plant 6-foot-tall trees every 25 feet along the Maxie Road and McMillan Street frontage and plant a landscape strip along the southern property line. "It's intended to beautify an area that is just bare," councilman Hubert Wells said.

2006 CDBG projects named Dacula will apply for the 2006 Community Development Block Grant funds. The McMillan Road street widening project was deemed first priority for any funds received, and the Tanner Road sidewalk project was named second priority. Over the last five years, Dacula has received $810,000 from the CDBG that helped correct drainage problems and improve curbs and intersections. Begun in 1974, CDBG is one of HUD's oldest programs, designed to help improve moderate and low-income sections of towns.

City marshal to get new car City councilmen approved spending $16,251.37 for a 2005 Chevrolet Impala pursuit vehicle for Marshal Reed Miller. The cost reflects the state contract price. The city will save $1,750 by adapting the old cage to the new car and using the old light bar outfitted with new lenses. Marshal Miller currently drives a 1998 police vehicle. City zoning map to be updated Dacula is rapidly annexing land, and zonings change almost every month, resulting in a messy city map. City councilmen approved paying MacFarland, Dyer and Associates $7,000 to update the city's map. The new map will show the new city limits, zoning lines and their designations, street lines and names and parcel lines inside and outside the city limits. Dacula's map was last updated sometime between 1997 and 2001.