Gwinnett Village CID board passes redevelopment plan

NORCROSS - Gwinnett Village leaders have adopted a plan they hope will fast-track redevelopment in the area.

"People want to see good things happen here," said John McHenry, program director for the Community Improvement District. "They want to see positive things happen in their community."

The initial redevelopment plan is broad, director Chuck Warbington said, but identifies what should happen in the Village along the Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Interstate 85 corridors.

Over the coming months, four committees will meet to create details about incentives, transportation, marketing and architectural guidelines that will become a document available to developers who want to build in the area.

That should be ready by the end of the year, Warbington said. He hopes to have the plan before the county's Board of Commissioners next spring. In between, the district will hold a series of public meetings to ensure the plan reflects business owners' and residents' wishes.

Keith Shewbert, a Norcross city councilman and member of the CID's board, said there's a lot of excitement in Norcross about the plan. Warbington described it as an overlay district on steroids. It will deal with architectural standards - things like what a building is made of and the distance between trees - and will also define whether a developer can build houses, offices, stores or some combination on the land.

Once the plan is finished, developers who choose to follow it will be able to bypass planning board meetings and county commission approval and simply head straight for the permitting process.

Warbington said that process takes the risk out of developing land and saves developers time and money. They will also get increased density or parking bonuses for doing things like adding green space or making road improvements.

The Gwinnett Place CID is in the initial stages of creating a similar document. Executive director Joe Allen said he expects that document to be completed by March 31.