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Dacula City Council Passes Revised Mixed-Use Development Ordinance

Revised ordinance will pave the way for the potential annexation and development of a 157-acre tract near Highway 316.

The City of Dacula now has a planned mixed-use development (PMUD) ordinance that officials feel will give the city flexibility and control to deal with current real estate market conditions.

On March 1, the Dacula City Council voted to approve revisions to the city’s PMUD that could potentially pave the way for bordered by Highway 29 and Highway 316.

The . The ordinance requires that 25 percent of any development be set aside for open space. Of the remaining property, a maximum of 40 percent could be developed as residential.

“We think it’s a good plan,” said Joey Murphy, Director of Planning and Development for the City of Dacula. “It has the flexibility desired, but the control that’s needed by the city.”

The revisions are the results of months of discussions between the City of Dacula and representatives from Walton Investing, Mill Creek Consulting and Rochester Engineering. In December of 2011,  in order to facilitate the development of the 157-acre tract owned by Walton Investing. The property is currently outside the city limits, but the investment group believes annexing the property into Dacula would be advantageous due to the city’s ability to deal with zoning issues more quickly than Gwinnett County.

Last month, featuring a convention center, town green, hotels, offices and apartments. According to Murphy, a maximum of 39 of the 157 acres owned by the investment group could be developed as apartments under the revised ordinance. The revisions also include architectural controls and square footage requirements that would limit the maximum number of apartments on the 157-acre property to 616.

Murphy reiterated that approval of the revisions did not mean the concept plan would be approved, only that such a development would be possible under the revised ordinance. Murphy also pointed out the investment group’s concept plan does match the city’s 2008 comprehensive plan.

“I do think that if something of this caliber happened here, it would be a true asset to the city,” he said.

Mitch Peevy represented Walton Investing during the public hearing that preceded the vote. Peevy described the project as a “class A development.”

“You’ve got 316, you’ve got 29 Highway, you’ll have the Sugarloaf extension -- if not here, where?” he said.

Peevy added Walton Investing has owned the property for about a year and has the ability to weather any kind of economic storm.

“We’ll be here for the long term,” he said.

No citizens spoke in opposition to the revisions, but said he received a total of two emails from citizens against allowing apartments.

The revised ordinance passed 3-0 with council members , and voting in favor. Councilman was absent, but expressed his support for the measure according to Mayor Wilbanks.

In other business, the Dacula City Council:

  • approved the . The new contract will result in cost savings of $11,000 per year.
  • approved the expenditure of up to $7,500 to construct . The project is expected to cost $5,500.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew March 02, 2012 at 06:57 AM
"Peevy added Walton Investing has owned the property for about a year and has the ability to weather any kind of economic storm." WOW that's really pretty brazen position at this point, a statement oft repeated just before one can't, unless they're a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
Jethro March 02, 2012 at 12:17 PM
What a bunch of liars! It's just about what money you can grab now. Dacula has gone to the dogs because of greedy decisions like this.
Gary Fox March 02, 2012 at 12:41 PM
In this "E" world we all live in, somehow I thought (hoped) our city gov't would see/hear the opposition to apts that showed up here on Patch - guess they don't read Patch huh?
M. Davis March 02, 2012 at 01:36 PM
This issue was settled long before the public heard about it or the vote was taken. The "powers that be" do not care about the quality of living... only money. Shame on them for this vote of approval. M. Davis
Scott March 02, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Have tried several times to register on the Dacula.gov website so I could voice my opposition to this.....no luck there. So I voiced it on "Patch". Agree with Gary....they don't read it. One of the main reasons I moved here was ZERO apartments.
Jimmy Wilbanks March 02, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Interesting comment about trying to register for the City web site. Question for Scott, did you provide the required information on the registration page? I review registration requests every day. If the information is incomplete, obviously incorrect or unverifiable, the registration is rejected. If all is correct, the user is verified and registered on the site. We currently have users from 16 states and several foreign countries, though I don't understand what they can bring to the local discussion table. Today I rejected several applicants because the information was incomplete. Most of these were from foreign countries. If you have comments and cannot (or will not) register on the site, my email address and telephone numbers are prominently displayed in the site. You don't have to be registered to see all the information on the City's site. I'm in the Mayor's office some part of each day including the weekends. A call for an appointment is not required but would be appreciated.
M. Davis March 02, 2012 at 03:24 PM
A comment on the approval vote would be nice Mr. Mayor. M. Davis
Scott March 02, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Just another obvious point that the City has no clear vision for the future and will do anything it takes to avoid methodical growth and suitable lifestyle for a sustainable future. Why in this world would it suddenly be acceptable to allow apartment housing and to consider it even more acceptable to adjust from 8 living units to 13 units in the given space. Our current infrastructure can't handle the current residents of Dacula, how does City Hall expect the town to absorb an influx such as this without proper planning?
CH March 02, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Very disappointed to know that apartments will be coming to this area. Traffic is already so bad in the Hwy 29, Harbins Rd, 316 section of Dacula. How in the world can we handle more traffic there? There is not even a left turn signal onto Harbins Road coming from Winder on Hwy 29. Come on leaders! One of the reasons that my family moved to Dacula thirteen years ago was the fact that we loved that there were no apartments!
Tim Sullivan March 02, 2012 at 07:33 PM
People, People here is the reason it happened "No citizens spoke in opposition to the revisions, but Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks said he received a total of two emails from citizens against allowing apartments." Getting involved means going to regular city meetings, the "Patch" is a nice place to complain, but it is not the place to interact with city, or county for that matter, government. You must, call, e-mail and show up and speak out against the changes you do not agree with. It is working for me & my neighbors on hamilton Mill rd. Tim Sullivan Hamiltom Mill Rd Home Owners Coalition
Ray Stanjevich March 02, 2012 at 09:18 PM
I agree with Tim 100%. If you expect your opposition to be registered, then you'd better get involved and go to the meetings. The last time I didn't like what was going on in my neighborhood I went to the meeting and was heard. My thinking is that people were not really that opposed to the development, otherwise it would have turned out different.
Scott March 02, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Or maybe most of us live outside the city limits that are having issues with this. Since I'm just outside the city limits so nothing can be done other than try to get others involved that are inside the city limits. But you're right...either they don't have a problem with it or just don't KNOW. Honestly, if people aren't actively looking for this kind of information how will they know what's going on? People need to take a more active role in learning about what's going on in their own backyard. Because it's clearly not going to be put on a big flashing sign saying "Listen up! A big development is going in here with a bunch of apartment buildings and businesses that will more than likely sit empty for years on end...and not to mention it's right in the flight path of the airport that the County Government is trying to dish off on to a private company to allow expansion in the future." Yeah, I don't see the City taking any initiative to "SPIN" development that way.

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