Dacula annexes 15.83 acres

DACULA -- Dacula's city limits grew by 15.83 acres in two separate measures by unanimous vote in Thursday's City Council meeting. The votes reflect councilmen's efforts to stabilize the city's tax base.

Dacula's tax base is upside down, with about 90 percent of the taxes coming from residential sources and 10 percent from business. Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks said a business tax base is desirable because it offsets the expenditures of residential property.

"Residential costs money," Wilbanks said. "We make a little money off of commercial."

Drugstore to be built at Hurricane Shoals and Old Peachtree roads

A 12,900-square-foot pharmacy and three retail buildings will rise on the corner of Hurricane Shoals and Old Peachtree roads on two parcels totaling 6.87 acres. The three buildings will range in size from 13,000 square feet to 16,000 square feet.

Plans show two entrances/exits from Hurricane Shoals Road and one from Old Peachtree Road, and the developer, Hai Tung Lai, will contribute $10,000 to Gwinnett County Department of Transportation for a future traffic light at the intersection.

The properties were rezoned from residential to general business. Most of the surrounding land is zoned commercial in unincorporated Gwinnett County. The tract is shown as low density residential in Gwinnett County's Future Land Use Map. A Mormon church in unincorporated Gwinnett County, adjoins the property to the south, and a single-family subdivision is being built nearby along Hurricane Shoals Road.

Hubert Wells pointed out the closeness of other nearby pharmacies.

"There are three other drugstores within a mile and a half radius of this spot," Wells said.

Councilman Greg Reeves said the city could use the business.

"It's a better tax base for us," Reeves said. "The county already has it zoned commercial all around it."

Retail center planned for Alcovy Road

City Councilmen voted to annex and rezone 8.96 acres from agriculture/residential in unincorporated Gwinnett County to heavy commercial zoning in Dacula. The acreage lies along Alcovy Road across from a 95-acre tract that Dacula recently annexed and rezoned for the same applicant, Roddy Sturdivant.

Sturdivant plans to develop the almost 104 acres into a retail/commercial/service center. A long list of restricted businesses is attached to the case, including adult entertainment, auto or lawnmower repair, boat sales, hotels, mobile home sales or taxi services.

The proposed development borders Alcova Elementary School.

School representatives did not object when the applicant requested a zero buffer between the development and the school. A 75-foot buffer will be maintained along the rear of the property.

The parcel is designated for light industrial on Gwinnett County's future land use map. Gwinnett County representatives did not object to the annexation and rezoning, and no one spoke against it.

Councilman Gene Greeson said he voted for the measure because it would bring more business into Dacula.

"We need the commercial taxes and it's a good place for it," Greeson said.