Berkeley Lake approves looking into annexing watershed properties

BERKELEY LAKE — City Council members gave Mayor Lois Salter the go-ahead Thursday to explore the possibility of annexing as much watershed properties into the city as possible.

According to Salter, “there’s an area along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard that’s always been of interest to us.”

If Berkeley Lake had that property (the stretch of land that has negatively impacted Berkeley Lake homeowner Chris Holben’s property), the city could better manage and control it.

Since 2006, Holben and his wife have battled Gwinnett County’s planning department. First, he asked officials not to allow G.P. Enterprises to dump 22 dumptruck loads of dirt on this property, which abuts his land and private pond. When Gwinnett failed to stop the action, Holben asked the county to force the G.P. Enterprises to stabilize the massive pile of dirt.

That has not happened, either.

To date the matter has not been resolved, even with EPD involvement, and the Holbens have spent nearly $40,000 trying to keep the unstable dirt out of their pond.

Salter and council members feel that their best shot at mitigating the costly problem is to manage the watershed area should it be annexed.

July start date for dam repairs in question

Salter informed council members Thursday that the targeted July start date for repairs to the Lake Berkeley dam may have to be delayed.

Georgia Safe Dams must approve the plans for the repairs before work commences, and that approval process is a lengthy one, said the mayor.

The plans may be approved well before July, but Salter wanted council members to be aware of the possibility of a delay.