Management Report – July 2017

Planning and Development:

Planning. Background work on a study of the Highway 20 corridor continues.  A draft market analysis and vision narrative as well as land use and urban design analysis diagrams will be ready for public response in July. These planning documents are the result of an extensive research and data analysis process and incorporate public involvement from an initial public workshop held earlier this year.

Planning staff is concurrently working on a land use plan update in association with a recent market study and land use analysis of the Buford Highway corridor. A draft market analysis and vision narrative will also be ready for public response in July.

Lord Aeck Sargent was recently selected through a competitive proposal process to lead us through a major update of the downtown master plan. Funding assistance is provided through the Atlanta Regional Commission under the Livable Centers Initiative grant program. Staff will initiate this planning project in late July or early August.

Development. 33 single family home permits were issued for the month of June with an average square footage of 3,109 and eight multi-family home permits were issued with an average square footage of 1,549.  Through the second quarter of 2017, there has been over a 50% increase in permits for new residential construction as compared to 2016.

Number of Residential Permits Issued (Year to Date)

Inspections. In the month of June, 485 building inspections were accomplished; an increase from the 286 performed the previous June.  A 58% increase in building inspections can be seen year to date, with 2,349 being performed as compared to the 1,489 in the same duration.

263 zoning and property maintenance code inspections were carried out this June, a decrease from the 341 performed in June of 2016.  However, there has been a 5 percent rise overall, with 1,646 inspections performed year to date.

Parks and Recreation:

Parks.  The Community Garden plots are almost full. Staff performed repairs to the deer fencing around the garden. Repairs were also completed on the rubber under the playground equipment at Gary Pirkle Park and several components in the restrooms were repaired or replaced. New LED lighting for the Splash Park has been delivered and is scheduled for installation over the next week. Staff performed maintenance and cleaning throughout all parks.

Golf.  Despite the extremely wet weather we have experienced this past month, play continues to increase. The Sugar Hill Golf Association held their Sugar Hill Memorial Tournament on Saturday, June 17th. The Association also has a 3 Man Step Aside Scramble Tournament scheduled for Saturday, July 15th that will be open to members and guests. The annual Deluxe Athletics Tournament was held on June 19th with 75 players participating, while the Atlanta Junior Golf Association held their annual tournament on June 26th and had over 100 juniors competing. Annual core aeration was successful and greens have grown in nicely for the summer months. All tee boxes, greens and green complexes were sprayed with winter and spring herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers as part of the annual treatment program.

Marketing, Events and Economic Development:

2017 Concert Series. KC & The Sunshine Band on July 15th is sold out.  Tickets for all remaining shows are available at www.thebowlatsugarhill.com.  Only four individual seats and five ADA seats remain for the Josh Turner concert on August 12th.  The remaining lineup includes Ben Folds on September 2nd and The Atlanta Rhythm Section on November 11th.

New Mural. The DDA has recently approved the second mural which will be community funded, with the DDA matching funds up to $10,000 in funds. The mural will be located on the wall facing City Hall, opposite the previous Sweet Life mural. The first phase of work will begin on the mural in late July/early August. Chris Walker, chair of the Sugar Hill Historic Preservation Society, will be the artist painting the mural.

Hotel Feasibility Study. Staff has been working with hotel consulting firm Key Advisors on an updated feasibility study. The previous study was completed 18 months ago and was performed with a 120 room hotel in mind. The new development is much more iconic, including a full service hotel and conference center. Therefore, the Downtown Development Authority voted unanimously to perform an updated study.

Suite Spot Upgrades. The Suite Spot is in the midst of some strategically planned improvements that will allow the space to be more open and conducive to meetings. The DDA has also voted to add 4 more dedicated spaces due to increased demand. The 12 spaces will all be moved upstairs to allow larger groups to be downstairs without compromising the routines of the current Suite Spot members. Improvements to the upstairs have been made and all renovations will be completed by the end of July.

Marketing/Communications.  Advertisements continue in the Gwinnett Citizen, Suwanee Magazine, the DiG, Suwanee Movie Tavern and several local radio stations.  Targeted social media ads have also been placed to reach specific demographics for upcoming concerts.  The website InMySweetCity.com is slowly starting to gain traction.  Use the hashtag #InMySweetCity on Instagram and Twitter to share your photos about what makes life in Sugar Hill so “Sweet”!

Other Events.  Thursdays @ The Hill continues on the third Thursday of each month through September.  Latin Night will be held on July 28th this month. Both events will be held on the Dawn P. Gober Community Plaza. The city will be partnering with Tannery Row to host the “Best of Georgia Beer Fest” on August 26th at 5:00 PM on the Community Plaza.

Food Drive.  Various community groups are competing against each other to see which group can bring in the most non-perishable food donations or other necessary items to be donated to the North Gwinnett Co-Op.  So far, the Women’s Club leads the charge.

Public Works and Utilities:

Street/Stormwater.  Highway 20 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard mowing operations are in full swing with the new segments added to the workload this spring.  This doubles the Highway 20 mowing area into a widened median along with shoulder work for much of the road in those undeveloped portions of the highway.  Our stormwater staff has completed and submitted our annual report to Georgia EPD this month, which summarizes our program compliance efforts.

Gas. The Gas Department continues to work with authority representatives regarding our regulatory compliance program to ensure we stay on track.  Corrosion prevention at our above-ground facilities, signage, and compliance record-keeping are the focus of our work program in addition to repairing and replacing meters and pipe.  In addition, our staff also continues preparing for the new meter reading system we will begin rolling out later this year.  Gas department staff completed 87 work orders, 20 new service installations and 675 locates for the month.

Construction Update:

2017 Resurfacing Program.  Permanent striping is waiting to be completed on Whitehead Road before a final closeout inspection can be completed.  The contract included nearly 3,000 tons of asphalt on 3.4 miles of roadways out of the 73 miles of local roads in the city.  Work included crack filling, surface patching, full-depth patching, milling, shoulder repair, and asphalt paving.  The 2018 program will be presented for state funding this month and should be ready for construction in late first quarter of next year.

E Center.  Work is transitioning into enclosing the theater building as the light-gauge steel framing wrapped up at the end of June on a large portion of the new performing arts building.  A second crane for the job arrived today and will be assembled to start setting steel on the mixed-use and recreation segments of the project.  Concrete block and poured-in-place concrete work continue as the podium extends out from West Broad to the north.  The loading dock and first floor of the central elevator core were completed in June as well.

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 along with some new stops on Level Creek Road and Whitehead Road is in the final stages of design.  A key stakeholder meeting with Georgia Department of Transportation officials was held last month as the design team worked through the permitting and design details with the key property owner – the State of Georgia.  While we make progress on the design, the goal is to have the first phase under construction later in the year.

Gateway Sign at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.  The sign has been powered up and is awaiting a few final elements to be installed prior to lighting the sign.  We are hopeful to have the last few sign elements installed soon.  Brick pavers, connecting the sign to the corner sidewalk remain to be completed prior to closing out this project sometime this month.  Landscaping will follow this fall once the weather is more suited to installation.

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