Mixed-use at stadium gets nod
73 acres to include hotels, office space, residential units

LAWRENCEVILLE - With an economy in recession and the county trying to make up for lost tax revenues, the Board of Commissioners took action on a range of issues Tuesday in hopes of offsetting some of those losses.

For starters, they unanimously approved the 73 acres surrounding the new Gwinnett Braves stadium to be a mixed-use, live-work-play community known as "The Village at Gwinnett Stadium."

Like at the planning commission session last week, no one spoke in opposition against the proposed Brand Properties development, which will consist of two, five-story hotels, 617,000 square feet of office space and numerous residential and commercial units.

In another move by the board that will bring in an estimated $3.5 million in revenue, commissioners unanimously approved amending the county's occupation tax and business regulation ordinance. The move raises the flat fee cost of an occupational tax certificate application that businesses obtain by $10, increases the rate on each class of application by approximately 30 percent and increases the maximum occupation tax from $15,000 to $20,000.

In other business, Gwinnett's ongoing discussion regarding solid waste disposal continued, this time in the form of a proposed, "speculative" waste transfer station being conceptualized less than one-half mile from the intersection of U.S. Highway 29 and Ga. Highway 316 on Alcovy Industrial Boulevard.

At last week's planning commission meeting, commissioners couldn't come to an agreement on the case and the special-use permit request was passed to the Board of Commissioners with no recommendation. Commissioner Bert Nasuti called that action Tuesday unusual.

District 1 Planning Commissioner Mark Gary is seeking the special-use permit. Commissioner Kevin Kenerly refrained from participating in the case because he recently had to put a family member in Gary's Noble Village Senior Living facility.

Nevertheless, after District 3's Mike Beaudreau motioned to deny the request without prejudice citing what he thought was "an incongruent land use," the remaining three commissioners decided to table the case until March 17 so that additional research could be done.

"It's costing us money not to have waste transfer stations in Gwinnett County," Commissioner Shirley Lasseter said. "We have got to have these stations here and they've got to be accessible."

Another waste transfer station proposed nearby on Cedars Road will find its way to the Commissioner's agenda, probably in April.