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Berkeley Lake holds first council meeting in new building

BERKELEY LAKE -The impressive result of years of planning, consulting and garnering resident input was evident Thursday night, when the city's first council meeting was held in the new city hall building in Berkeley Lake.

Barbara Carroll, a city resident who headed up the committee overseeing the project, said Thursday that "I feel a great sense of joy and satisfaction" now that the building in complete and be ing used for city business.

There are still a few minor issues that need to be addressed, including exterior lighting, but comments from council members, residents and even passers-by have been complimentary. The eco-friendly building is situated practically in the heart of the conservation-conscious community. Generous windows take advantage of a view of trees and even Lake Berkeley. The building is accessible and open in both aesthetics and practicality.

The playground, which will be located on the same site, is not yet complete. According to Carroll, design engineers are still working on placement of the equipment and landscape design. As of Thursday, a completion date is still uncertain.

The September meeting of the Gwinnett Municipal Association will be held in Berkeley Lake, and city leaders throughout the county will get their first up-close look at the new building.

City mulling accessory housing possibilities

Council members discussed Thursday possible options for allowing accessory housing options within city limits. According to mayor Lois Salter, many people who have lived in Berkeley Lake for years do not want to leave the city when age might necessitate leaving. Often, aging residents are not able to maintain their homes and feel unsafe living alone.

Deputy city administrator Leigh Threadgill, at the direction of city council, has been researching other cities' solutions to this problem. Some cities allow separate structures to be built on a homesite; others allow residents to rent a portion of their home to a caregiver. Any such scenario requires a change to Berkeley Lake's ordinances.

City council members are currently exploring options and have not committed to making any changes to city laws to accommodate accessory housing options.