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Sugar Hill votes to move forward on annexations

SUGAR HILL - The owners of 35 Gwinnett County properties could find themselves residents of Sugar Hill, courtesy of their legislators.

Sugar Hill City Councilmen voted 3-2 to move forward with the legislative annexations of properties near Ga. Highway 20. Sugar Hill's Future Land Use Map designates the area as potential commercial.

The move is intended to clean up Sugar Hill's ragged boundaries. State law allows cities to forcibly annex land islands, which are patches of county surrounded on all four sides by city. In this case, most of the unincorporated county properties in question are not completely surrounded by Sugar Hill's city limits, hence the reason for a legislative annexation.

City officials will send to Georgia's legislators a request to annex those properties. Legislators will either approve the request as is, approve it with their own modifications or deny it.

Originally, the proposed annexation involved 274 properties. Sugar Hill officials agreed to drop from the proposal any owner who was opposed to being annexed into the city, as long as that move did not create another land island. To accommodate those disapproving landowners who would have become islands, the surrounding properties were also dropped from the proposed map in order to give that property owner a physical link to the city. More than 30 additional properties were cut for that purpose, according to Mayor Gary Pirkle.