The Buford City Commission’s most recent meeting on Monday, March 6, drew residents of Hall County who addressed commissioners regarding a rezoning request for a proposed mixed-use development.
The rezoning request was for 20.847 acres at 4105 Gainesville Highway. The applicant, bSide Partners LLC, asked commissioners to rezone the property from C-2 (general business) to M-1 (light industrial) and plans to have seven buildings total that will consist of 78,000 square feet of office/warehouse spaces and 100,000 square feet of warehouse space. The company also requested a special use permit to allow for a mini-warehouse/self-storage facility for the property.
A homeowner in a neighborhood off Frazer Road that the property backs up to voiced her concerns about the development. She asked the commission for a guarantee that no distribution loading docks be allowed on the rear of the buildings, as well as all exterior lighting be designed so that the light shines back onto the proposed development. She also wanted to know if a large berm would be impacted by the development. Mitch Peevy, the representative for the applicant, went over the site plans with her and it was determined that the berm would not be impacted.
Also neighboring the proposed development is a 12-plus acre parcel off Frazer Road that is partially used as a horse farm. The owner of this property asked that the developer be made to install a privacy fence along the length of the adjoining property line. There is an existing barbed wire fence. Peevy agreed to have the developer install a chain-link fence with plastic privacy slats where the existing barbed wire fencing is along the property line.
The commission voted to approve the development with the additional conditions that the two neighboring property owners requested.
During the public hearings portion of the meeting, commissioners also voted to:
- Approve a rezoning request for Richardson Asset Management LLC for 11.88 acres at 3600 Shoreland Drive to be rezoned from R-100 to RA-200 to allow one single-family home and a barn to be constructed
- Approve a rezoning request for Jacob Hand for 1.192 acres on Holiday Road to be rezoned from RA-200 to R-100 to construct one single-family home
- Approve a rezoning request for David Anderson for 4.531 acres on North Bogan Road to be rezoned from R-100 to RA-200 to construct one single-family home, as well as keep an existing barn on the property
- Deny an annexation request for Patrick Houlihan for 0.48 acres located at 463 Thunder Road as the applicant was not present at the meeting and the Planning and Zoning Board recommended denying the application, citing that “the property was unkempt and the City would have immediate violations to address”
- Approve an annexation and zoning request for Dwell Co. LLC by Angela Utayev for 0.64 acres at 2976 North Bogan Road, with the property to be rezoned from R-75 to R-100
- Approve an annexation and zoning request for Carol M. Simmons for 5.41 acres at 6224 Mount Salem Circle, with the zoning to be changed from AR-III to RA-200
- Table and put in place a 60-day moratorium on an amendment to the City of Buford Zoning ordinance that concerns liquor stores
Once the public hearings portion was complete, commissioners voted to approve:
- The purchase of properties at 125 N. Church St. for $160,000; 584 New St. for $300,000; 515 Copper St. for $60,000 and 545 Copper St. for $70,000. These purchases are necessary for the construction of the new Buford High School football stadium.
- The reappointment of Robert Murphy and Dorothy Lott for the Board of Directors at the Housing Authority of the city of Buford
- The authorization for the city manager and city attorney to move forward with eminent domain proceedings for the Moreno Street pedestrian facilities and streetscape project
- The renewal of the 2023-2024 general liability and property insurance policy package with Sterling, Seacrest & Pritchard/Pritchard Insurance Agency. The cost of the policy increased by 3.1% from the previous year.
- A special event at the Buford Youth Sports Complex for Elyte Sports LLC for flag football
- Bids for the Buford Senior Academy classroom expansion project
- Bids for the Bona Road Pedestrian Improvements — Phase II project using grant money
- The acceptance of a utility easement from WREG Harbins Retail LLC at 952 Harbins Road in Dacula
- Payments to Breaux & Associates in the amount of $375 for the Buford High School restroom project and in the amount of $155,614.76 for the new BHS Stadium project
- Payments to John D. Stephens Inc. in the amount of $614,914.13 for the relocation of a water main on Waterworks Road and in the amount of $274,270.02 to replace aging clay sewer pipes with new pipes for the new BHS Stadium project
- A payment to Ohmshiv Construction LLC in the amount of $111,808.35 for Shadburn Ferry Road drainage and sidewalk improvements
- A payment to Veolia Water Technologies Inc. in the amount of $749,118.00 for the Southside WPCP Tertiary filter replacement
- A payment to Ruby Collins Inc. in the amount of $321,552.09 for the water plant expansion project, as well as a payment of $11,180.00 to Global Control Systems Inc. for specialized controls and instrumentation for the water plant
- A payment to Charles Black Construction Company Inc. in the amount of $88,841.00 for the BHS baseball restrooms project and a payment for $332,284.00 for the Buford Middle School addition and renovations project
- Another payment in the amount of $58,003.00 to Charles Black Construction Company Inc. for the New Street relocation project
- A payment for $27,135.00 to Charles Black Construction Company Inc. for the Buford Southside Water Treatment Plant Office Building project
- A payment for the repair of Robert Bell Parkway in the amount of $342,095.00 payable to Charles Black Construction Company Inc.
- A payment for $38,163.64 to Charles Black Construction Company Inc. for the new BHS stadium project
In the city manager’s report, Bryan Kerlin said the passive park next to the city parking garage at the corner of Moreno and Harris streets is making substantial progress and it is estimated to be completed by the summer. The city will have landscapers on Robert Bell Parkway redo the landscaping along that roadway as the existing landscaping is in need of replacing. The waterworks plant expansion project is approximately 85% complete and is estimated to be completed by June 30.
The annual Buford Little League Parade will be held on Saturday, March 18. The parade begins at 8 a.m. and ends at the Legion Fields. The parade route will start at Buford Church of God, 4800 S. Lee St. The parade will turn left out of the church parking lot onto South Lee Street and will turn right onto West Main Street. The parade will continue down Main Street and it will turn right onto Sawnee Avenue before coming to an end at the Legion Fields. Streets intersecting the parade route will be closed at its intersection with the parade route 15 minutes prior to the parade and will reopen as the parade passes each street.
This concluded the meeting. The next Buford City Commission meeting will be held on Monday, April 10, instead of Monday, April 3, as that week is spring break for Buford City Schools. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in Commission Chambers at Buford City Hall, 2300 Buford Highway.