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Hamilton Mill Rezoning MEETING UPDATE

2023-09-30 16:59:41

Hi, friends and neighbors!

The Hamilton Mill rezoning applications will most likely be tabled (postponed) on Oct 3.  Brand Properties and some in our group requested the hearing be tabled until November.  When both sides request a case to be tabled, the commissioners usually oblige.

Some of us still plan to attend the meeting but we don’t think that we need to fill the room.    


Nov 7,   7 pm  Planning Commission

Nov 14, 7 pm  Board of Commissioners  (BOC meeting is not on its regular third Tuesday due to Thanksgiving)  

Both meetings will be held at the Gwinnett Justice and Administrative Center (GJAC) at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville.  

Now is not the time to let our efforts stall; it’s time to double down. We need to keep informing our neighbors and getting signatures for our petition.

Many of our neighbors are still unaware of these pending rezoning applications, which if approved would have a serious negative impact on our entire area.  

There are many ways to volunteer in our efforts to spread the word in our community.  We’re passing out flyers, posting signs, and selling T-shirts. Please see our Facebook page, Northeast Gwinnett Neighborhood Coalition, for updated information and ways to volunteer.  

A PDF file of our updated flyer is on our Facebook page,, Northeast Gwinnett Neighborhood Coaliion.  You can download, print, and hand it out in your neighborhood.  Keep copies in your car so they’ll always be handy.  (If you need hard copies we will get them to you).  I give them to folks whenever I’m out, in a restaurant, or at the grocery store.

Most folks we tell about this don’t know about it, and when they see what’s proposed, they do not want it to happen.  

We’ve found a source to make our own “VOTE NO” T-shirts.  You provide a red T-shirt, and for $2 you can have your own “VOTE NO” T-shirt!   We all know that this won’t be the last time we need to go to GJAC for a rezoning hearing.  Similar shirts identify us as being aligned in the same cause.  When we wear them at events and in parking lots, we demonstrate our numbers and unity.  Red has long been the color of protest at GJAC.

Let’s pack the room with red from the Hamilton Mill community!    

Thanks, everyone! 

Please sign and share our petition!

Darlyn Wilkerson

9/26/23 Board of Commissioners meeting to vote of amendment to UDO without Planning Commission hearing-PLEASE ATTEND

2023-09-26 17:54:35
Hello, friends and neighbors-


I have edited this note as I wrote it hastily this morning. Due to the size of this amendment, I have not read through it in its entirety and would need several days to do so. But the big issue is that county residents were not informed about this change, and the BOC is voting without the Planning Commission hearing this.



Tonight's BOC meeting has an item on the agenda under old business (last item) that has the potential to change zoning regulations as we know them.


There is a lot of material here and plenty to be upset about, but the huge thing here is that the Board of Commissioners has decided to vote on the amendment to the UDO without the Planning Commission hearing.  There has been NO planning commission hearing.  The PC tabled this hearing until 10/3/23.  But the BOC has decided to vote on the case tonight without the PC. 


What does this mean for future votes?  If the BOC doesn't think a rezoning case should've been tabled then can they 'jump line' and vote without a public hearing by the Planning Commission?  How is this working for the public good?  I see nothing but perks to developers in this rewrite.


I've attached a copy of the 631-page document.  Please see Section 200-10 under purpose.  

The purpose sounds great!  But look at the details--they are anything but great.

This amendment is a wholesale rewrite of the UDO.



Check page 365, all lot sizes and setbacks are reduced and every familiar zoning classification is gone!

Page 379, this page eliminates every residential buffer!


While the BOC is asking for our opinion of the 2045 plan they have been quietly planning the rewrite of the 2040 plan basically urbanizing the entire county.  



Demand transparency!  Why are they in such a hurry to pass this amendment?  Why no public hearings on this rewrite of the UDO?


Thanks to everyone for helping to protect our county,

Darlyn Wilkerson

NE Gwinnett Neighborhood Coalition

Darlyn Wilkerson

Update on the 9/19/23 meeting with Brand Properties

2023-09-24 17:02:18

Hello, friends and neighbors!

We had a good crowd at the community meeting with Brand Properties this past Tuesday night. Brand Properties V.P. Jonathan Barge, and Brand’s attorney, Melody Glouton, presented the project as a benefit to the community. Jackson EMC did not send a representative. Brand Properties did offer to reduce the size of the project from the 700 in the application to 650, maybe even 600. The crowd’s reaction (laughter) let them know that wasn’t acceptable, either.

Brand asked for our ideas for acceptable alternatives. The crowd’s favorite is the plan from Mark Johnson, President of the Seckinger Athletic Association which serves the entire Seckinger cluster. Mr. Johnson has researched this and has already met with many county officials to discuss a plan for a community center and competition-sized aquatic center. Gwinnett County has no similar facility--our kids have to travel to Atlanta for competitions. This center would serve five school clusters, not just Seckinger.

The community center could serve as a daycare center for employees of Gwinnett County Schools, host after-school programs, and provide many other community uses. The Seckinger cluster includes 5,000 children. That’s 5,000 children without athletic facilities. We don’t feel it’s fair to give a community a brand-new school but then say that the Athletic Association is on its own locating land, and then rezone 40 available acres to hem the school in with 700 apartments and 17,000 SF of retail. Seckinger HS is already hemmed in by Hall County to the north and the City of Buford to its west. Where is there available land? How is that working toward a live, work, play concept?

The 40 acres in Seckinger’s backyard would go a long way to helping not only the 5,000 children in the Seckinger cluster but everyone in the area. The parking lot could be used as an overflow parking lot for the parking at Seckinger HS, and the Seckinger parking lot could be used as an overflow parking lot for events at the aquatic and community center. This plan keeps students and parents closer to our schools and homes. That is what the county is after; live, work, and play close to home. This plan would achieve that goal.

We understand that this plan would bring in no tax dollars. However, it would provide a much-needed asset to the entire area without bringing more traffic and residents to an already congested area. Jackson EMC has owned this property for more than 20 years. Why they would choose a developer who builds only high-density rentals in an area that is mostly single-family owner-occupied residences is a puzzle to me, and I think to everyone reading this.

Other ideas included senior apartments on half of the property, an aquatic center on the other half, shared workspaces, an amphitheater, a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, and R-75 owner-occupied residential.

Ms. Glouton took notes and said they would take our ideas back to their planners and see if any would work with their business model. Since their business model is rental only--even their subdivisions are rental only--I have little hope that we can reach an agreeable compromise, but you never know. If we improve this project by any measure, then we’ve accomplished something. And if we defeat it, then we’ve helped our entire community!

How do we defeat it?

Sign and share our petition with area friends and neighbors. A lot of folks in our community are still unaware of these rezoning applications. We’re trying to reach 3,000 signatures.

Email ALL of the commissioners: Tell them why this proposal is a bad fit for our area. You can send the same email to all nine commissioners. If they don’t hear from us, they won’t know that there is widespread community opposition to these rezoning applications.

Pass out our flyers. A pdf file with the latest version is available on our FB page-Northeast Gwinnett Neighborhood Coalition. Keep them in your car, you never know when this case might come up. If you can’t print your own, let us know, and we will get them to you.

Attend meetings. Our organizational meetings are important but the County Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners meetings are the ones most important for us to have a crowd. People Power speaks! People Power is our biggest asset.

We are up against heavy hitters: Brand Properties, Jackson EMC, Anderson, Tate, and Carr (Brand Properties attorneys). So, please plan to attend the Planning Commission meeting at 7 p.m. on October 3, at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

Wear RED to the public meetings to show your opposition. Red has long been the color of opposition at GJAC. Bring a neighbor--we need a packed house!

Volunteer to pass our flyers/tell your HOAs/neighborhoods/donate and make everyone aware this WILL happen without your vocal opposition.


Please watch our FB page and NextDoor group for PC & BOC meeting updates. There is already some talk that the next Planning Commission meeting will be tabled. Don’t let this discourage you from participating. This is a common developer tactic.

                                     They think they can wear us down. They don’t know us. We don’t wear down, we double down!

                                                                  Help us reach 3,000 signatures on our petition!

Thanks, everyone!

Darlyn Wilkerson

NE Gwinnett Neighborhood Coalition

Darlyn Wilkerson

Community Meeting Sept 19th 6 p.m.

2023-09-15 02:02:02

Hi, friends and neighbors—  

Just a reminder that we have a community meeting with Brand Properties at 6 p.m. on September 19 at the Bogan Park Community Center, 2723 North Bogan Road.  

At the meeting, we will have the opportunity to question Brand Properties (the potential developer) and Jackson EMC (the property owner) about their proposed development.  As far as we know Brand Properties' purchase of the land that JEMC owns is contingent upon Brand Properties getting these rezoning requests approved.   

Many times, a developer and the community can come together to create an improved project.  The Planning Commission and the Board of Commissioners like to see a good-faith effort on both parties’ part hoping that the two sides will compromise on a project and be able to reach an agreement.   

Brand Properties’ goal is to build 700 apartments and 17,000 SF of retail and commercial properties in our community.  Our goal is to not let that happen.  Whether compromise is possible when our goals are so far apart is hard to know but we owe it to them and to the process to listen to what they have to say. 

There is nothing wrong with negotiating for a better project while fighting to defeat it, if we can’t reach an agreement.  

Let’s make this meeting a successful and meaningful one.  We need to use reason and logic to argue the merits (or lack thereof) of the case.  We won’t get anywhere by only complaining, repeating arguments, or by NIMBY-ism (not in my back yard).   

Below is a link to the full application and Planning Department Case Report. 

Please read through these documents before the meeting to get an idea of the full scope of this proposed project.                                                 

                                      Please speak up for our community!   See y’all on the 19th!

Darlyn Wilkerson


2023-09-02 05:48:21

Hi, friends and neighbors!

                                                            Very long post with two updates

                                                          PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING  

Today we received confirmation that Brand Properties’ attorney (Ms. Glouton with Anderson, Tate, and Carr) will request that the Planning Commission hearing be tabled at the 9/5/23, 7 p.m. meeting.  We think they plan to request a hearing date of 10/3/23.  The Board of Commissioners meet the fourth Tuesday of each month so that hearing should be 10/24/23.   

   Unfortunately, I can’t say 100% that the new hearing dates will be 10/3 & 10/24.                                                                                                          None of this is official until 9/5 and the Planning Commission has voted to table.  

Anyone who has printed fliers should not use those fliers until the dates have been changed to reflect the October dates.  If you’ve posted the flier in other places online or in a business, please try to update them or pull them until we have official dates.  We will be updating the fliers on the websites soon.  

Many of us still plan to attend the 9/5 hearing.  I like to witness the case being tabled.   It doesn’t hurt for the Planning Commission to see a group of folks get up and leave after the tabling either.  It’s a good visual message.   So, anyone who can attend, please join us.  We’ll be wearing red to show our opposition.  

There is another zoning case that will be voted on that night.  The public speaking part of the hearing was held last month.  Case RZC2023-00016 seeks to change the zoning on a nearly completed professional building on Braselton Hwy at Cain Circle.  The owner/developers are seeking to change the zoning to allow retail and commercial businesses instead of only professional offices.  This is another case of the developer asking to rezone a property to the detriment of the surrounding community.  The Cain Circle folks are part of the NE Gwinnett Neighborhood Coalition and have been supportive of our efforts.  

Cases like this one and the Hamilton Mill cases must be called out.  We as the community are the only ones to stand up for our community.  These developers sure aren’t looking out for us.  The commissioners don’t know we don’t support these rezoning applications unless we tell them by attending meetings, signing petitions, and sending emails.  It’s our job to let them know we don’t support these rezoning applications.  

                                                      Thanks to everyone for working to get the word out to our community!    

                                                                   COMMUNITY MEETING WITH BRAND PROPERTIES

Today we got a date for the community meeting with Brand Properties.  Ms. Glouton emailed that they had secured Bogan Park Community Center at 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 19th.  The reason Brand Properties gave to table the cases (this time and last month) was so that they could meet with the community. It does happen that developers will work with the community to improve the project.  Whether Brand Properties will listen to any of our suggestions is another matter.  But we owe it to them and to the process to listen to what they have to say. There is nothing wrong with negotiating for a better project while fighting to defeat it if we can’t get in agreement.    Thanks to everyone for standing up for our community!



Darlyn Wilkerson


2023-08-04 20:31:36

Hello, everyone!   I apologize—I thought that I hit send on this Wednesday night, but apparently, I didn’t!  

The Hamilton Mill rezoning case (RZM2022-00049 & RZC2022-00045) was tabled (postponed) until September 5.  While disappointing this gives us more time to get our opposition presentation together (we have 10 minutes total).  This presentation is very important.  Other than our emails to the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners this is our only time to get our viewpoint across. 

To be successful, we need a clear, cohesive, non-repetitive, case to present.   To have a clear, cohesive, non-repetitive case we must plan.  We need a community meeting so that we can come up with ideas, speakers, and most importantly a plan.   

The first step in planning our meeting is to hear back from y’all.    I need to know whether a weeknight or a Saturday morning would be best.  After I hear back from y’all then I will have an idea of how many interested parties we have and how much space we will need.  Please email me with your preferences for a meeting time and your subdivision. 

Below is a link to the Planning Commission’s Case Report, this includes the entire rezoning application and Planning Department staff comments and recommendations.  I encourage every interested party to read through this application.  This gives you the full scope of what is being proposed for our area.  

I hope that it is okay with everyone that I have also attached a letter from our District 4 County Board of Commissioner, Matthew Holtkamp.  Commissioner Holtkamp has been listening to District 4 constituents.  He will be hosting a couple of open houses this month.   

Thanks, everyone, we have already made a difference!     


Dear Constituents,  

I wanted to reach out and confirm receipt of your petition against the proposed 700 apartments. I have read through all 600 +- comments and am impressed that so many love our area of Gwinnett and are willing to speak up for what you believe in.  

Please know my duty is to stay neutral, but also know I live nearby and understand all too well the challenges caused by the continued growth of our area.   Last night the applicant tabled their application because they wanted to hear more feedback from the community. This is a positive sign that they want to create a project which satisfies the needs of the community, while also providing a return on their investment.  

Additionally, I want you to know that the petition I received cannot take the place of your attendance at the upcoming meeting(s). The applicant has the right to hear your comments in a public format, so they will be able to respond directly to your feedback, as well as for my fellow commissioners to hear the case on its merit.  

Sadly, many commenters shared about their plans to move away due to traffic, crime, etc. I ran to serve as commissioner because I believe this community has so much more to offer, and I will fight to keep it a family centered, safe place to realize the American dream.

That is why I want to personally invite you to my Town Hall meetings from 6:30pm to 7:30pm on Wednesday, August 16 at the Collins Hill Library Meeting Room and Thursday, August 17 Sugar Hill City Hall. For more information contact my office at 770.822.7004 or email me at 

Hear direct updates from Department Directors about transportation, public safety, economic development, smart growth and development, and more. Please share with your friends and neighbors.  

If you feel as I do, please come along side as we create a home in which our kids will thrive, and when they are ready, will have many opportunities to do the same.  


In your service,

District Four Commissioner Matthew Holtkamp

Office:  770-822-7004  

Darlyn Wilkerson

8/1/23 Planning Commission meeting to be tabled

2023-08-01 19:25:17

Hi, everyone-please share this message! I've just been informed by Commissioner Holtkamp's office that the applicant for the rezoning at Hamilton Mill/I85/Sardis Church Road has requested that tonight's hearing be tabled until the September PC meeting. This procedure is done at the beginning of each Commission hearing and the new hearing date will be announced tonight. I will post any new info I have tonight. The reason given for tabling tonight's vote was that there had been significant community pushback. This means we're doing our job. More than likely we will be asking for a community meeting and we will need representatives from all subdivisions. Great job guys! You spoke up and they are listening! Let's keep together and keep working for a better community!


Darlyn Wilkerson

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