Housing starts were down 20% in 2006 and the expected date for Gwinnett to hit 1,000,000 residents has been pushed out to 2030 instead of 2018:
The county has led the region in growth since the 1980s, but last year was the first time in 15 years another metro Atlanta locale topped Gwinnett in its annual increase, with Fulton County gaining about 400 more new residents than Gwinnett.
The numbers were revealed publicly for the first time during a presentation Tuesday to commissioners on the county’s economic outlook. The downturn won’t impact the 2007 tax digest, but could have consequences for the 2008 revenues, economist Alfie Meek said.
(Commission Chairman Charles) Bannister, who campaigned in 2004 on slowing the county’s growth, said he believes the trend will be well-received by residents yearning to maintain the suburban spirit of Gwinnett, as well as looking to escape traffic and maintain greenspace.
But the county chairman couldn’t take all of the credit for the situation, instead pointing to national trends in foreclosures and a downturn in the homebuilding industry as factors.
Planning Director Steve Logan said the new numbers come from consultants using “more sophisticated” forecasting models for the comprehensive plan, which considers land use, infrastructure and services for 2030. But Meek said evidence of the slow-down is already under way.