Tucked in Dacula, Georgia, the Village of Hog Mountain, a 66 acre mixed use development was approved by the Gwinnett County Planning Commissioners in October. The final decision on the project must still be made by the County Board of Commissioners but there seems to be no reason the plan will not receive approval. According to a recent Facebook post, the project could be underway in the spring of 2017.
The Village of Hog Mountain is spearheaded by BJM Properties LLC, and states the development as not only mixed retail, office and residential uses, but also includes a church and Oak Hill Classical a 550-student private school. BJM Properties is a group of three local families who own a 66 acre undeveloped site within a few miles of their homes. According to their website, "We are not developers but land owners that are interested in seeing our property become a community asset for generations to come."
“I think this is a very innovative project with a lot of potential for this area,” Planning Commission Chairman Chuck Warbington said before making a motion to recommend approval.
Currently the plan calls for 74 single-family home lots, 12 town homes, 30,000 square feet of retail and office space, a 21,800-square-foot church and a 54,964-square-foot school, which could be used as a new home for the Oak Hill Classical School.
“The entire idea of the development is planned to be low-key,” BJM representative Mitch Peevey told the Planning Commission. “The theme is to be Charleston or Hilton Head type of homes with some commercial areas. Twenty-seven percent of the property will be left as open or common space.”
At the present time the homes would range from 1,200 square feet for what is being called “live/work units” to 5,000-square-foot large and rural lot homes winding through the wooded landscape of the site. There are also a handful of homes that will be townhouse duplexes. When reviewing the original site and home plans the open concept homes and layout of the subdivision are going to be very appealing to those looking for a "live, work, play" concept.
The county’s assessment states the school would house 550 students ranging from kindergarten -12th grade, although they would be spread across 11 two-story buildings. Planning staffers have recommended there be a prohibition on portable classrooms at the school and that the student body be capped at 550 students as a condition of approval.
The Village of Hog Mountain also expected to have two village greens which could host farmers markets, two more “pocket” parks, walking trails and open space areas. The church would have seating for 700 people and there would be commercial buildings along Jim Moore Road.
BJM Properties is also looking to reconstruct the intersection of Jim Moore Road and Hamilton Mill Road to have a roundabout which they feel will decrease any traffic issues that may arise from the development.
While there are many people in favor of the project, there are there detractors as well. Opponents have raised concerns about existing traffic at the intersection and the possibility that the addition of the private school would make traffic worse. While the traffic congestion at the intersection of Auburn Road (Ga. 324) and Jim Moore Road can be troublesome during the peak morning and afternoon rush hours, there should be consideration into altrnative plans for moving traffic in the area. One option is to construct the I-85 exit ramp off Gravel Springs Road which should lessen the traffic that is coming through the Hamilton Mill subdivision. Currently, traffic that is going to the other side of Dacula, is typically forced through Hamilton Mill as there is only the Mall of Georgia and Hamilton Mill exit to get off the interstate. Adding this exit ramp should shorten the commute time and allow for a decrease in traffic congestion off Jim Moore Road.
.Overall, the plan seems to have a great deal of up side and the only negative that it could pose is the traffic in this area.