Planning commission recommends denial on Coolray projects

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Gwinnett planning commission voted Tuesday to recommend denial of zoning amendments to two proposed developments near Coolray Field.

Both developments -- originally proposed as a single property but divided after conflict between property owners -- would bring apartments to the area surrounding the Gwinnett Braves stadium on Ga. Highway 20 near Old Peachtree Road. The most recent amendments proposed, which have been tabled multiple times, would bring more apartment units than originally approved in 2008 as part of a mixed-use development.

Prior to Tuesday's voting, District 4 planning commissioner Clint Dixon called the zoning decisions "the most difficult two cases that I've had in front of me."

The commission followed his suggestion to recommend denial to the Board of Commissioners.

"(These were) very difficult decisions that I've lost sleep over," Dixon said.

The first development discussed Tuesday was an approximately 31-acre lot along Ga. Highway 20. The proposal called to increase building heights on the property from four to five stories, as well as "alter the mix of uses." Some 600 apartment units would have been included.

Lee Tucker, an attorney representing owner Brand Properties LLC, actually requested the commission's denial, saying his client "would like to move forward with the existing condition on the property."

Area resident Paula Hastings, a local activist who was on the planning commission when the original mixed-use proposal was approved, said Brand Properties has agreed to have a meeting with community residents next week.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that they do have a better plan that they would like to share with us," Hastings said.

Hastings and other residents had expressed concern over the "quality" of development if the proposed amendments were approved.

The second proposal denied Tuesday was for a neighboring 19-acre lot, for which owners proposed approximately 212 residential units -- described as "garden apartments" with a willingness to adapt to "flat style" units. The property was originally a part of the land to be developed by Brand Properties, but broke off after the relationship between both sides soured.

Planning commissioner Matt Houser was the lone vote against recommending denial.

"I think the original plan that was agreed upon by the community and the developer, at this time it's the best possible plan to see this project through," Dixon said.

Tuesday's votes merely approved a recommendation for the Board of Commissioners, which is scheduled to take up the matter during its Sept. 25 meeting.


rco1847 2 years, 12 months ago

They would have been more high-density fire traps like we see all over Atlanta and Gwinnett.


Dubbin 2 years, 12 months ago

And once again Ms Hastings is all atwitter over this zoning near HER home when she had no problem putting commercial jets all over Dacula and Lawrenceville because that is somebody ELSE's home. Please go away Ms. Hastings.


teelee 2 years, 12 months ago

How about building a football stadium so we can have our own semi pro football team. We could name them the Gwinnett Falcons.


majtaj 2 years, 12 months ago

Don't laugh, using Fly Gwinnett Forward math, that stadium would generate $500 million in economic growth.


CD 2 years, 12 months ago

It's interesting when it's Gluttonous Heathen vs. Gluttonous Heathen. Some of the folks involved provide absolute proof that swine do indeed eat their own.

If only they can make the taxpayer pay--surely there is a way...


Don 2 years, 12 months ago

So the real question here is what is Brand Morgan up to if he had Lee Tucker request denial of this zoning request? After all this was their request in the first place, somebody must be offering Morgan more money and this is the only way to get out of the contract of sale or lease of the land.


JV 2 years, 12 months ago

What are they up to is right. There sure is a lot bulldozing and earth removal going on over there. Cutting down trees and hilltops. For what?


Dacula2012 2 years, 12 months ago

600 units in such a small area....Did anyone think about the amount of new students for the surrounding schools? How about traffic? Water and sewer usage?

Aside from the immediate over crowding issue, we also have to wonder how many of these units plan to hold section 8 vouchers. Because the single family rental market is doing well, fewer individual landlords(single family) are accepting vouchers. This leaves the apartment complexes to pick up the slack. More and more voucher holders are going to be pushed into apartments as fewer and fewer single family is avail.. In the end we are back to project based style housing. Not sure whether or not the surrounding neighborhoods are ready for this challenge.


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