A developer wants to get 18.42 acres of land at the intersection of Athens Highway and Wellbrook Drive rezoned from commercial uses to a residential mixed use to accommodate a 352-unit apartment complex, according to county documents.
Mason Family Management Company LLC is seeking the rezoning, which is set to get a public hearing before the Gwinnett County Planning Commission Tuesday night. The property, which is in the Loganville area, is currently zoned for a general business district, but county documents list it was “vacant and heavily wooded.”
“The proposed development, as set for in the application, represents a ‘downsizing’ of the property from its current commercial designation, which accommodates large-scale commercial uses,” attorney Shane Lanham wrote in a letter to county officials.
“Rather than develop the property under its current zoning as a large commercial center, the applicant is proposing to create a mixed-use environment by reducing the scale of the potential commercial development and introducing a multi-family residential use to provide a healthier balance of uses on the property and in the surrounding area.”
The Planning Commission’s public hearing on the proposal, where the applicant and opponents each get to speak on the issue, will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, which is located at 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville.
The county’s Planning and Development Department staff has recommended approval with conditions, but as an RM-13 zoning rather than the RM-24 zoning that has been requested.
The difference between the two is the density allowed. One allows 24 units per acre. The other allows 13 units per acre.
“Staff is of the opinion that this request could be consistent with the 2040 Unified Plan’s policies regarding appropriate infill development provided the density is limited to 13 units per acre, keeping with other apartments in the area which are developed with less than 13 units per acre,” county staff wrote in their report and recommendation on the proposal.
Plans call for building 10 three-story apartment buildings, as well as pool, clubhouse, patio area with grilling stations and fire pits, a green space with a dog park and “tot lot.” The complex would have access points on Athens Highway and Wellbrook Drive.
A commercial parcel would be left at the corner of Athens Highway and Wellbrook Drive.
The Planning Commission is only a recommending body. The final decision will be made by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, which will hold its own public hearing on the proposal.