Sugar Hill approves mixed-use development on Commerce Pkwy.

SUGAR HILL - Commerce is growing along Peachtree Industrial Blvd.

The City Council voted in Monday's meeting to rezone 45.45 acres just north of Commerce Parkway from light industrial to general business. The move clears the way for development of a planned mixed-use project with about 249,000 square feet of retail space and out parcels and about 96,000 square feet of office space.

A special condition allows proposed buildings to rise as high as four stories tall.

Sugar Hill to explore hiring city marshals

Before long, Sugar Hill's residents might be protected by city marshals in addition to regular Gwinnett County police patrols. City Councilmen voted on Monday to explore the costs involved with hiring an undetermined number of city marshals.

Sugar Hill has paid the Gwinnett County Police Department for additional patrols for about six years, Mayor Gary Pirkle said. The cost started at $25 per hour per police officer, then rose to $35 per hour in 2005, Pirkle said. City officials recently got a notice that those costs will soon rise to $45 per hour and that the city will have less control over the scheduling of those officers.

Sugar Hill pays for 80 hours per week in additional patrols.

Residents don't want to open a city police department, according to voter results in a nonbinding November referendum.

"We don't have a high crime rate," Pirkle said.

The answer might lie in hiring a staff of city marshals comprised of certified police officers. The marshals would be paid from a one-cent sales tax fund marked for public safety, City Manager Bob Hail said.

Buford has a similar city marshal program.

In other business in Monday's City Council meeting, councilmen voted to:

' Annex and rezone 1.9 acres at 6135 Ga. Highway 20. A single-family home stands on the property. The owner, Catherine Sudderth, said she plans to make no changes to the property.

' An amendment to the city ordinance restricts residents to four yard sales per year per address. Each sale may not extend beyond 72 hours. There are no longer any fees for yard sales.