Planning commission okays wood transfer station rezoning, with conditions

Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023–5:23 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

The Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission is recommending approval of a rezoning application for property on Technology Parkway for a wood transfer station.

The applicant is seeking a change from Light Industrial to Heavy Industrial for the operation, which uses an enclosed machine to burn wood debris, as opposed to open burning. The logs or chips are brought in by commercial trucks to be incinerated. There was a similar operation for about two years on John Davenport Drive next to Mathis Building Supply.

Planning staff recommended denial of the application, according to Bryce Wood, assistant planning and zoning director.

“From a development aspect, there is limited development potential on that property anyway because of infrastructure and environmental things,” he said. “We felt like it has more development potential as a light industrial property.”

There are actually two parcels that would have to be merged before any activity may occur, as neither parcel meets the required minimum of 5 acres under H-I zoning.

The approval from the planning commission does include conditions recommended by staff, including the operation of an air curtain, and that the unit is operated in strict compliance with EPD air quality permitting. Other conditions are the development of an EPD air quality plan and a copy of the permit, monitoring data, and operation plan should be required to be maintained on-site.

The Rome City Commission will hold a public hearing on Monday, March 27.

Lawnmower repair shop gets thumbs down

Also Thursday, the planning commission voted 7-0 to recommend the denial of a rezoning request for a lawn mower repair shop at 68 Burton Road

The applicant is seeking to rezone from Suburban Residential to Heavy Commercial to continue to operate the business. There have been neighbor complaints and subsequent Code Enforcement action. Planning staff also received several letters from neighbors opposing the application. Planning staff was also in opposition.

“The setbacks for Heavy Commercial almost make this property unusable,” Wood said. “When you factor in three public frontages, the setbacks almost overlap. We are also concerned about what comes next. It would allow for heavy vehicle storage, heavy vehicle sales and service, and several other things that would not fit the character of the area, and would also be obtrusive to the neighboring homeowners and residents.”

The Floyd County Commission will hold a public hearing on the application on Tuesday, March 28.

Other planning commission action

The planning commission is recommending approval of an annexation request for 210 Harrison Road in the Garden Lakes area, and a rezoning request for 936 N. 2nd Avenue from Community Commercial to High-Density Traditional Residential with a special use permit for a duplex. A rezoning request for property at 1008 Calhoun Avenue from Community Commercial to High-Density Traditional Residential was also approved. The applicant attempted to get a building permit for an addition to an existing home but was denied because the property was zoned Community Commercial.

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