The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board voted unanimously to approve an exception to the city's stream buffer mandates.
With the approval of the board, Gwinnett Industrial Inc., will move forward with plans to build an industrial warehouse on Lot 1 at Gainesville Business Park.
The board will allow Gwinnett Industrial to build and landscape within a 75-foot city-mandated buffer zone around two streams on the property.
The state requires a 25-foot buffer zone, and Gwinnett Industrial plans to build right up to the limits of that, disturbing the city's extra 50-foot zone.
To the north of the property, Gwinnett Industrial will need to encroach on 3,910 square feet of the buffer zone to build a 60-foot retaining wall. To the south, 2,633 square feet of the buffer zone will be disturbed.
Rusty McKeller, a representative from Gwinnett Industrial spoke at the meeting and said the exception would save about $125,000 in construction costs.
If Gwinnett Industrial avoided the buffer zone, contractors would have to build a 200-foot retaining wall to the south and a 110-foot wall to the north to avoid the streams and follow the shape of the property.
The extra materials and construction would cost $160,000 to $170,000, McKeller said.
McKeller said Gwinnett Industrial agreed to the planning and division staff's condition to monitor the stream and wetland area before, during and after construction for signs of erosion or disturbance. He added the company already intended to draw up a sedimentation and erosion control plan.
Board Chairman Dean Dadisman agreed to the plan and led the unanimous vote.
"I think it's a good move," he said after the meeting.
The warehouse is the second building at the site and the first speculative building, meaning the city will determine its use and market the building after it is constructed.
Gwinnett Industrial has five more lots at Gainesville Business Park and plans to finish construction on the warehouse and surrounding property by the end of the year.