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Sugar Hill presents plans for City Hall at council meeting

SUGAR HILL — After eight years of planning, motorists on Sugar Hill’s West Broad Street can’t miss signs of downtown development.

Earth-moving machines are parked at roadside, where grading and excavation for an amenity pond and amphitheater, and later a city hall and adjoining parking deck, are scheduled to begin next week. All are part of the city’s $14 million planned street scape featuring wide sidewalks, period street lamps, shops and restaurants, the envisioned half-mile of West Broad between Peachtree Industrial and Ga. Highway 20.

City Manager Bob Hail announced at the City Council’s meeting Monday night that 15 recognizable construction companies attended Wednesday’s due diligence meeting, the city’s requirement before any submit sealed proposals to build the $8.5 million city hall, whose placement already is staked at the northeast corner of West Broad Street and Temple Drive.

Hail said Gwinnett’s fourth-largest city is accepting proposals through Sept. 27, and following background checks and reviews, expects to select a construction company in October.

The council also Monday revealed some specifics of its turn-of-the-century-style hall expected to be started in the spring. Highly visible from four directions, the three-story, 30,000-square-foot hall will feature a copper-colored metal roof, clocks on all four sides of a cupola above and an exterior staircase from the rear basement level. From a grand staircase in the main lobby, council chambers and the city manager and city clerk offices will be on the second floor, with service departments on the first.

“We’ve been very interested in a classical, traditional look,” Councilman Mike Sullivan said. “There are a lot of unique aspects that really fit this city. I’m very proud of what we’ve put together.”

Added Councilman Marc Cohen: “We’ve come up with a top-notch city hall that’s going to set us apart from other cities in the area.”

Separately, the council approved modifications to Section 904 of its zoning ordinances, removing age limitations on newly installed mobile homes. Previously, the city had prohibited residences more than 10 years old from being installed, but recently passed Georgia Senate Bill 384 prohibits municipalities from disallowing manufactured residences because of age.

Hail estimated Sugar Hill has 90 mobile homes clustered in primarily three communities. Though the age of any more can’t be limited, the city still will require them to be installed on permanent foundations with proper connections to utilities. They also must be installed by state-licensed contractors and initially inspected by the city.