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Developer gets no zoning help from Kenerly

This week, one of Kevin Kenerly's poker buddies got some land rezoned, but Kenerly didn't cast a vote.

In fact, the District 4 commissioner wasn't at Tuesday's board meeting. He spent the night evaluating 7-year-olds for the upcoming Mill Creek football draft. Kenerly is a coach.

The rezoning, which was handled by District 3 Commissioner Mike Beaudreau, concerned three corners at the intersection of Hurricane Shoals and Rabbit Hill Road.

Commissioners decided to allow a low-density subdivisions and a small portion of cluster homes instead of the commercial development and 383 cluster homes Bighorn Investments LLC requested.

The homes would have been built by Winmark Homes, which is owned by D.G. Jenkins, one of two developers who were seen on a DVD of Kenerly gambling in Las Vegas. The video was played on television news reports and then anonymously mailed to voters in the district, where Kenerly is campaigning for a fourth term.

Kenerly, whose district encompasses a portion of the land in the rezoning, said he did not direct Beaudreau on what he thought about the proposal.

"I told him to follow the land use plan," Kenerly said. "Mike did a good job with that."

Beaudreau said politics didn't come into play when he talked about the proposal with homeowners.

"The neighbors were more concerned not about who was going to be there for the next four years, but what was going to be there for the next 50 years," he said. "His (Kenerly's) only instructions to me were to handle the case as I see fit.

"I saw it as a non-issue, but it is campaign season."

The decision had a Bighorn consultant talking about a court challenge, but Kenerly said it proved his point that developers don't get preferential treatment from him, even if they are his friends.

"I sold David some stuff just like I sold other people stuff in my years in real estate," he said. "Ninety to 100 percent of the time, the folks that you know have to do better and get higher standards."

Plus, he once again pointed out that his challenger in the Aug. 8 runoff, Jodie Rosser, has an even tighter relationship with a developer - her dad.

By the way, the other developer on the Vegas video, George Thorndyke, spent election night at Kenerly's campaign party at a family farm in Hoschton.

"He wanted to come by and wish me well," Kenerly said of Thorndyke. "He felt like they took a shot at him, too."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.