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Dacula leaders approve annexation for mixed use project

DACULA -- City Council members voted Thursday to approve the annexation and rezoning of 156.83 acres, located adjacent to the southeast quadrant of the intersection of Winder Highway and Ga. Highway 316. The proposed use for the land is a planned mixed use development.

The supplied concept plan proposes 2.5-million-square-foot of non-residential use, 500 hotel rooms, a 35,000-square-foot conference center and 613 attached residential units. The Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Regional Transportation Authority have both signed off on the proposed project, and Thursday's vote was the developer's last hurdle to overcome before commencing construction.

Dacula City Attorney Dennis Still stated Thursday that the vote was the culmination of 15 months of planning, negotiating and review.

"This has to be the most protracted project I have ever been involved with," Still said. Gwinnett County opposed the land annexation from the start, and months of work went in to setting forth almost 160 conditions on the development.

Officials grant go-ahead for CDBG application

Council members also voted Thursday to give city administrator Jim Osborn and mayor Jimmy Wilbanks their approval to apply for Community Development Block Grants for three proposed improvements to Dacula roads. Funds could be applied to the widening of the Tanner Road curve near Harbins Road, Eastside Drive from Tanner Road to 478 Eastside Drive, and/or improvements to the road in the back of Whisper Woods subdivision.

There are other roads in the city in need of improvement, but Osborn stated Thursday that the widening of Tanner Road is a critical safety issue.