BUFORD — A large smattering of red shirts covered Buford City Hall Monday evening.

A packed-out room full of people against a measure to assemble an industrial building on Camp Branch Rd. readied to plead their case. None of them stood against a new development, but instead wanted to reach a mutual agreement in front of city chairman Phillip Beard and the Buford commission board.

“The community came in good faith and was respectful of the process. I’m very proud of our community,” said Renee Byrd-Lewis who led the efforts to lobby against immediate approval of the measure. “I wish the outcome had been different or that we would’ve had 30 days to mutually reach a solution.”

After 20 minutes of lobbying from lead speakers (including Sandy Donatucci) and many around the room, Beard and the board members passed the measure for the industrial building to move forward. Those in favor of the motion spoke, too.

According to the meeting agenda, the development will consist of six buildings totaling 307,610 square feet. Those buildings will consist of a climate-controlled storage facility, office/warehouse buildings and office/warehouse flex condominium buildings.

“We have an obligation to look at this for the owners,” Beard said in front of the panel.

Some of the arguments in place centered around noise pollution, decreased property values surrounding the proposed site and traffic congestion with the neighboring I-85 ramp at SR 324.

“I was really hoping they’d table this issue for a month or two so we could meet with city officials, the developer and the applicant to come up with a mutual solution on what the community wanted. That was my expectation,” said Farooq Mughal, the Georgia state representative for District 105. “I’m still going to reach out to the applicant and developer for a good meeting, because I really wish we had more opportunities. There are more things (like this) coming in the area, unfortunately.

“The community wants to have their voice, what they feel and what they want to see. This thing isn’t built yet, so there’s still room for discussion.”

Along with approving the measure on Camp Branch Rd. and tabling a special use permit measure to allow townhomes on North Bogan Rd. across from the Publix shopping center, the City of Buford commission board also approved the following.

  • A special use permit to demolish the Dairy Queen on 2295 Buford Hwy. and allow a new Dairy Queen drive-thru restaurant with a smaller front building setback from 75 feet to 60 feet.
  • A subdivision plat for 5106 Bristol Industrial Way.
  • Final plat for the Bethany Estates subdivision.
  • Authorize city manager Bryan Kerlin to continue operating under the fiscal year 2024 operating budget until the adoption of the fiscal year 2025 operating budget.
  • Authorize Stacy Rolin and Kerlin as election committee voting delegates for Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) annual election.
  • Authorize chairman Phillip Beard to negotiate and enter into final Intergovernmental Agreement with Hall County for Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST).
  • Amend utility rate schedule for base charges for small and large commercial natural gas accounts.
  • Authorize Kerlin to submit the 2025 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application to Gwinnett County.
  • Approve surplus items as presented and authorize Kerlin to list items on and other markets.
  • Special event at Buford Youth Sports Complex.
  • Approve granting a time-limited and conditional easement to 60 Garnett Street, LLC placing heating ventilation and air conditioning units on a portion of City property.
  • Annual dues for the Gwinnett Municipal Association in the amount of $15,596.12.
  • Authorize Kerlin to enter into an agreement with Peoples Bank & Trust, providing for enhanced check clearing protocols using Positive Pay software.
  • Release of pledged funds with Peoples Bank & Trust.
  • Payment of Invoice #18137-27 in the amount of $39,920.40 to Breaux & Associates for the Buford City Stadium project.
  • Payment of Invoice #8 in the amount of $315,929.40 to Buford City Schools for Buford Senior Academy classroom and office furniture.
  • Payment #10 in the amount of $17,632.26 to Backbone Infrastructure, LLC. for West Moreno Street improvements project.
  • Payment #31 (final) in the amount of $180,548.79 to Ruby-Collins Inc. for water plat expansion project.
  • Payment #4 (final) in the amount of $79,087.50 to Site Engineering Inc. for Jackson Street Sewer Improvements, Phase II.
  • Payment of Invoice #10 in the amount of $7,217.64 to Charles Black Construction Company Inc. for Buford High School bleachers and concessions — Phase II project.
  • Payment #18 in the amount of $145,223 to Charles Black Construction Company Inc. for New Street relocation project and utilize SPLOST funds and general funds.
  • Payment #18 in the amount of $3,141,485 to Charles Black Construction Company Inc. for Buford City Stadium project.
  • Payment #16 in the amount of $164,193 to Charles Black Construction Company Inc. for Buford Senior Academy addition project.
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