A developer is seeking permission to build a high-density development with apartments and townhomes across Sugarloaf Parkway from the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds.

Planners and Engineers Collaborative is seeking rezoning to allow for the construction of 276 apartments and 69 townhomes on a combined 35.53 acres of property on the 2400 block of Sugarloaf Parkway. The site is currently zoned for R-100 single-family residential development, but Planners and Engineer Collaborative wants it rezoned RM-13 for the apartments portion of the site and R-TH for the townhome portion.

“Under the R-100 zoning, the property is not economically feasible, due to a large portion of the site containing the existing power easement and the amount of existing floodplain estimated to be a little under (eight) acres,” Planning and Engineers Collaborative President Kenneth Wood said in a letter to county officials. “In addition, the amount of existing stream buffers and substantial topographical relief around the streams limit the areas to be developed on site.”

The Gwinnett County Planning Commission is scheduled to take up the proposal, and hold a public hearing on it, at its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, which is located at 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville.

The developer may face an uphill struggle to get permission to build the development, however.

County staff have recommended denial of the proposal because it would be in the middle of an area populated by single-family residential communities.

“Based on the existing residential patterns, the proposed developments may not be appropriate for this location,” staff wrote in their report on the proposal. “While townhomes have a lower development density than apartments and currently exist closer to the Scenic Highway/Sugarloaf Parkway intersection, the proposed location is incompatible with the adjacent low-density residential uses.

“Furthermore, the Unified Plan policies do not support the level of density or housing pattern requested.”

Wood said in his letter to the county that the townhomes would include front and rear loaded structures. The apartments would include a clubhouse, a leasing office and 414 parking spaces at a ratio of 1.5 parking spaces per apartment unit. The apartments would include a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom units.

Pocket parks, multiple courtyards and an amenity area are expected to be part of the development.

The Planning Commission is a recommending body and the final decision on whether to allow the development to be build will be made by the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners after it holds its own public hearing at a later date.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta. I eventually wandered away from home and attended the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, Miss., where I first tried my hand at majoring in film for a couple of years. And then political sc