The Buford City Commission held its monthly meeting Monday, April 11, at the Buford City Arena during which commissioners approved additional land purchases for the new Buford High School football stadium.
Commissioners voted to approve seven land purchases for plots along Copper Street, Forest Street and Bona Road, all of which fall under the footprint for the new stadium plans.
“We have not had any problems with any of our citizens from day one,” said commission Chairman Phillip Beard. “It’s been friendly … we’ve paid them all good money, and we’re down now to only two (lots) that have title problems.”
Beard also spoke during the meeting to address concerns that were brought before the commission last month regarding poor water pressure in the areas of New Street and Forrest Street.
“The size of the lines …. is an 80 inch main, and that’s universal,” Beard said. “The pressure on one was 54 pounds, the other two was 57 pounds, and that is more than enough water for any family … anyway, I wanted everybody to know that we’ve got a good water system.”
The commission also heard a request for a special use permit to allow a drive-thru restaurant in a development at 1605 Buford Highway. Because the applicant did not yet have a tenant lined up and therefore could not tell the commission what restaurant would occupy the building, members voted to table the matter until the applicant could provide that information.
Commissioners also voted on an application for a car wash to be built on outparcel #3 at the intersection of North Bogan Road and Hamilton Mill Road.
This received opposition from Bonita Hoffmeister, a Buford resident who voiced concerns about the car wash itself and the development of townhomes that are planned to be built behind the lot in question.
“A car wash is not exactly what a community would wish for if you’re going to put 60 townhomes behind them,” Hoffmeister said. “I was under the understanding when I read the conditions that the commercial area had to be developed first before they could build the 60 townhomes behind.
“You put a carwash in there, and if you have to put two more commercial sites, you’re going to have a very hard time doing that, which is okay with me because I’m not looking forward to 60 townhomes in a hole,” Hoffmeister continued.
“There’s not a condition to do that first, but the commission does have to approve each outparcel use,” Buford City Manager Bryan Kerlin said.
Hoffmeister also questioned the lack of a road going back to the site where the townhomes are planned.
“Part of the agreement and the conditions is that there would be a road so that we wouldn’t have traffic problems on North Bogan Road,” she said. “If you zone something, and then you allow something that’s not in agreement with the conditions for the townhomes, does that null the townhomes?”
“The conditions that we’ve put on it at zoning have been made,” Kerlin responded.
“So in other words, you’re turning into Doraville,” Hoffmeister said before returning to her seat.
The car wash received unanimous approval from commissioners.
Following the meeting, Hoffmeister, a former resident of Doraville, further explained her final comment.
Referring to how areas get zoned, she said, “One thing I’ve learned from living in Doraville and getting involved with DeKalb politics and Doraville politics is you put one dot, one drop of red blood, the whole plat’s bloody. And people just don’t understand that. This is getting like Doraville, you know, number one I really felt that a lot of things that the population would not have normally gone for (go) before the city with minimal participation from the citizens because of COVID-19.”
During the meeting, Kerlin also gave the city manager’s report, which included an update on the developing COVID-19 situation. Although he was not aware of any recent cases within the city government and remains optimistic about the area’s growing herd immunity, the city continues to regularly disinfect workspaces and provides hand sanitizer.
The report also mentioned the city is still waiting on a final design from the architect for the new Buford football stadium.