Lilburn gives nod to annexation, rezoning

LILBURN -- Despite the appearance of an overflow crowd of about 100 residents, many wearing red shirts, the Lilburn City Council by a vote of 3 to 1 gave the go-ahead for a controversial annexation and rezoning on Lawrenceville Highway that will allow a retail business center.

The motion was passed here Monday night before any public comment could be made after the council tabled the issue from the last meeting.

"We are aware of your position, and we've given this considerable thought," Councilman Tim Dunn told the opponents of the property rezoning at 5712 Lawrenceville Highway. "This intersection will be typical along Highway 29." Dunn said the council had received a petition and many e-mails from area residents.

The original request was for the 4.25 acres to be rezoned from office/institutional to general business district, but the council and planning staff reexamined the application, and agreed to change the final rezoning from C-2 to C-1.

According to Doug Stacks, director of city planning and economic development, C-1 allows 27 less uses than C-2. Convenience stores with gasoline pumps are allowed under C-1, but only if the council issues the applicant a special-use permit.

Special conditions for the rezoning prohibit business owners from shining lights on the neighborhood residents, and stringing banners and signs unless granted permission.

Protesting residents had complained the new rezoning would increase noise pollution and property crime. There are about 200 homes with 1,000 people living in the area, according to resident Jim Davis.

"I think you might want to rewrite your land use plan," one resident told the Council during the public comment time after the vote.

"We think that it's in the best interest of Lilburn for us to control this area," Dunn said.

In other business, the Council:

* Accepted an award of $31,320 from the State Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to pay for the city's Auto Theft Detection and Reduction Program and the LIVESCAN Fingerprint Program.

* Approved the request of the Lilburn Girl Scout Day Camp to use the City Park and Auditorium for Day Camp June 7-11 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.