Angst over Hamilton Mill zoning vote grows amid changes to county development ordinance

It’ll be at least another 30 days before Hamilton Mill residents know the fate of a massive apartment development they hope will be denied a building permit.

Gwinnett County planning and zoning officials once again tabled the vote on the proposal to build 700 apartment units and 10,000 square feet of commercial retail space at a meeting Tuesday night.

The decision came at the request of the project’s developers and the residents opposed to it—who called it a ‘danger’ to the community they know and love.

"We already experience horrible traffic jams and congestion…that’s different than gridlock that would delay emergency vehicles," resident Cindy Groom told FOX 5.

Darlyn Wilkerson with the Northeast Gwinnett Neighborhood Coalition said some of the anxiety she feels as the wait for a decision continues stems from a surprise move by commissioners last week to approve changes to the county’s unified development ordinance without a recommendation from the planning commission.

"I was very surprised. I’ve never seen that procedure happen before," she told FOX 5.

"All those things are important as far as the community is concerned. The planning commission, I think, is our voice."

Wilkerson said residents are now worried the changes that broaden zoning classifications will be a determining factor between developers moving forward with the coalition’s proposal for an aquatic and community center and sticking to its original plan.

"We’re concerned we’re gonna be tabled for 30 days and come back with basically the same plan," she explained. "We know that’s probably not what they’re going to bring us, but we’re just hoping it’s not 650 units instead of 700."

Wilkerson told FOX 5 either way, residents are committed to making it clear the community is not in support of this development.

"We’ve got 1,970 signatures on our petition now. We represent over 80 neighborhoods in the area…we’re speaking, we’re hoping they’ll listen," she added.

Residents plan to meet with developers again later this month. The next commission meeting is Oct. 24, and the planning commission’s vote on the development proposal is scheduled for November 7.