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Dacula council votes to annex land

DACULA - City council members voted to annex 55.45 acres into the city limits Thursday, thereby "firming up" the city's boundaries, according to City Administrator Jim Osborne.

The former Gwinnett County property, which is located on Stanley Road, belongs to family members of mayor Jimmy Wilbanks. The mayor recused himself from Thursday's proceedings.

The 55-plus-acre parcel completes a 90-acre tract, 35 acres of which already lies within Dacula city limits. The property was immediately zoned R-1200 (low density single family residential) by city officials upon annexation.

City attorney Dennis Still pointed out Thursday that annexation proceedings were initiated by the city and not by the property owners.

"We've been working on this case for more than 12 months," Osborne said.

The annexation was disputed by Gwinnett County and went into arbitration, and the panel ruled in favor of the city.

City council will serve as Redevelopment Agency

The Dacula city council will serve as the city's Redevelopment Agency, following adoption of a resolution Thursday stating as much.

In 2007, voters passed a redevelopment law that enables officials to designate Tax Allocation Districts within the city limits.

While there are currently no proposed districts in the city, Wilbanks said that "the potential is there." Establishing city council as the Redevelopment Agency is just a first step in what will be a more involved process once redevelopment projects are identified, according to Still.