Gwinnett zoning officials force group pushing for massive Hamilton Mill apartment development to start over

Tuesday’s Gwinnett County planning and zoning meeting came with a minor setback for the developers behind the proposal to build a massive apartment complex in Hamilton Mill. 

Representatives for Brand Properties will have to start from scratch and submit a new re-zoning application for the controversial proposal after officials withdrew the application for the project that originally included 700 apartment units and 10,000 square feet of commercial retail space.

"The planning department felt like the second site plan was different enough from the first site plan that it needed to go back through the planning department for a case review," resident Darlyn Wilkerson told FOX 5.

She and other residents, in opposition to the proposal, considered the move Tuesday another small victory in the fight against what they believe is overdevelopment in the area. 

"We’re looking at this as a positive for us to continue to inform our community," resident Kiersten Scheule said. 

The original plan has been scaled down by almost half since it was first introduced earlier this year. 

"It’s 327 apartments and now 60 townhomes, so they have changed the plan," Scheule explained.

Those changes were prompted by strong opposition from her and other residents, who came together to form the Northeast Gwinnett Neighborhood Coalition— led by Wilkerson.

"It still does not fit the character of our area. It is a plan that happens right next to our high school, and it’s going to bring traffic and safety issues that our area can’t handle." 

Wilkerson said while they’re grateful their concerns are being heard; they’ll continue to do what they can to keep the project from moving forward.

"It’s still 387 individual housing units that would be in a boxed-in 39-acre plot of land that sits on a two-lane road, a highway overpass and butts a high school…you can’t change the location," she stated.

They told FOX 5 they plan to use the extra time they have before it’s up for discussion again to keep rallying the opposition. 

Planning and zoning will hear the case again in February of next year. Organizers have started a new petition that currently has about 1,600 signatures.