But under an amendment approved Tuesday, there would be no height limit for buildings in the district, bounded by Pleasant Hill Road to the east, I-85 to the south, Steve Reynolds Boulevard to the west and Satellite Boulevard to the north.
“We’re just sending the message that we’ll let the market determine what the building height limitations need to be there,” said Commissioner Jace Brooks, who represents the area and offered the amendment.
“We do not anticipate a mad rush of 20- and 30-story buildings,” Brooks said. “But we certainly want to leave that up to the market.”
The new zoning district is part of a larger Gwinnett effort to encourage urban-style development. Another example: Commissioners recently approved plans for a densely packed mix of shops, offices and apartments near the Mall of Georgia.
That development also includes a 21-story hotel that would become the tallest building in the county. Currently, the tallest is the 17-story Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta hotel.
If developers take advantage of the new Venture Drive district, buildings there could be even taller.
No specific development plans for the Venture Drive district have been announced. Supporters say the district will encourage redevelopment in an area that has seen better times.
“We hope something great will happen,” said Glenn Wisdom, operations director for the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District, which includes the new zoning district. “We don’t know. We’ve never tried it before.”
No one spoke against the district at a public hearing Tuesday.