Planning and Development:
Planning staff has engaged Bleakly Advisory Group to study market and demographic conditions along the Buford Highway corridor. The information gathered through this effort will help us develop a vision for how to facilitate appropriate development along the corridor guiding policy decisions and helping us to make long term plans that will ensure we achieve the right kind of growth.
The new facilities for LA Fitness and Sugar Hill Auto Collision were completed recently and released for occupancy. The LA Fitness building is a generous 37,000 square feet of exercise space with a lap pool, basketball court, group fitness areas as well as industry standard fitness equipment. Sugar Hill Auto Collision’s 12,000 square foot facility is about 30% larger than their original footprint.
A total of 24 single family home permits were issued for the month of October with an average square footage of 3,963 and 23 multi-family home permits were issued with an average of 1,883 square feet. There has been a slight increase in permit requests this quarter. Year to date we have issued significantly more (about 70%) new home permits than the same time in 2015 (126 in 2015, 216 in 2016).
In the month of October, 268 building code inspections were accomplished; an increase from the 188 during the same month in 2015. There were 160 zoning and property maintenance code inspections completed this October, a decrease from the 325 performed for the same month last year. The decline in zoning inspections is primarily due to the sharp increase in building and development activity and the corresponding demands for our staff resources.
Parks and Recreation:
Recreation. Our Recreation staff continues maintenance of the downtown amenities including the old Buice School, the Suite Spot, City Hall, the Bowl, the Splash Park and our downtown streetscape along West Broad and Alton Tucker. Staff assisted with final setup and preparations for the next season of the ice rink, which opened last Friday night. The new improvements to The Bowl have allowed for a very quick installation of the rink, boards, tent, and chiller. Staff will also be supporting both the repairs to the splash pad and rink operations until the water feature is restored and the area can be opened to the public.
Golf. The golf course is in good shape this time of year with the heavier-than-normal irrigation we have had to perform to make up for the dry weather. We had a number of big tournaments scheduled in October and it continues to be a great time to play golf with the warmer afternoon temperatures. Our GolfNow partnership is paying dividends as we continue to track near the top of their rankings in rounds with about half of the rounds sold in October coming from the online source. We are also outpacing last year’s rounds by 657 or about 4%.
Marketing, Events and Economic Development:
Sugar Rush. The annual festival and concert was held last month with thousands taking advantage of the cool autumn weather during the day to experience the events, activities, and fun for all age groups and activity levels. The city hosted a 5K road race, a car show, food/arts/craft vendors, and carnival fun during the day and capped off the festivities with a concert featuring Joe & Joe, Ellie Lawrence and the main act, Seven Bridges. It was our best yet.
Community Events. The Annual Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting will be held on the 3rd of December. The event will consist of free pictures with Santa, free carriage rides, performances from the Sugar Hill Elementary Choir and the Broad Street Concert Band, an outdoor Holiday Market, ice skating and more.
Mural. Mural artist, Jennie Osiek, is making great progress on the mural on the Suite Spot wall that faces Level Creek. The community is encouraged to take note of the process and detail with the imagery as it captures the essence of the city and records in this media a representation of Sugar Hill culture.
SHBA. The Sugar Hill Business Alliance is hosting their holiday event at Tannery Row on the 6th of December. The event will be held in conjunction with the Buford Business Alliance and toy donations will be accepted for Toys For Tots.
Public Works and Utilities:
Gas Department. The Gas Department has had a busy month, completing over 870 locates for the month of October along with 30 work orders and 21 new meter installations as the city continues to improve and grow.
Street & Stormwater Department. Our staff has been wrapping up right-of-way mowing for the season and laid fresh mulch along the beds in the medians of both Highway 20 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. Staff is also working to complete additional projects throughout the downtown area to include pavement marking, demolition, pothole repairs and assistance with our downtown developments. The department is instrumental in handling our new development inspections of new roads and drainage system infrastructure as well as inspections for our stormwater compliance program.
Bowl Improvements. Most of the work was completed prior to our Splash Park grand opening; however, some repairs have been required around the eastern half of the area to correct some drainage issues. Repairs should be completed by the end of the year and are not expected to impact any of the other activities in the plaza area.
EpiCenter. Earthwork is underway with the excavation of the front wall being the primary focus of site work this month. The demolition of the house at 4979 was completed last month and utility relocation finally wrapped up at the beginning of November. The soil retaining wall along West Broad Street is under construction now with site utilities going in during the remainder of this month. A temporary road closure is scheduled to accommodate the utility tie-ins needed to serve the project.
Highway 20 Widening. The GDOT contractor is making significant progress on paving the finish course of asphalt and has completed the area from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to Old Cumming Highway near the Bellagio development. Some additional blasting is required at Suwanee Dam Road to make some adjustments, but the finish line is within view. Construction in Forsyth is expected to continue well into 2017.