Suwanee approves four-story office building

SUWANEE - Horizon Drive's skyline is about to change.

City Council members unanimously approved a special-use permit and rezoning of 7.75 acres at the intersection of Old Peachtree Road for a four-story office building within a 108,000-square-foot retail center.

The property's light industrial and general commercial zonings were changed to special commercial district in Tuesday's council meeting.

The proposed site plan shows a 40,000-square-foot retail center and a 5,000-square-foot bank, in addition to the 67-foot-tall building, and two driveways exiting onto both Horizon Drive and Old Peachtree Road. City officials stipulated that no car sales or repair shops can be located on the site.

The rezoning is consistent with Suwanee's 2020 Future Land-Use Plan. Suwanee's Planning Commission recommended approval of the project, and no one spoke against it. In 2000, the acreage was rezoned to allow for an eight-story office building, warehouse and day care uses on the site, but nothing was ever developed. Today it stands covered in young pine trees and is surrounded by a Publix shopping center, a restaurant, a Schwann's distribution center and an office condominium complex.

Two-story commercial center

next to City Hall approved

More changes are coming to the evolving area at U.S. Highway 23 and Ga. Highway 317.

City Council members unanimously approved rezoning 3.06 acres next to City Hall for a two-story commercial/office/retail center.

The acreage lies within Suwanee's Old Town Overlay District and holds an abandoned BellSouth utility building and a Tire Omni store. It was rezoned to Old Town Commercial District from commercial and residential zoning.

The developer, Clark Patterson Associates, agreed to align its entrance with Chicago Street, a new city street under construction.

No one spoke against the rezoning. Suwanee's planning commission recommended approval, and the project is in line with the city's 2020 Future Land-Use Map.

Suwanee accepts donations

for trees and police bicycles

The beautiful old oaks that shaded City Hall Park are gone, the victims of disease. But more trees will soon take their places. Howard Gross donated $1,000 toward the purchase of new shade trees for the park in memory of his father, Ben Gross.

Suwanee Police Department accepted a donation of three police bicycles from the Gwinnett County Police Department.

"Gwinnett County was going to surplus them, or put them out for auction, so we made arrangements to take them," Suwanee Police Chief Mike Jones said. "The taxpayers paid for them to begin with, so the taxpayers are still getting use out of them."

Jones said he didn't know the value of the bicycles, but expects to spend about $100 on needed repairs. The bikes will be used for patrol during special events.

In other business:

Suwanee citizens can soon enter any complaints or requests online. City Council members voted to purchase Citizen Request Database software. After an initial payment of $5,000 for setup and training, the program will cost the city $400 per month.

In preparing the annual comprehensive plan update, city officials discovered that Suwanee's population has grown by 11 percent since 2004. The 2005 population estimate is 12,366. Current home building permits will allow the city to grow to about 16,000 people in the next few years.