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Showing posts from September, 2019

Etowah Village developer funded State and Gwinnett County officials’ trips to promote Asian Village Atlanta with his nonprofit

Etowah Village developer, Yong Pan, used his nonprofit, East West Cultural Exchange Foundation, to fund trips for government officials to promote his previous Asian Village plan. The East West Cultural Exchange Foundation was funded by China and established in 2003 to "manage the cultural elements" of Asian Village Atlanta.

 In 2005, the foundation sent a group including Rep. Tom Rice (R-Norcross) to China to "drum up more investments" for Asian Village Atlanta.  Gwinnett County Commission Chairman, Charles Bannister said "he's turned down similar invitations from Pan" but may consider a trip to China in the future.  Bannister and County Administrator, Jock Connell,  did accept a trip to Disney World just a few months before Pan submitted a rezoning application to Gwinnett County.

The East West Cultural Exchange Foundation registered as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 2007. As a tax exempt charitable organization, East West Cultural Exchange Fo…

Etowah Village Rep tells Planning Commission that the Board of Commissioners "want to see this project move forward"

At the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, the representative for Etowah Village said "The Commissioners asked us to proceed, they want to see this project move forward". A short clip with the quote from the meeting is attached. I reached out to each Commissioner and the Chairman about the quote. So far I have heard from Commissioner Faucett and Commissioner Nix. Both Faucett and Nix denied encouraging the project in any way. I will update the post if I hear from the others.




Planning Commission Recommends Etowah Village Approval

Yesterday the Planning Commission recommended approval of Etowah Village. Several things caught my attention during the meeting....

1.) Keith Brown, the applicant’s representative said “the Board of Commissioners urged us to move forward” (after the previous withdrawal by Dawson Village Partners).

2.) We learned that this will be “Speculative Zoning” meaning the applicant is request a change in zoning for the purpose of marketing the land for sale. Which means there isn’t a developer involved at this time.

3.) The representative also mentioned that the “Chinese Group” (his words not mine) is still interested. In fact, that group was mentioned a few times by at the applicant’s representatives.

4.) They removed the entrance on Grant Rd. That’s interesting because that will essentially funnel all traffic to one entrance.

5.) The applicant’s representative told the PC that they are looking at finding investor POD by POD. In other words multiple developers developing the project. 

6.) Emory Dool…

Almost 1,000 Apartments Planned for Etowah Village

According to the current site plan, just under 1,000 apartments are planned for Etowah Village. The plan includes 219 apartments above retail and 770  spread out among 8 apartment buildings. That means 70% of the residential component will be rentals.

Here's a breakdown of the 1,447 Residential Units:

770 Apartments
219 Apartments Above Retail
254 Townhomes
171 Single Family Homes
33 Active Adult Single Family Homes

While the original application touted less traffic due to the 55+ housing, this time around only 33 residential units are designated Active Adult.  The 450 bed Continuing Care Retirement Community is not included as part of the residential units.



Etowah Village: Avalon or Asian Village Atlanta?

The proposed Etowah Village project is back on the table.  A new rezoning application was submitted on August 8th - less than a month after the withdrawal of the previous application. A copy of the withdrawal request and the amended application can be viewed here (see pages 12-32).
So what's the plan for Etowah village? 
While Etowah Village is often compared to Avalon in Alpharetta, Dawson Village Partners President Yong Pan is known for his attempt to develop Asian Village Atlanta in Gwinnett County.  A rezoning  application submitted in 2006 reveals similarities to the proposed Etowah Village application submitted to Dawson County earlier this year. Both proposals included Chinese Gardens, a Chinese Cultural Center, museums and a Preforming Arts Center.
According to the new application submitted to Dawson County last month, the Chinese Garden and Cultural center have been removed.  However, their commitment to leave the Chinese Cultural Center and Garden out of the plan remain…

Etowah Village: A Comparison of Current Zoning, Future Land Use Designation and the Zoning Request

Is Etowah Village congruent with our Comprehensive Plan? The purpose of our Comprehensive Plan is to “provide guidance for everyday decision- making by local government officials and other community leaders”. The Future Land Use plan, a component of the Comprehensive Plan, is designed to guide development and therefore zoning decisions. According to our Future Land Use Plan, rezoning the 518 acres for Etowah Village is not in agreement with our Comprehensive Plan. In fact, our Future Land Use Plan allows less than 370 residential units as opposed to the 1,447 residential units planned for Etowah Village. In addition, commercial use would be limited to less than 4% of the project and intended for small scale neighborhood use. Offices, hotels and Continuing Care Retirement facilities would also be prohibited.


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Could Etowah Village be developed with current zoning?
No, in fact the current zoning would only allow …