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Lilburn tables annexation

LILBURN -- About 50 city residents showed up Monday night to protest a controversial annexation and rezoning in their neighborhood near Lawrenceville Highway.

In response, the Lilburn City Council decided to table the application until the February meeting.

The applicant also requested a special-use permit to build a small retail center, including a gasoline station, at 5712 Lawrenceville Highway. The rezoning request called for a change from Office/Institutional (O-I) to General Business District (C-2) for two parcels on 4.25 acres.

However, many residents spoke against the proposal, saying it would add to the already congested traffic problems.

"Traffic's unbearable now ... this is not a good idea," resident Jim Baker said. "We're going to have traffic problems that aren't going to be very good." He added that he couldn't see why the council would approve the measure without knowing exactly what was going to be built there.

Another resident, Lisa French, said she wanted to see existing property owners in the area receive development help.

The applicant said he thought it was "the highest and best use of the property."

The issue will be taken up at the next meeting so Council members will have time to examine input from the residents.

In other business, the Council:

* Approved Johnny Crist as mayor pro-tem and the Gwinnett Daily Post as the city's legal organ for another year. Other board appointments also were made for the current calendar year, including the Merit Board.

* Honored Lilburn Sgt. Jeremy Hicks and Officer Carly Davis for their quick action in foiling a recent armed robbery at the Burger King on Lawrenceville Highway. The officers captured and arrested two suspects following a response time of 40 seconds, according to a certificate of recognition presented by Mayor Diana Preston.

* Tabled an amendment to the Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance which replaces the words, "grocery products" with "general merchandise."

* Recognized Thor Johnson, who has served as president of the Lilburn Business Association since 2005.

* Presented certificates of recognition to volunteers and planning committee members of the Lilburn Christmas Parade.

Council members Tim Dunn and Eddie Price also were sworn in for another term.