Peachtree Corners group hears township proposal

NORCROSS - One of Gwinnett's most organized communities got a lesson last week in how members could combine to form a government.

During a meeting of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association, legislators talked about a proposal to create townships, small-scale governments that give residents more local control on zonings and other issues.

The proposal, which has not been approved by the General Assembly and has to be approved by voters statewide as a constitutional amendment, allows for up to a half-mill to be imposed in taxes.

One member told residents at the meeting that a half-mill would equate to $500 on a $500,000 house. In the southwest Gwinnett community, homes range from $200,000 to $1 million, said UPCCA President Pat Bruschini.

She said the idea has intrigued some residents, who considered cityhood in the past but rejected the idea because they were satisfied with county services.

"It's a compromise from a volunteer organization to a cityhood," Bruschini said. "UPCCA would be more fluff. It wouldn't have to deal with the nitty-gritty of keeping our quality of life high."

About 60 people came to Monday's session, but Bruschini said a lot of questions remain unanswered and she wasn't sure how the community felt about the idea.

"When you talk about raising taxes, people will come out in droves," she said.

This week, the UPCCA board will meet, and Bruschini said the township idea is likely to be brought up for discussion.

While a vote hasn't been scheduled, she said the topic would likely come up again during the planned Nov. 12 annual business meeting open to all members.

During last week's session, members also heard from Chuck Warbington of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District.

While members are homeowners and not business owners, who compose CIDs, Bruschini said the group was on "a fact-finding mission."

"It's gotten more and more difficult" to collect money from businesses for the Peachtree Parkway Improvement Project, which includes mowing and litter pickup, she said.