Planning and Development:
Planning. The department is currently working on completion of the Highway 20 Corridor Study. Draft recommendations will be available to the public in mid to late October. A final public meeting will be scheduled before the end of the year prior to the Mayor and Council considering adoption of the development strategy. Draft materials are still available for review and comment on the Planning Services page of the city’s website. https://cityofsugarhill.com/departments/planning-and-development/planning/ Also this month, staff began initial work on a major update to the city’s downtown development plan. This project is scheduled for completion in April 2018. We are working on a web page dedicated to the downtown master plan with maps, detailed project status information and a survey form. This project page will be accessible from the existing planning and development department’s planning services page.
Development. Seven single family home permits were issued for the month of September with an average square footage of 2,695. The growth rate in permit counts appears to be leveling off; however, we have experienced nearly a 90% increase in residential permits as compared to 2016.
Number of Residential Permits Issued (Year to Date)
Inspections. In the month of September, 491 building inspections were accomplished, a sharp increase from the 256 performed the previous September. A 71% increase in building inspections has been seen year-to-date, with 3,948 being performed as compared to the 2,309 in the same period last year.
A total of 149 zoning and property maintenance code inspections were carried out this September, a slight decrease from the 170 performed in September of 2016. There has been a 15 percent rise in code enforcement inspections overall, with 2,634 inspections performed year to date.
Parks and Recreation:
Parks. Staff performed weekly maintenance and cleaning throughout Gary Pirkle Park. Treatment was applied for prevention of bees and insects near the playground area. Daily maintenance checks were performed at the Splash Park. New LED lighting was installed to enhance the nightly light show.
Golf. The month closed with total revenue exceeding that of September of 2016. Plans for clubhouse renovations are in progress. The Sugar Hill Fall Classic was held in mid-September and hosted over 30 members. The Sugar Hill Golf Association Cup Tournament is scheduled for October 13th – 15th. The 10th Annual Big T 150 Golf Classic will be held on the 28th of October. This is one of the largest annual tournaments at the course and raises scholarship money for qualified students of North Gwinnett High School in memory of Taylor Burdette. All tee boxes, greens and green complexes were sprayed with herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers as part of the annual treatment program.
Marketing, Events and Economic Development:
Sugar Rush. The annual Sugar Rush festival will be held on October 21st from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Activities for the day include: a juried art show, Ferris wheel, live music, live art performances, inflatables, rides, food vendors, a “chill-out zone” for dogs, a pumpkin patch, pottery painting, car painting, panning for gold, a gift booth, caricature artist, face painting plus vendors and more. We will be accepting donations for AmVets and The North Gwinnett Co-Op at the event as well.
Concert Series. The last show of the season is on November 11th and will feature the Atlanta Rhythm Section. For more information, visit www.thebowlatsugarhill.com. Staff has already begun research on artists for the 2018 concert season.
Marketing/Communications. Sugar Rush ads can be found in Suwanee Magazine, The Gwinnett Citizen, The North Gwinnett Voice as well as on the website and social media. Staff is working on an application submittal for the Georgia Municipal Association’s Live, Work, Play Award.
Re-usable table-top banners were ordered this week for use at the upcoming Metro Atlanta Redevelopment Summit where the city has been nominated for two awards. Sugar Hill will also be featured in the next edition of the DiG, which is Gwinnett’s entertainment and dining publication.
Mural. The western wall of the Suite Spot has been primed in preparation for artist Chris Walker to begin painting his tribute to the history of Sugar Hill this month. Staff is working on getting the “Perks” ordered and sent out to those who have financially supported the mural.
Public Works and Utilities:
Street/Stormwater. The street and stormwater crews were busy during the month with storm cleanup and have continued debris removal and chipping in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The Street Department successfully worked with the power companies to clear roads and open up blocked neighborhoods quickly. The power companies were able to restore power to all areas of the city within a few days of the storm. City staff removed over 60 loads of debris the first week after the storm, three times the normal amount. Our stormwater staff was also instrumental in cleaning and checking drains as well as responding to drainage complaints in the week leading up to and after the storm.
Gas. New equipment associated with our new meter reading system continues to come in as department staff prepare for installation later this month. The program will follow a strategic five-year schedule, allowing each of the routes to be gradually absorbed into the system. Gas department staff completed 62 work orders, 7 new service installations and 553 locates for the month. There were no service interruptions as a result of the hurricane in September and City Hall had continuous emergency power from our natural gas powered generator. Sugar Hill remains one of the lowest-priced municipal gas systems in the state and is on average $30 a month cheaper than the gas marketers. Our natural gas system remains a great value to our customers and continues to be a safe and reliable energy source.
E Center. The project’s structure is taking shape as the crane makes its way to the top of the mixed-use portion of the facility and continues east toward the proposed gym. The theater is almost completely enclosed now with sheathing on all sides and the blue waterproofing being applied to the building. The roof is nearly complete and we are seeing the interior spaces fill out with framing and doors going in next. The interior design and furniture and fixtures are being finalized as the contractor is anticipating being able to substantially finish the theater in April. Brick exterior is expected to get started this month on the theater as the trades make their way to the east following the site, concrete work, and steel erection.
Sugar Hill Greenway Project, Phase I. The project is moving into utility coordination and right-of-way acquisition as the design nears its conclusion. We expect to get right-of-way and easement documents soon to begin this phase of the project while we also resolve a few minor conflicts with driveways and alignment challenges. The Friends of the Greenway have met a couple of times this summer and fall to stay engaged in the project and build momentum going into the construction phase of the project.
Gateway Sign at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. Landscaping is right around the corner with a few minor installations to be completed prior to keeping the sign lighted at night. The contractor is coordinating with RaceTrac on landscape installations before finishing out the pavers and cleaning up the corner.
Bowl Improvements 2.1. The next phase of construction started last month with a project to extend the ADA seating level in Section A toward the east. This will provide additional suite space for the Atlanta Rhythm Section Veteran’s Day concert on November 11 as well as into future concert seasons. Row 9 is also being upgraded from the lawn areas in Sections A & C to a level brick paver section in these areas. We also made some repairs to the steps on either side of the bowl near the retaining walls to address settlement that has occurred over the years. A large, 62×100-inch LED monitor with 5mm pixel pitch is also being installed on the back of the suites for lawn seating and pre-show entertainment.
Ice Rink. The tent is up early to get ready for opening the season during Veteran’s Day weekend. We will be able to make use of the tent for Sugar Rush and other activities leading up to November as well. The rink will be installed and operational by the ARS concert with opening night on Friday, November 10th.
Peachtree Industrial Sidewalks. Construction continues on Peachtree Industrial extending the sidewalk from Spring Hill south to both of the EE Robinson parks and ultimately to West Price Road. The contractor, Kennedy and Tillman, has worked very quickly on these segments and is going to be completing a few other segments for the city in various locations. A proposal to construct a portion of the greenway on Peachtree Industrial in one of the sidewalk locations near the Gwinnett Church is being considered prior to finishing that area as well. So, there may be a temporary gap until we can obtain approval from the county to widen the sidewalk in those areas.