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Dinosaurs to be removed from Gwinnett shopping center

By mid-March, the dinosaurs and other distinctive decor at the Paragon shopping center on Satellite Boulevard will be moved off the property. A replica Eiffel Tower will remain.

Code enforcement officials cited the property owner for putting the decorations up without permission. On Tuesday, Gwinnett County commissioners voted to require that most of the pieces be removed.

The dinosaurs and 30 or so other pieces were sold in anticipation of Tuesday’s vote, attorney Marian Adeimy said. Adeimy, who represents Paragon’s owners, said the decorations were originally part of a light display for one of the area’s Asian American associations. They had been at the shopping center for about six months.

“The elements just started to get to them,” she said.

Shopping center owner Lisa Reeves had originally requested a special permit to keep the dinosaurs and other carnival-like decorations in place at the castle-like center. But neighbors complained that they were deteriorating, and Gwinnett County’s planning department said the dinosaurs and other “displays of bright colors” could be considered “visual blight” that would negatively affect neighboring properties.

County planning commissioners, however, said they appreciated the Eiffel Tower. Visitors to Paragon can sometimes be seen taking pictures in front of it. Adeimy called it a “neat feature” on the property.

The Eiffel Tower, with static white lights, was granted a special permit to remain in place for one year.