Suwanee annexes 270-acre island along Smithtown Road

SUWANEE - A 270-acre island of Gwinnett County along Smithtown Road is now part of Suwanee.

City Council members voted unanimously to annex the island that holds Gwinnett County Baptist Church, Suwanee Tree Farm, part of the Suwanee Elementary School campus and 1,053 residents, including those of Avonlea and Morningside subdivisions.

The former island stands on Smithtown Road, a busy, curvy, two-lane road that connects with Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Satellite Boulevard. The formation of an island is a common phenomenon in growing metropolitan areas in which a city like Suwanee annexes around a patch of county land until it is surrounded on all sides by the city.

Although the property lies inside the city limits, it is not patrolled by Suwanee police officers, unless they are driving through to get from one location to another, or assisting Gwinnett County officers.

Georgia law allows cities to annex unincorporated islands inside their city limits, with or without residents' approval. The acreage became an island in the early 1990s and has aggravated city officials ever since.

"We get calls for sewer problems, drainage, police, and we have to determine if they are in the city or the county," said Marty Allen, planning and community development director.

No one spoke against the annexation about which residents had mixed opinions when the proposal was first announced in March.

Collins Hill High School Girls Basketball day

Today is Collins Hill High School Girls Basketball team day in Suwanee. Tuesday, City Council members presented head coach Tracy Tipton with a commemorative plaque for the team that was ranked No. 2 in the nation by Sports Illustrated and USA Today.