UPDATE: Deadline passes for annexation
State Rep. John Heard, with the support of the Lawrenceville City Council, is seeking to acquire for Lawrenceville, approximately 3600 acres of land around Hwy. 316. The land would include the Gwinnett Progress Center (a large business park north of Lawrenceville) and Briscoe Field (Gwinnett’s airport and one of the busiest airports in the State), and the land around a proposed extension of Sugarloaf Parkway.
Rep. Heard defends his proposal in Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Many businesses that originally contacted Gwinnett are locating elsewhere because of the red tape. Lawrenceville is in a position to fast-track zonings and permits but lacks the available space. This annexation will solve the problems of speed that vex Gwinnett and the problems of space that vex Lawrenceville.
If you combine a new and growing college, a major highway, a commuter/passenger rail line, a regional airport and a government committed to bringing high-tech, high-paying jobs to the area, it is easy to see Lawrenceville as the hub of an intellectual and scientific community that will be the envy of our competitors, both nationally and internationally.
An opposing view was offered by political consultant Todd Rehm:
Land-grab supporters argue that the annexation will allow the city of Lawrenceville to fast-track rezoning requests that would otherwise take longer before the County Commission due to a backlog in rezonings. The election of homeowner advocates to the County Commission is partly responsible for the slowdown in rezonings, and that is clearly what the voters wanted.
Am I correct in saying that Legislative annexations do not need the consent of the landowners whereas if the City of Lawrenceville proposed the annexation, the landowners must agree to it?
BTW: I’d be surprised if Heard’s proposal passes this session.