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Suwanee reworks zoning ordinance

SUWANEE - City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to amend the city's zoning ordinance regarding residential district development and use regulations.

The result of this action allows the city to regulate the scope and scale of certain uses in residential zoning districts.

City residents turned out in record numbers Tuesday to voice their opinions about the proposed amendment. Former Suwanee mayor Richard Trice supported the amendment on behalf of many of his Suwanee Farms area neighbors, saying that all residents' needs should be considered when special uses of residential properties is at issue.

Other residents admonished council members to OK the amendment, thereby creating legislative tools that give city officials the ability to consider each special use on its own merits.

Much of the interest in the amendment was generated by an ongoing issue with Notre Dame Academy and 36.5 acres located in Settles Bridge Farms. Notre Dame Academy has plans to build a Catholic school on the 36.5 acres and has a pending contract with Settles Bridge Farms to buy the land at the corner of Moore Road and Settles Bridge Road.

Matt Reeves, representing Notre Dame, said that the city of Suwanee has placed undue delay, expense and uncertainty on the school. Reeves also mentioned "constitutional objections" to what he called the city's delay tactics regarding the matter.

According to city attorney Gregory Jay, "the court sought to prevent the city from acting on certain items (Tuesday)," but the Supreme Court late Tuesday issued a decision that allowed Suwanee officials to make their own decision regarding the zoning amendment.