'Millenial' housing proposal near Snellville rankles some neighbors

Denny Goodenow is not naive. He knows the 56-acre lot just east of one of Snellville's busiest intersections won't be a cow pasture forever.

But building 300 apartments — and nearly 100 other homes — on the property? He doesn't think that's a good fit. And dozens of his neighbors seemingly agree.

"Our primary objection," Goodenow said Monday, "is if it were allowed to happen, our property values would deteriorate."

Goodenow, a resident of the nearby Knollwood Lakes subdivision, is leading the charge against the development JLC Holdings LLP has proposed along Webb Gin House Road, about a half-mile east of its intersection with Ga. 124. The project would include 27 townhomes and 72 single-family detached homes, in addition to what the proposal called "an upscale professional housing development consisting of 300 multi-family attached residences spread throughout six buildings."

The latter would target young professionals and millenials. 

»See maps and renderings of the proposed project in the gallery above.

Goodenow has helped launch a movement protesting the development, complete with a Facebook page dedicated to the cause and bright red, all caps yard signs urging locals to say "no to rezoning on Webb Gin House Road." He has his doubts about the project's ability to draw millenials to the suburbs, but that ranks low among the list of concerns he and the other protestors share.

The crime stigma associated with apartments is also worrisome, Goodenow said, as is the project's potential effect on traffic. He referenced the nearly 600 parking spaces — and cars — that would accompany the proposed development.

"That's a helluva lot of traffic," Goodenow said. "It really is."

»MORE: Are they doing anything about all that traffic on Ga. 124?

In order for the development to move forward, the property would have to be rezoned from its current R-100 designation, which only allows for single-family residences. That rezoning proposal, which would also have to be approved by the county's Board of Commissioners, is currently before the Gwinnett planning commission. 

The commission is expected to consider the proposal at its July 5 meeting.

In the meantime, a community meeting between Goodenow's group — which he said includes multiple representatives from about a dozen nearby subdivisions — and the developer is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Knollwood Lakes clubhouse, located at 1379 Wood Iris Lane in Lawrenceville.

Goodenow said he expects at least 100 people to come, and planning commissioner Brad Crowe said members of the commission plan to attend as well.

Attempts to reach the developer via the law firm representing it were not immediately successful Monday.

»MORE: Cracker Barrel, Zaxby's and more proposed in Snellville

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.