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Gwinnett Swim pulls rezoning request after DOT objections
Not enough space for a driveway along busy Friendship Road
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In back from left, Cindy Sachse and Christy Williams hold Avery and Carter O'Bryan at Gwinnett Swim in Buford in December 2016. Photo courtesy of Cindy Sachse. - photo by

Gwinnett Swim has put its plans to move into a larger facility in Hall County on hold.

Business owners Cindy Sachse and Christy Williams hoped to relocate from Bristol Industrial Way near Buford to Friendship Road near Braselton. The move would have been the latest expansion for the business, which offers swimming lessons to infants only a few months old all the way up to senior citizens.

However, their plans hit the skids in the past month after the Georgia Department of Transportation denied the company’s request for a commercial driveway at 2700 Friendship Road.

“They say that the intersection is too dangerous, and unless we have 500 feet of road frontage they will not approve it,” Sachse told The Times.

Sachse and Williams had their eyes on a narrow lot across from Sardis Church Road on the two-lane Friendship Road. The lot is one of a series of narrow lots along the curve in the roadway. The business owners would need to buy several more lots to get to 500 feet.

DOT spokeswoman Katie Strickland said Wednesday that it’s a safety issue. Drivers traveling along Friendship Road need to be able to see far enough ahead to react in time to a car leaving the driveway, she said, and the current conditions of the road don’t allow that.

“We have not given up on our plans yet and are checking our options at this time,” Sachse said. “Hall County said there was nothing they could do if GDOT would not approve it. It's disheartening, to say the least.”

While the owners of Gwinnett Swim try and find a way to open their new location, they’ve withdrawn a rezoning request for 2700 Friendship Road, which would have changed the lot to a commercial zone. It’s currently residential.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners was scheduled to consider the request on Thursday.

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