Saturday May 18th, 2024 12:29PM

New city in Gwinnett County proposed, will be vetted during 2024 legislative session

By Christian Ashliman Anchor/Reporter

Rep. Chuck Efstration announced Friday morning his intent to propose legislation during the upcoming session to create a new municipality in the Hamilton Mill area in Gwinnett County.

The proposal for a new municipality follows the tabling of a rezoning application that, if successful, would eventually see a 700-unit apartment complex and 10,000 square feet of commercial retail space in the Hamilton Mill area of Gwinnett County.

While many residents and community leaders in the area are not necessarily opposed to development, they believe it should be done in a thoughtful way, and are unwilling to budge on any rezonings that impact traffic safety or present any danger to school zones.

Both District 104 Representative Chuck Efstration and District 45 Senator Clint Dixon have announced their opposition to the rezoning, falling in line with the concerns expressed by the community.

“We've talked over the kitchen table about concerns about many of the development proposals that have been brought forward in recent years,” Efstration said. “And our concerns are not that we're opposed to growth, it's that we want responsible growth. We want growth that takes into consideration the impact on the community.”

Impacts cited by Efstration specifically included traffic gridlock and schools being able to accommodate new students.

Under current districts drawn out for Gwinnett County, each county commissioner represents approximately a quarter of a million people, according to Efstration. Given the substantial number of people to represent, Efstration believes it would be best to create a new municipality to help the community advocate for themselves more effectively.

That new proposed city would be known as Mill Creek and would include approximately 37,500 Gwinnett County residents, according to estimates pulled from 2020 Census Bureau data.

This would quickly make Mill Creek the second largest municipality in the county with Peachtree Corners being the largest at approximately 42,000.

“The tentative name is the City of Mill Creek and the idea is that we will have really a city government, which in many ways takes an example from the City of Peachtree Corners,” Efstration said. “There's no property tax levied in the City of Peachtree Corners.”

Efstration emphasized that nothing would come into effect without a referendum that community members would vote on, should the proposal’s journey through the legislative session in 2024 be successful.

As for the proposed boundaries of Mill Creek, the northern boundary would be Thompson Mill Road while the southern boundary would sit at Bailey Road near Dacula. The western boundary is proposed at Auburn Road and the eastern boundary would be the Gwinnett County line.

One question that Efstration has received frequently from concerned community members regards how the proposed city will be any different from the existing government.

“The idea here is that local government that's closest to the people can be most responsive,” Efstration said. “If a council member has a constituency of less than 10,000 residents, there's a chance for you to easily get in touch with that council member to express your concerns or your support for any proposal, and for the process to be streamlined. In many ways, this will take away the responsibility that county government currently has in that area.”

While the proposal for the City of Mill Creek is still in the early phases, Efstration has plans to bring it before his colleagues under the Gold Dome during the 2024 legislative session.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: politics, Government, Mill Creek, chuck efstration, municipality
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