A rezoning application for a warehouse on Highway 92 will go before the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners in October without support from the Cherokee County Planning Commission.
At its meeting Tuesday night, the planning commission unanimously recommended denial of a rezoning request on Highway 92. The applicant, Mean LLC, had applied to have 3.6 acres of land at 7626 Highway 92 rezoned from neighborhood commercial to light industrial for the development of a manufacturing and warehouse facility on site. The application also contained a request for a variance to allow the development to encroach into the property’s zoning buffer.
County Zoning Manager Michael Chapman said the property was located in what the county’s future development map calls a neighborhood living area and was adjacent to land zoned for residential uses. While there is some land zoned light industrial nearby, these parcels are located north of Highway 92, clustered around Industrial Drive and Dixie Drive. Chapman also said there is the possibility that, should the county approve rezoning the site in question, the Georgia Department of Transportation could require a right-turn deceleration lane be installed leading onto the property.
Representing Mean was David Lucas, who said this was a relatively small business that already had operations in place across Highway 92 from the property, and the company was looking at this location for an expansion to the business. Mean manufactures components for firearms, and Lucas said the new facility would be used primarily for assembling parts and shipping them out. The company did not anticipate this use would increase traffic much, if at all, believing that the traffic heading to this site would simply be a shift of traffic already heading to the facility across the street.
Planning Commissioner Tom Hill asked how far into the 50 foot buffer on the eastern side of the property the development would go, with the answer being that it would be about 20 feet, which would allow for a wider driveway for shipping traffic to get in and out.
Planning Commissioner Lisa Tressler asked for more information about the kinds of traffic the site would see. Lucas said deliveries and shipments would take place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and would consist primarily of box trucks, with only the occasional tractor-trailer. Planning Commissioner Tom Ware followed this up by asking how frequently delivery trucks visit the current facility, with the answer being around three times a week on box trucks and tractor-trailers only on occasion.
County resident Renaye Ohanesian told planning commissioners she was strongly opposed to the rezoning. Ohanesian argued this was not in conformity with the county’s current and future land use plans for the area, while also affecting the relatively peaceful nature residents in the nearby subdivisions enjoy on their property.
“I believe Highway 92 should be a barrier on this,” she said.
Planning Commission Chair Bob Whitaker agreed, saying Highway 92 makes a good line of demarcation between the industrial properties on Industrial Drive and Dixie Drive and the neighborhoods south of the highway. While this proposed use appeared relatively soft for light industrial, he said, he still felt this was not the right place for such zoning.
“When we ignore our land use plan, we create precedents for the future,” Whitaker said.