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Planning Commission Votes Thumbs Down on Wal-Mart Plan

Developer's plans for Sturbridge Square Apts. in Peachtree Corners voted down.

Planning authorities this week voted against swapping multi-family housing for retail development in Peachtree Corners.

Tuesday night, County Planning Commissioners voted 8-0 to recommend that County Commissioners deny an application from Bright-Meyers 2001 LLC for rezoning 21.21 acres from residential to commercial at the intersection of Holcomb Bridge Road and Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

Proposed plans called for replacing the existing Sturbridge Square Apartments with 182,887 square-feet of retail – most likely a Wal-Mart shopping center – and 880 parking spaces.

The Planning Commission’s vote followed the recommendation of denial from county staff. 

“When we analyzed this, staff noted that the future development map recommends that this remain in a residential use,” Jeff West, Gwinnett County’s manager of current planning, informed Planning Commissioners. “Given that, the staff has recommended denial for this case.”

No representatives spoke on behalf of the developer during the Planning Commission meeting, and there were no speakers in opposition. County Commissioners should take up the denial recommendation later this month.

The initial introduction of the rezoning raised concerns from Peachtree Corners residents. Homeowners voiced strong opposition to the development as it was originally presented.

Wayne Knox, vice president of land use for the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association (UPCCA), said area residents clearly favor plans that produce mixed-use development. But the Sturbridge Square project was not supported. 

 If you’re going to come into this community, you’re going to have to add some value with what it is that you propose,” Knox said. “What they were proposing simply did not do that. In fact, it detracted as a lot of people saw it.” 

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