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Sugar Hill annexes island on U.S. 23

SUGAR HILL - Mt. Hermas Church of God, Marilyn Bruce and Jane Pugh had more in common than being neighbors along a stretch of U.S. Highway 23 near Johnson Street. Sunday they were living on a 9-acre island of Gwinnett County surrounded by the city of Sugar Hill. Today they are city residents.

Islands are a phenomenon created by rapidly growing cities. When a city annexes all around a tract of land, it eventually leaves a section of county acreage surrounded by city limits. In the 1990s, Georgia passed laws (O.C.G.A. 36-36-1 through 36-36-9 and 36-36-90) allowing cities to annex islands, whether the property owners are amenable or not.

Bishop, Pugh and representatives for Mt. Hermas Church of God didn't seem to object to becoming Sugar Hill citizens. Pugh intends to live out her days on her half-acre. Bishop, however, asked council to rezone her 8 acres for multi-family residential because she had buyers interested in erecting townhomes on the site. Council voted to retain Bishop's residential zoning classification because the surrounding area comprises mostly commercial and office uses. Bishop can return to the council at a later date with the same rezoning request.

Sugar Hill annexes 18 acres on Roberts Road

Residents along Roberts Road will soon see a 60-home community, The Preserve at Roberts Ridge, rise on 18.5 acres owned by Nell Veal.

The property is not listed in Sugar Hill's Future Land-Use Plan, but is adjacent to parcels planned for medium density residential use. Sugar Hill's Planning and Zoning Department approved the annexation.

Plans show 2,500- to 4,000-square-foot brick-front homes with two-car garages priced from the mid-$200,000s to the mid-$400,000s. A swimming pool, children's playground and small parking lot complete the amenities package. Sugar Hill officials require the developer to provide a tree preservation plan, prepared by a registered architect, that preserves as many trees as possible.