Next step taken in city quest

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

NORCROSS — The governor’s signature is the next step in a process to create Gwinnett’s newest city.

The Georgia Senate gave approval Thursday to the bill that would incorporate Peachtree Corners. With the House already giving a nod, the bill now goes to Gov. Nathan Deal before a referendum can be called on the issue.

“We’re holding off on celebrating,” said the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association’s Mike Mason, noting that the U.S. Department of Justice would have to give approval as well. “We are excited and at the same time humbled by the process. ... We have a lot of determined people here.”

Mason said a group of area homeowners burst into applause Thursday night, when he shared the news.

“Their applause was so heartening,” he said. “It confirms the time has come.”

Local supporters are pushing for a “city light” government, with taxes limited to 1 mill (about $120 a year for a $300,000 house) and services limited to solid waste, planning and development and code enforcement.

If the bill moves forward, local residents will have the final say on cityhood during a referendum in November.

In the northwestern corner of Gwinnett north of Norcross and west of Berkeley Lake, Peachtree Corners could become the largest city in Gwinnett with a population of more than 30,000.