Planners vote to scale back controversial ‘rural Gwinnett’ subdivision

Gwinnett’s planning commission did not shoot the proposal down altogether, like some neighbors would’ve liked — but it did recommend drastically scaling back the large and controversial subdivision proposed for one of the county’s few remaining “rural” areas.

A group called June Ivey Development LLC originally proposed building more than 350 homes on about 160 wooded acres near June Ivey and Indian Shoals road, a largely undeveloped part of eastern Gwinnett. Doing so would require the property be rezoned from its current designation.

Read more in-depth coverage of the proposed development and the backlash here.

The planning commission held a public hearing on the proposed development during its March meeting and was greeted by dozens of neighbors protesting the project, arguing that it would spoil the rural character of their community in the far eastern corner of Gwinnett.

There was no public hearing during Tuesday night’s meeting, though a large crowd of red-clad protesters was present.

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Chuck Warbington, who is both the planning commission chairman and the representative for the property in question, did not mince words before making his recommendations.

“The motion I’m going to make tonight is not going to make either side happy,” he said. “ ... What I hope this does is, I think we’re going to be able to make something that the community can support.”

The county’s planning department had recommended denial of the proposal but offered a set of possible conditions to be imposed upon the developer should the planning commission decide its own recommendation would be to approve. 

Those recommendations included cutting the number of homes on the site to 320, with minimum lot widths of 80 feet. Warbington went one step further, setting minimum lot widths at 100 feet.

He said that would lead to “significantly less” than even the reduced number of homes the planning department suggested.

A condition was also put in place that no homes could be within 1,000 feet of Indian Shoals Road and that all amenities for the subdivision — pool, playground, etc. — should be contained on the interior of the development.

Warbington also asked that 30 acres of adjacent property in Walton County, which is owned by the same developer, be preserved as greenspace.

“I’m going to implore you to work with the developer as this moves forward to the next level,” Warbington said to the area residents at Tuesday’s meeting.

The development’s proposed rezoning will still require final approval from the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. A date for the Board of Commissioners’ consideration has not yet been set. 

In other Gwinnett news: 

The storm damaged dozens of homes.

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