It was another 'first' for Gwinnett County's newest city. The newly formed Planning Commission met for the first time Tuesday evening at Fowler YMCA to hear and decide whether to recommend the architect's plans for the senior living center currently being developed on Spalding Drive.
The plans to build Noble Village at Spalding on the property that once belonged to Faith Life Church had long been in the works, preliminary plans and landscaping plans had been approved by the Gwinnett County Commission.
With the incorporation of Peachtree Corners on July 1, further decisions and recommendations will fall to the city's Planning Commission.
The handful of homeowners who attended the meeting had their reservations about some of the plans presented Tuesday night, specifically the height of one of the main buildings which will back up to their properties.
John Hudgens, a Peachtree Station property owner spoke up during the public comment period of the meeting to express his concerns. "I have a small bone of contention to pick," said Hudgens who said that in the summer of 2009 when the homeowners attended the Gwinnett County Planning Commission, they were told that the building would be four feet shorter than what the new plans are showing.
"We had a deal, a negotiated deal," said Hudgens who maintains that the County's records should reflect that agreement. "It's the only disagreement I have," he said.
However, Diana Wheeler, the city's community development director, said there was no references in the county's records that she could find that indicated that such an agreement had been made.
"There were no numerical stipulations by the county that I could find anywhere," said Wheeler.
The "sticking point" it seems is the issue of height, Matt Houser the Planning Commission's chairman said.
Houser asked Bill Foley, the architect whose plans had been presented at the meeting how he would handle a request to reduce the height of the building.
"We haven't the ability to reduce it by four feet," said Foley. "The only flexibility is the pitch of the roof," which the architect said would only have a slight affect on the overall height.
The Planning Commission approved the architect's plans by a vote of 3-0. Matt Houser, Alan Kaplan and Italia Metts voted to approve the plans. Two of the members, Mark Willis and Mark Middleton, were not able to attend due to previous commitments each had made prior to being accepted as Planning Commission members.
"There was a lot of water already passed under the bridge," said Houser in explaining the Planning Commission's decision to recommend the architect's plans.
Glenn Versteeg, a Peachtree Station homeowner who also was dissatisfied with the discrepancy in the plans for the height of the building said he was disappointed but also realized the Planning Commission's predicament.
"I'm not happy," said Versteeg. "It is not what we were told when we met in 2009 with the Gwinnett Planning Commission."