Two new warehouse developments were approved by the Buford Board of Commissioners at the monthly meeting Tuesday, Sept. 7, at the Buford Arena. The most contested of the two developments is slated to be built on approximately 80 acres at the corner of North Bogan Road and Thompson Mill Road. The second development is near the Mall of Georgia on Gravel Springs Road.
The development at North Bogan Road and Thompson Mill Road is approximately 80 acres, however only part of the property needed for the development had to be rezoned. Part of the property is already zoned M-1 for industrial use.
The applicant is Duke Realty Limited Partnership, a company specializing in industrial real estate developments that is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company requested that 38.82 acres located on North Bogan Road be rezoned from Public to M-1. The developers also requested that 9.07 acres located at 4391 Thompson Mill Road be annexed into the city limits and rezoned from R-75 to M-1.
Duke Realty proposed to commissioners their wish to build a warehouse development on the land, which slopes downhill toward Interstate 985. The warehouse will be built using a tilt-up panel construction method and will have a total square footage of approximately 786,240 square feet.
Six nearby property owners expressed their opposition to the proposed warehouse development. They were concerned about the increase in traffic, especially on North Bogan Road, the number of children who play nearby and ride school buses and the most significant concern expressed was in regard to the environment.
Stephen Gray, a homeowner in the Greystone Plantation subdivision, implored commissioners to deny the application on the basis of the negative impact it will have on the environment. He said there are two streams on the property, as well as wetlands that are fed by natural springs in the area. He pointed out that the unloading and loading docks will be on the backside of the warehouse, which faces I-985 and not the homeowners.
The developer pointed out that the only entrance that will be off of North Bogan Road is the employee entrance where no large trucks will be allowed. The developer also addressed the environmental concerns, saying they had taken the proposal to the appropriate state and local entities for their approval to encroach upon the wetlands and streams.
After listening to the opposition and the developer’s points, commissioners voted to approve the development. It was said to be conducive to the city’s comprehensive plan, and half of the development was already zoned for light industrial.
The second proposed warehouse development was proposed by IDI Logistics LLC for 5.91 acres located at 2812 Gravel Springs Road, 3 acres at 2792 Gravel Springs Road, 1.83 acres at 2770 Gravel Springs Road and 17.7 acres at 2782 Gravel Springs Road. The applicant IDI Logistics already owns and operates several warehouse developments in the city of Buford, including the logistics park on Hamilton Mill and the Amazon facility at Friendship Road. The proposal calls for two warehouses to be constructed totaling nearly 400,000 square feet.
Several nearby homeowners asked for a few requests that would allow the development to happen but ensure that homeowners and the warehouses could co-exist peacefully. Dr. Christian Sabatino and David Jones, nearby homeowners, asked commissioners to consider increasing buffers, use better vegetation for the buffer, install a traffic light at Ivy Creek Road and Gravel Springs and limit hours of operation.
Phillip Beard, commission chairman, addressed a few of the concerns stating that a traffic light is subject to the approval of the state and not the city of Buford. The city has asked the applicant to upgrade some of their landscaping to help ease the noise.
The proposal was approved by the commissioners with Beard abstaining from the votes on the property.