Rezoning request for wood transfer station heads back to city commission, wedding events venue application tabled by planning commission

Thursday, May 4, 2023–6:20 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

A rezoning application for a wood transfer station on Technology Parkway is headed back to the Rome City Commission, once again with a recommendation to approve, although in a somewhat different manner.

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. 

The planning commission voted 7-0 to recommend approval back in March.

However, due to the omission of a letter from Berry College, opposing the project, the Rome City Commission voted to send the matter back to the planning commission. That letter from Berry general counsel Danny Price cited a restrictive covenant for the land on Technology Parkway.

According to planning commission attorney John Hawkins, the covenant is something that can be considered but urged the board to keep in mind that the covenant and zoning are two different things.

“The covenant on the land that says they cannot do the use that they want to do would be a private dispute between the holder of the parcel and Berry,” he told the planning commission.

In addition to the Berry letter, two more letters opposing the project have been submitted since the original planning commission vote — one from the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority and the other from some adjoining property owners.

Planning Commission member Brandie Townsend made a motion to deny the rezoning request.

“I approve of the technology, but I’m not sure this is the right location for it,” she said.

The motion was defeated by a split vote. That means that the application goes to the full city commission as a recommendation for approval.

A public hearing and vote is set for the May 22 Rome City Commission meeting.

Planning commission votes to table permit for an events venue

The planning commission was set to vote on a special use permit for a wedding events venue at 777 Youngs Mill Road, but planning staff asked that the application be tabled after they received additional input from Floyd County Public Works Director Michael Skeen.

The venue is proposed for 12.3 acres of land that would be accessed by Locklear Lane, a one-lane gravel road.

According to Brice Wood, assistant planning director, Skeen had concerns about motorists turning off of Youngs Mill onto Locklear Lane.

“If you had traffic lined up to turn left there, you’re just beyond the crest of the hill,” Wood said. “It’s very possible or likely that someone could come over that hill and rear-end another vehicle at that intersection. From my understanding, he has asked engineering to go out there and get a measurement on the line of sight.”

The planning commission went with the recommendation to table.

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