Gwinnett approves controversial development — with a few tweaks

Gwinnett officials gave final approval Tuesday to a controversial proposal to build a retirement community near a busy intersection — but made a few tweaks first.

The project would be built on 56 acres just east of the Lawrenceville- and Snellville-area intersection of Webb Gin House Road and Scenic Highway. ASC Acquisitions LLC originally proposed to build more than 400 senior-oriented units, as well as more than 77,000 square feet of potential office and retail space.

MORE: Where did Webb Gin House Road get its name? 

Groups of neighbors took issue with the development, and specifically the possible office and retail uses, at previous meetings. The new conditions imposed on the developer Tuesday afternoon prior to the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners’ vote on the project reflected some of those concerns.

“I think you’ll find that nobody is completely happy with all of these conditions, but I think that it’s middle ground and something that everybody can live with,” District 4 Commission John Heard, who represents the area, said.

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Among other conditions, Heard inserted language that restricts uses like copy shops, hair salons and tutoring centers from being a part of the development. “Non-office” uses were also restricted to 12,000 square feet total.

Heard’s tweaks also included limiting buildings nearest the street to four stories and building in the rear of the property to three stories.

The site is the same one where another controversial development was proposed in in 2016.

That year, another developer proposed building hundreds of residences, including 300 apartments. That proposal was eventually voted down by the Board of Commissioners.

The 56-acre site near Webb Gin House Road and Scenic Highway where a new "mixed-use" senior living community is proposed. (Credit: Gwinnett County planning documents)

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