Nov. 2, 2020 — The City of Buford Commission meeting for Nov. 2, 2020, was called to order at 7 p.m. by Chairman Phillip Beard at the Buford Arena. The minutes from the Oct. 5, 2020, meeting and agenda with amendments were approved. The December meeting will be moved to Dec. 14, 2020.
The City of Buford requested a rezoning change for 23.742 acres located between Poplar Street and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. The request is to go from R-100 to M-1 to allow a proposed industrial project by Brookfield Properties. Brookfield Properties are the developers that were a part of the Hamilton Mill and Lanier Logistics Centers in Buford. They are in the process of acquiring other parcels to make up the new proposed 70.98-acre industrial park, which will come in off Peachtree Industrial. Two residents who live in a neighborhood off Peachtree Industrial that will be impacted by the proposed development spoke up to voice concerns over noise and traffic. They stated an existing warehouse is being used as a hangout for local teens and they are spinning tires in the parking lot and shooting off fireworks. The North Precinct Commander for the Gwinnett County Police Department will be addressing the matter. Representatives with Brookfield were on hand to show their plans and addressed the concerns of the residents. The rezoning request was approved.
Atlas Development asked that 3.44 acres located at the corner of West Shadburn Avenue and Drake Street be rezoned from C-2 to R-100 to allow for five single-family homes to be built. The homes must be a minimum of 2,400 square feet. The request was approved.
A special use permit was approved for Michael Timpson to operate a boat and RV storage business located at 4151 Gainesville Highway.
Properties located at 3659 and 3661 Carter Road were granted an exemption of the requirement to install curb, gutter and sidewalks requested by Hall County, which maintains this portion of the road. A failure of the water filtration #2 necessitated that emergency purchases and repairs be made at Buford Water Works. The commission approved the expenditures associated with getting the filter back up and running. The city manager was authorized to issue a donation letter for 23.742 acres purchased by the City on Poplar Street/Pugh Street in October 2019.
A one-year renewal was granted for the annual contract for construction and maintenance of water mains and gravity sewers and force mains with John D. Stephens Inc. The chairman and city manager were authorized to fund CARES Act eligible expenditures submitted to the city by Buford City Schools. A one-year extension was granted that will allow for a church to continue to be operated at Atwater Court, Suites 101-102. An ordinance was amended to allow Barebones Steakhouse to keep the wooden columns at its new location. Barebones was inspired by a photo found of the old bank building and used that to restore the exterior to resemble that photo.
The commission (Beard abstained) approved the release of pledged funds to Peoples Bank & Trust. Payments were authorized for the Church Street stormwater improvements project, Buford parking deck project, Legion Fields improvements project, Southside Wastewater Plant Flow Diversion Structure and Bona Road improvements project.
City Manager Bryan Kerlin gave a brief update on things happening in the city. The Buford Water Works plant extension project is in the bidding process, and he anticipates that the lowest bidder will be presented to the commission to vote on in the December meeting. He explained that filter #2 failed at the water plant and a replacement has been ordered. The Wastewater Diversion Structure was almost finished. The turn lane extension project on Buford Highway at Robert Bell Parkway is almost complete. The city has started the large project of installing all of the Christmas lights and decorations throughout the city. Various gas, water and electrical projects are being worked on. The street department is doing general maintenance and repairs. Fall baseball and softball at the Legion fields are finishing up. In youth football, all Buford teams have made the GFL playoffs. More than 300 kids have signed up to play basketball at the new Buford City Gym. The season is expected to kick off the first week of December. No parents will be allowed in the practices and players’ temperatures will be taken upon entering the facility. A decision is expected to be made regarding the presence of parents at the games shortly. This concluded the city manager’s report.
The commission and the city manager, as well as several residents in attendance, commended the city workers who worked tirelessly to restore the city’s power and clean up from the aftermath of Tropical Storm Zeta.
Chairman Beard adjourned the meeting after no further business was brought before the commission. The next commission meeting will be held at at 7 p.m. Dec. 14, 2020, at the Buford Arena.
— Alicia Couch Payne