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Dacula rezones 14 acres for retail

DACULA - By unanimous vote, Dacula City Council members Thursday rezoned 14.757 acres from residential to commercial use.

The two parcels of land (one 13.014 acres and one 1.743 acres) are located across from Hebron Baptist Church on Dacula Road and will be developed for commercial/retail use.

The city Planning Commission and staff recommended rezoning of the two properties, with conditions. After discussion among council members and City Manager Jim Osborne, 17 conditions were placed on the rezoning. The conditions addressed issues such as landscape screening and buffers, signage, street and parking lot lighting, a traffic study and grading and visibility along Dacula Road.

Applicant Timothy Connolly of Connolly Realty Services Inc. declined to comment on the exact types of businesses that will inhabit the new development, but said that the use will definitely be commercial/retail.

"We're still in the early stages of planning," Connolly said.

Man intends

to build liquor store

Hiren Patel, a Gwinnett County resident, is laying the groundwork to build a liquor store in the city of Dacula. Patel has gotten approval from city officials to set up a table at 425 McMillan Road in Dacula (Maple Creek) on three dates so residents can sign a petition to show support for his plans.

Residents can go to the pavilion at Maple Creek on May 3, May 10 and May 12 (hours to be announced later) to sign the petition. Once signatures have been collected, an independent firm will verify the signatures. Patel expects to be able to present the petition and his plans to Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks and council members in November.

"This will be a good thing for the people in Dacula. Right now, the closest places for people to buy liquor are Suwanee or Winder. And Lilburn is just too far away," said Patel.

City signs

franchise agreement

Council members gave a thumbs up to a newly negotiated franchise agreement with Georgia Power. The old agreement, negotiated in 1975 and expires in 2010, specified that cities were responsible for the relocation power poles as a result of road-widening projects or other such improvements.

Under the new agreement, Georgia Power pays for relocating power poles following road improvement projects. Following streetscaping projects, however, the city will pay for relocating costs. The council voted unanimously to enter into the new agreement with Georgia Power.