Sugar Hill approves permit

SUGAR HILL — Sugar Hill, a city as concerned as Gwinnett’s most progressive with its appearance, showed continuing flexibility to its planning and development ordinances Monday.

As it did in recently allowing variances to architectural design standards and sign regulations for construction of a new McDonald’s, Sugar Hill’s City Council at its monthly meeting allowed a homeowner a special-use permit to locate a metal storage shed next to his residence at 4901 Sugar Creek Drive, at the corner of Level Creek Road. Following the Planning and Development department’s recommendation of conditional approval, the council required that resident Jonathan Philbrick situate the 160-square-foot structure as far to the rear of the house as possible.

While the council reduced the setback requirement from Level Creek, it required the structure to be painted to match the house and largely screened by shrubs.

The council also:

• After considerable discussion ultimately tabled until next month’s meeting a developer’s request to rezone approximately 13 acres along Ga. Highway 20 at the Chattahoochee River near the Forsyth County line from office institutional to single-family residential for creation of 22 lots in a 50-acre subdivision.

A representative of the developer estimated needing 18 months to build the single-family residences, but was uncertain when building would begin. Council members expressed concern about the subdivision’s access to the southern side of Ga. 20, whose widening by the state Department of Transportation isn’t scheduled to begin until 2015. The council chose to table the request to allow more time to consider involvement of 21 acres of adjoining green space.

• Denied restaurant owner Aida Romero’s request to put a pool table at his restaurant, Dos Sabores Unidos at the corner at Ga. Highway 20 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

• Announced the Georgia Force arena football team as its newest major lessee at the city’s Gary Pirkle Park. Following the lead of the semiprofessional Gwinnett Jets, which played games on the Park’s synthetic turf field, the Force has committed to practice there.

The team will host its final position tryout Saturday for this season. Tryouts, which include sprints and drills, cost $70 in advance or $80 that day.