Tuesday evening the City of Peachtree Corners made another big leap along the path of getting itself fully operational as Gwinnett County's newest city.
"This is an historic event," said Acting City Clerk Joan Jones as she prepared to swear in the nine citizens who make up the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. The 10th member, Wayne Knox, was not able to attend. The meeting was held at the Fowler YMCA.
For the 10 new members chosen to fill the volunteer posts it was a two and a half week journey filled with resumes, questionnaires and interviews.
Diana Wheeler, the city's Community Development Director addressed the new board members saying, "Congratulations for participating in the rigorous, competitive selection process. And thank you for your commitment of time."
Five members make up each of the two boards. The Planning Commission will be responsible for reviewing rezoning requests, special permits requests and related matters.
The Zoning Board of Appeals members will be charged with such duties as reviewing and ruling on variance requests among other responsibilities.
"This is truly an historic meeting, not just because it's the first," said Wheeler, "but because it will probably be the only time you all will meet together."
During the Organizational Meeting the two boards passed the by-laws of their respective boards, appointed a temporary chairman and decided on when their monthly meetings would be held.
The Planning Commission members chose to meet the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., the Zoning Board of Appeals are to meet the second Wednesday of each month, both meetings are open to the public.
A training session took place prior to the Organizational Meeting and was conducted by Diana Wheeler, Pond & Co's, Michelle Alexander, and City Attorney Lenny Felgin.
"Rely on each other and on the [city] staff," Alexander told the new board members. "You don't have to know engineering, or the law. But you do have to know how to ask questions."
The five-member Planning Commission will get a quick start out of the gate, they will hold a Special Called meeting next Tuesday on the Noble Village development on Spalding Drive. Property owners whose homes back up to the development and the developer are scheduled to be at the meeting. The developer will be on hand to listen to home owners concerns and answer questions.
The Zoning Board of Appeals will likely not meet until next summer. Due to an intergovernmental agreement between the city and county, Gwinnett will continue hearing and deciding on Zoning issues until June, 2013. However, Felgin recommended that the new ZBA attend as many of the county's ZBA meetings as possible where an issue involving Peachtree Corners is heard so that they will be familiar with the issues and decisions once they take over those duties from the county.
Although the three voting districts of the city are represented equally among board members, Wheeler reminded them that "all of you serve the entire city, not just the district you live in."