0

BOC postpones vote on Pleasant Hill Village again
Commissioners also approve two rezoning petitions

LAWRENCEVILLE - The proposed $390 million mixed-use development known as Pleasant Hill Village was tabled for a third time Tuesday by the Board of Commissioners.

The vote postponement concerning the live-work-play community to be located just north of Shorty Howell Park on 25 acres comes just two weeks after District 1 Commissioner Lorraine Green voted against tabling the case. Green was absent from the board's afternoon business session and only briefly attended the morning work session.

"She's not here and she asked me to table it for her," District 3's Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said afterwards. Calls to Commissioner Green were not returned, but she sent a message from her BlackBerry writing that she was called out of town by a client on an emergency and that her absence was "very unexpected."

Green owns her own environmental consulting firm.

Tony Greene, the president of Greene Investments and the developer trying to bring life to Pleasant Hill Village, said he was just going to persevere through the waiting period and let due process run its course. The case is scheduled to reappear on the board's agenda Sept. 16.

In other zoning-related business, the board unanimously approved two separate yet related rezonings from single-family residence to office and institutional at the intersection of Collins Hill Road and Russell Road in Lawrenceville. In making his motion, District 4 Commissioner Kevin Kenerly said he wanted to make this rezoning end the feud and the subsequent lawsuits brought against the county regarding this highly contentious intersection.

"I want everybody out here to know that I do care," Kenerly said. "What we're trying to do is to protect you guys (the neighborhoods), but at the same time we have a job to do as commissioners to try and protect everybody's interest who comes up here - landowners and concerned neighborhoods. I'm going to do the best job I can to make the residents in that area happy and at the same time do what I think is right."

Some of the conditions Kenerly laid out include preserving the hardwood trees located on the property, setting a maximum size on the proposed day care facility at 12,500 square feet and installing fencing to fit in with the existing neighborhoods. He also said he'd like to see the least amount of parking spaces developed as possible.

"The buildings need to be residential-type buildings," Kenerly said. "O-I is a long way from commercial and this isn't commercial."

Steve Piefke, who spoke for concerned homeowners and in opposition to the commercial rezoning, said he thought nearby residents could live with the Board's decision.

"It's not exactly what they (developers) wanted and it's not exactly what we were wanting but with the conditions he (Kenerly) put on it, I think it's fair," Piefke said. "He did everything he possibly could in the position he's in to rectify something that's been going on a long time. I think he put in enough conditions to try and protect the community and the neighborhood."

Michael Sullivan, the attorney speaking on behalf of the developer, said his client disagreed with the Board's decision, but would try to work within the specified parameters.

"We still think it's a commercial corner but we understand the sensitivity that the community has about this piece of property," Sullivan said. "But we're certainly going to take a look at this and try to make it work."