Stream Buffer Exemptions Update

On February 13th, Gwinnett County issued a revised Deadline Notice in response to the concerns of the Council.  The revisions now exclude any property that has “active” development projects, current development activity, and/or is a part of an approved/platted master plan development.  If you have a property that does not meet the criteria you need to proceed with obtaining a building permit prior the April 1st, 2007.  If you miss the deadline you may still be eligible for a variance for the property and will need to seek assistance from County staff.  A copy of the notice is listed below.

NOTE: If you or someone you know is having difficulty with the provisions of the County’s ordinance and believe that you should be exempt but have been denied such status- please contact Jerry Presley via email ( or call 770-813-3373.

History: For several months, Council staff was actively working with County officials to resolve our concerns regarding the County’s interpretation of the Grandfather provisions of the ordinance.  We were adamantly opposed to building permits being the benchmark for determining whether or not a project will be considered exempt from the current requirements.  Secondly, the ordinance should not have been retro-actively applied to any existing project where infrastructure either has been constructed, is under construction, or has received approval to be constructed.  Furthermore, we believed that applying the process to individual lots rather than the entire project would create unintended consequences that could potential destroy property values of some parcels and seriously jeopardize the County’s tax digest.  We felt that any such interpretation placed an unrealistic expectation on the development community and places unnecessary and undue burden on property owners and the taxpayers of Gwinnett County.  Council staff will continue to monitor the implementation and enforcement of the ordinance and will strongly advocate changes as necessary.  If you have questions or concerns please contact our office.

Revised Stream Buffer Deadline Notice– 2/13/07