MPCA has new Leadership
First, recognition of those visionaries, leaders, and contributors to this point. Without their hard work and dedication MPCA would not be what it is today!
A huge THANK YOU to our Founder and former President! Kate Pittman was the visionary for MPCA and worked tirelessly to get MPCA to the standing it is today as a 501c4 non-profit, recognized by Gwinnett County leadership, and winner of the LCI Grant!
Another huge THANK YOU to former director and communication head. Wanda McMullen was a dedicated communicator, participant in events, and reliable contributor since the beginning of MPCA. Thank you, Wanda, for all your involvement in building MPCA!
More THANK YOUs are in store for Amanda Pinney, Crissy Davis, Kim Oberheu and others (our sincerest apologies for anyone we may have missed) who contributed during the early years of MPCA. Without these dedicated volunteers MPCA would not exist to be a voice for the Mountain Park community!
MPCA would like to introduce our new leadership team!
Neil Duggan – president and director - Neil is a 30+ year resident of Mountain Park, retired engineer/manager/entrepreneur, and an avid outdoorsman.
Vipul Patel – vice president and director – Vipul is an established business owner and resident of the Mountain Park community who has advocated for the community and businesses in the local area.
Mark Wilson – director & secretary, head of sustainability committee – Mark is a 30 year resident of Mountain Park, recently retired; also serves on Boards of several Georgia environmental and river & lake recreation non-profits, and leads the Come Clean Gwinnett anti-litter local citizen group.
Sheri Clark – director & head of communications committee – Sheri is a 25 year resident of Gwinnett county with 21 years in the Mountain Park area. Her expertise is in project management and communications in the IT industry and familiar with the struggles of non-profit organizations.
Kataki Patel – treasurer – Kataki is the wife of Vipul, assists in business management, and an advocate for the Mountain Park community and local businesses.
New Strategy for Community feedback and involvement
Surveys, surveys, surveys – MPCA leadership believes the best way to capture the opinions and desires of the Mountain Park Community is by getting you to answer our surveys. Up to now, it has been our following the social media postings, listening to you at the in-person events and just plain keeping our ear to the ground. Surveys can be topic-specific and easy to reach large numbers of folks in a short time. So, watch for surveys. Also, please suggest survey topics. Visit our website and Facebook page to suggest ideas or to simply reach out.
Public Engagement Events – we have a few things on the website calendar (click here) where we will be out and public-facing. Some upcoming events include:
Lilburn City Park Food Trucks – we’ve been setting up a table now for the second year. This happens once a month on the 2nd Tuesday nights from May-October.
Trick or Treatment at the Yellow River Treatment Plant – come enjoy this county sponsored family-oriented treat or treat event. Again, this is our second year to give out candy, information and to support a really cool tour of the facility that treats our poo! Oct 28, 10am-2pm. Flyer attached
Monsters and a Movie at Lilburn City Park – a big family-friendly trick or treat event that is attended by many local businesses and organizations. Come have dinner, visit vbendors and watch a movie with the kids! Oct 28 530-9pm. https://www.eventeny.com/events/vendor/?id=5322
Other calendar events - We are continuously adding local events to the calendar including:
Lilburn City events
Gwinnett County meetings and events
Interested in adding your event to the calendar? Fill out the "Contact Us" form to let us know the following:
Share Your Voice with Gwinnett County Officials!
Check out the following surveys related to future development in Gwinnett County and informs the 2045 Unified Plan (created by Gwinnett County)
SHARE YOUR VOICE!
The short of it - the developer Fuqua has asked the Planning and Development decision be tabled until October to allow for additional changes to the original plan. If a decision is made at that meeting, then the next step is for the Board of Commissioners to approve the updated plan. There will be time for public comment at the BOC meeting in late October (check the MPCA calendar for dates and times).
A little additional history on why this development is so important - The Request For Information (RFI) award to Fuqua resulted in a design proposal that deviated significantly from the intent of the RFI, which is a Mixed Use – Retail (MU-R) re-zoning for the property. The RFI intended a walkable, people-centric “Vibrantly Connected” retail/office, commercial with high density housing on this high-visibility and highly desirable land adjacent to and with views of the Stone Mountain property. The resulting proposal up for likely approval is a car-centric development with a big-box wholesale membership club, multiple drive-thru restaurant chains, a high-density apartment complex and no practical greenspace nor pedestrian-friendly features. Multiple variances are needed by Fuqua to deviate from the Unified Development Order (UDO) to proceed with this development. MPCA leaders oppose this current development for several reasons. First, it does not meet the intent of the RFI and contributes to the current issues plagued by suburban sprawl, which is in direct opposition to the vision and intent the county set when they acquired additional acreage from Dekalb for this project. Second, the benefit of any MU-R like this is to increase the taxable income from high value commercial real estate that will spur additional high-value growth. This higher tax revenue is needed to support/subsidize residential and other county projects. This project does not add that value and incentives to this area. The fast-depreciating big-box real estate model results in loss of tax revenue, typically in less than a decade. There is no doubt, Costco, drive-thru Chic-Fil-A, and similar companies are desirable and good corporate stewards. In this location, MPCA leaders believe the county should stick to their vision for the two reasons given. Watch for a new survey on this issue soon. The next steps are to pass P&D voting (Oct) and then the Board of Commissioners vote, possibly as soon as late-October.
Since both the proponents and opponents used their allotted 10 minutes per side, there will be no additional public comment at the next planning commission meeting. Both the Planning Commissioners and the County Commissioners are always willing to take your comments via email.
Some concerns named by the Planning Commission included:
The plans show the large retail space (Costco) as situated so that the view from Hwy 78 would be the back of a very large warehouse and a huge expanse of pavement. This is a far cry from the first-impression Charlotte Nash envisioned!
The submitted plan did not provide an adequate number of parking spaces for the 255 residential apartment units. The plan was short 81 spaces.
Neither the apartments nor the 1 acre Greenspace had a view of Stone Mountain, and both were situated between commercial buildings.
One planning commissioner pointed out that over $1million was going to be spent on removing asphalt in front of the old Target in order to build a Greenspace, while the existing Greenspace, which has a view of Stone Mountain, was going to be paved over.
Traffic, including mixing semi trucks with passenger vehicles, would share a very short driveway.
A commissioner pointed out that a turning semi truck takes up the space of 5 cars… and the plans show there is very little room to maneuver from the exits.
There were other points. The hearing was recorded and is available at http://ec4.cc/em6a82ef7
Here are some questions the community might want to ask the Board of Commissioners before they meet in June:
Will the substantial tax revenue generated by a Costco be reinvested in this community?
Will it be used to revitalize the surrounding commercial area?
If not all of the tax revenue will stay in Southwest Gwinnett, what portion will be reinvested here?
What happens to the property if Costco backs out of the deal?”
Will Fuqua Development own it?
Would the community have any right to provide input on future proposals?
Why were the Community and the Board of Commissioners excluded from the planning process used to decide how to best use this property?
Why did this contract with Fuqua Development contain a “non-disclosure” agreement?
Why was the official applicant listed as Gwinnett County and not Fuqua Development?
More information on case number RZC2023-00008 and the 05/02/2023 Planning Commission meeting is available:
To watch the recording of the hearing before the Planning Commission, use this link http://ec4.cc/em6a82ef7 (in the box that says “Jump to Index Point”, choose “OK”. This will take you to the beginning of this particular case.)
8th Annual Yellow River Trash Bash
Residents of Mountain Park and surrounding communities Volunteered with the Yellow River Water Trail org and Gwinnett Parks & Rec, Dept of Water Resources, and Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, to clean up litter, along the river buffer and bridges areas .
130 Volunteers, cleaned 12 locations, collecting 6960 lbs of litter, trash & tires!
Want to join in the fun? Volunteer and join us next year by filling out the "Contact Us" form on our website!
BP Gas Station at Five Forks Trickum Rd & Killian Hill Rd
This development did not require re-zoning as it already had the proper zoning under the UDO. The plan is to re-use the existing old Rite-Aid building, add gas pumps and divide the building for up to 3 more retail sites. Multiple attempts by MPCA to open dialogue with the owner/developers failed due to a lack of response. MPCA feels that a 3rd gas station & convenience store at this intersection is questionable; and clearly highlights the need for a Commercial Overlay so that Mountain Park citizens can have a say on the types of development allowed in the Five Forks Trickum Rd & Killian Hill Rd and the Five Forks Trickum Rd & Rockbridge Rd Commercial Nodes. Construction has begun, however, and a “Stop Work Order” has recently been posted. MPCA is asking questions about this and will share that when known.
New Self-Storage at 1935 Rockbridge Road (behind Metro Diner)
MPCA worked with the owner and developer to add murals to the large vacant sides of the building. The final mural artwork is still under review by the county. These will add character appropriate to our area as people drive past. Sometimes, the little improvements can make a big difference.
Major Renovation Proposal
Major construction is coming to the old self-storage facility - The existing Killian Hill Storage was purchased and is being renovated by USA Storage. MPCA contacted USA Storage and shared input on their designs based on feedback from the community. Overall, their renderings were very nice. MPCA suggested a few changes that would make the street view more consistent with neighboring businesses and the general look/feel of our area. They are also working on a visual buffet for the adjacent neighborhood. They are gracious neighbors and will soon start to upgrade that property.
Proposed Change in Conditions: Click here for more information on these changes.
Middle Yellow River Water & Sewer Extension Project
The Sewer Connection and Extension project at Hwy-78 and Lk Lucerne Rd is in progress. There were some delays due to the need to blast granite. The scope is to lay approx. 2400ft of new Sewer pipes, and tunnel under the Yellow River to connect with the existing system. It is hoped that this river will include a repair of the storm water concrete culvert which was damaged during the 2009 super-flood. Excitingly there is also a plan for a new riverside pocket park. The restored river buffer will be part of a future Yellow River Trail.
Mountain Park Commercial Overlay
MPCA is in the beginning stages of what will hopefully be a commercial zoning overlay for Mountain Park. This is the best way to keep our community vibrant, beautiful and sustainable is to have a commercial overlay that defines what we all want and don’t want as businesses come in to build or renovate. Watch for more information and survey on setting this up. This will be you letting us know what we all want for the future of this community.
The new round-about at Lilburn-Stone Mountain & Old Tucker Roads has an open patch of grass that would be ideal for a creative sign welcoming us to the Mountain Park Community. If you would like to participate or contribute to making this happen, lets us know. A new committee is in the works to do this and similar projects. The Community Engagement & Projects committee needs you! Contact us here if interested!
Want to get involved?
Volunteers and leaders needed. A little or a lot, every contribution helps our community, your neighbors and even you! You can reach out to us using the “contact us” form on our website, or PM us through social media. We are here for you because we are you! MPCA is your advocate on issues with the county that directly affect and improve the unincorporated Mountain Park community.
First Step: Sign up for the Mountain Park Community Association email list to receive notifications of future events, activities, etc. that will directly impact your everyday life!
Follow us on social media! (Linked below)