Planning and Development:
Development Studies. The Highway 20 market analysis is well underway and a first draft is expected within the coming weeks. The next step in the process will be to begin looking at areas with strong development potential for a more detailed study along with scheduling public involvement in the plan development process. In an effort to prepare for public presentations in February and March for the Buford Highway market study and master plan, staff is working to complete the first iteration of the summary report with the findings and recommendations.
Development Permits. New development permits were issued for a 52,000 square foot building expansion at Gwinnett Church on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and the second phase of Sugar Hill Overlook (a 131 unit townhome development near the northern end of Hillcrest Drive). The Preserve at Addison Woods, a 63 lot subdivision on Suwanee Dam Road, went through the final plat process while another 59 lots in Primrose Creek on Sycamore Road are nearing the construction phase.
Code Enforcement/Building Inspections. Building activity was heavy in January. The inspection team performed 347 building code inspections. This is a 56% increase from the 154 that were completed in January of 2016. Zoning and property maintenance code inspections also increased with 230 completed as compared to 128 in January of 2016.
Parks and Recreation:
City Hall/Downtown/Town Green: Annual flowers were planted at City Hall and The Suite Spot to bring seasonal color to the areas. Staff performed regular maintenance and clean up around City Hall, the Town Green and other areas throughout downtown.
Parks. Maintenance projects were completed in both restroom facilities at Gary Pirkle Park while weekly maintenance and cleaning was completed on the Community Garden plots.
Golf Course. The golf course is off to a promising start with the great weather we have experienced so far in 2017. The Sugar Hill Golf Association held a large tournament and membership party this past month. Any golfers interested in becoming a member can contact Golf Course staff at 770-271-0519. Winter projects continued in January to include the re-striping of the clubhouse parking lot, bunker work, tree trimming and fresh mulch applications.
Marketing, Events and Economic Development:
2017 Concert Series. The Quantum National Bank Concert series is now in place and will be announced on the 7th of March. Each artist will be showcased the week of the announcement with a sneak peek event to take place live at City Hall. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear about all the artists and some will receive a special discount code that will be valid for purchasing tickets during that evening only.
Mural Update. The mural is now complete and the city held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, February 12th to showcase the beautiful art that will serve as a welcome cornerstone into the downtown area. The ceremony was well attended with over 100 people coming out for the event. The Mayor Pro Tem, several Council Members along with representatives from several of the city’s boards and commissions spoke to the crowd as well. Plans for a second mural are in progress on the opposite side of the Suite Spot facing City Hall.
Ice Rink. The Ice Rink @ Sugar Hill is on track to bring in 10,000 skaters before the season’s end. The rink will remain open until the 19th of February and it is a great time to come out and enjoy the attraction with friends and family. Anyone interested in hosting a private event at the rink can visit www.icerinkatsugarhill.com for pricing and booking information.
Suite Spot. The Sugar Hill DDA has been touring other incubators in search of ideas as the DDA works towards seeking a partnership with other business resources champions such as the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) in an effort to attract other technology based companies to The Suite Spot in the future. An ATDC open house has been planned for April.
Public Works and Utilities:
Street/Stormwater. The month of January saw only one winter storm of consequence the first week of the month and our staff was able to respond easily as the storm moved through without much damage or concern. The late warm weather has started turning our attention to gearing up for the mowing season and our staff is aiming to add the highway 20 corridor to the regular list starting later this spring. We are adding a couple of full-time employees to the team along with the equipment we acquired late last year. In addition, our staff has been busy supporting some of the recent property acquisitions completing demolition work on parcels on Suwanee Dam Road and on Cumming Highway west of Mountain Ridge Way. Our stormwater team has also been able to complete inspections with the warmer weather that ordinarily would be completed later in the season. We also installed a new weather station at city hall and it is reporting to the weather underground website. The station allows us to track rainfall and other project-related weather data specific to the downtown.
Gas. The Gas Department continues to work with contractors, builders and private developers on marking and relocating gas lines in conflict with various projects as projects got back underway in January. Annual inspections and work was started in preparation for the first quarter public awareness program audit coming next month. The staff completed 40 work orders, 6 new service installations and 620 locates for the month. The staff has initiated meetings with suppliers on the metering upgrades for this year and will be presenting options in the next few weeks on the two systems.
EpiCenter. Site construction is well underway with nearly all of the earthwork having been completed. A noteworthy milestone was achieved last week with the arrival of the steel and the beginning of vertical construction. The rest of the project’s plans are also now at the 100% stage and are the basis for the final pricing exercise underway now. There is still a long way to go to open the facility, but the contractor has made the most of the warm and dry winter so far. Staff is working through the interior design decisions, exterior finishes, and lease up work as we get ready to push for the early 2018 opening.
Community Garden Parking Lot. The community garden parking lot upgrade is under construction with all of the pavers set and some minor cleanup required to adjust the patterns in the parking field. The contractor will need to sweep in the sand for the joints between the pavers and install the fence prior to wrapping up construction later this month. The improvement to the parking lot will help maintain participation and grow interest in the community garden.
Sugar Hill Greenway Project, Phase I. The first phase of this project connecting the city’s downtown with the two parks on Level Creek and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard is in the early planning stages with coordination with other agencies being the primary focus. The nearly five-mile route is programmed for construction to begin later this year and is attracting interest and support from the friends of the greenway group. A site walk is being planned for one of the segments on Level Creek Road for this first phase next month.
Highway 20 Widening. The County has announced that the Gwinnett side of the widening project is now opened to traffic with the lane reduction and shift occurring at the bridge over the Chattahoochee. CW Matthews has to complete additional work prior to wrapping up construction activity and closing out their operations later this spring. CW Matthews’ contract extends from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to just past the Twin Creeks neighborhood.
Atlanta Regional Commission Grant. ARC announced that the City of Sugar Hill will be awarded funding through the 2017 Livable Centers Initiative Grant. The city will use the funds to assist with the downtown masterplan. Specific details and award amount will be announced in February.
Georgia Municipal Association Grant. The city was awarded $5,662.15 in funds from the Georgia Municipal Association Safety and Liability Management Grant. Funds were used to purchase safety items such as Automated External Defibrillators, CPR kits along with other important items to make our employees and our citizens safe.