The developer of the 16-home subdivision on Bush Road in Peachtree Corners recently cleared the land in preparation for building the new subdivision named Peachtree Reserve.
But the surrounding neighbors were surprised to see the 10-acre site cleared completely of trees. A number of residents, including Bob Martell a nearby homeowner, attended several UPCCA land use meetings in March 2012, with the developer and walked away from those meetings assured that the property would not be clear cut, or so they thought.
A resolution was drawn up and signed by Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners in May of this year spelling out just what the developer agreed to do.
Many who had attended the two land-use meetings had understood that a buffer of trees along Bush Road would remain. And that the land would remain wooded until each lot was sold.
But that was not part of the agreement, said Brian Lackey, Director of Planning & Zoning for Gwinnett County. "Buffers do not apply to property frontage," he explained.
And the item on the resolution that spells out that natural vegetation is to remain - only applies until a development permit was issued. Lackey said when the permit was issued, the developer could clear the entire site for development.
"I'm disappointed in Gwinnett's interpretation," said a disgruntled Martell, who owns a home directly across the street from the development. Martell's view has changed drastically in recent weeks, once he gazed across the road at a thick strand of trees, today he has a view of a construction port-a-potty, dump trucks and bulldozers.
"We knew it wouldn't last forever," said Martell, of his view. But Martell said he was counting on the resolution that he thought spelled out exactly what the surrounding homeowners would see developed on the property, including a buffer that would help blend the new development with the surrounding homes.
Although the development is located within the city limits of Peachtree Corners, Gwinnett County is overseeing the development as the project began prior to the city's incorporation. Lackey said the county is checking every day to make sure the work is being conducted according to the county's regulations.
A new developer took over the project during the summer after the original developer bowed out. The original plans included 19 homes, the new developer has reduced the number of homes to 16 and increased the price and square footage of the homes to be built.
There are also new site plans and landscape plans which have been approved. The new plan shows the retention pond, originally located on the far right side of the property, will now run along Bush Road. A copy of those plans are included with this story.
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