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Flowery Branch denies 400,000 square feet of industrial space on McEver Road
121520 DISTRIBUTION
Nearly 400,000 square feet of distribution facility space is being proposed on 35 acres off McEver Road in South Hall. The project was denied by Flowery Branch but developers are now seeking the go-ahead from the city of Buford.

About 400,000 square feet of industrial space proposed at 6533 McEver Road was denied by the Flowery Branch City Council Thursday, Dec. 17, after more than a dozen community members told officials they were concerned about traffic, safety and the effects on nearby residential neighborhoods.

CA-Ventures had requested to annex the 35 acres and rezone it from agricultural-residential to light industrial. If approved Thursday, the request would have had to go back before the Council Jan. 7 and get a second approval before becoming final. But when the Council voted to deny the annexation Thursday, the other requests became null. Now, if developers want to try again, they would need to restart the application process, Mayor Mike Miller said.

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Councilman Ed Asbridge was the only yes vote Thursday. He said the majority of feedback he had received from the community was people asking for more time to look at the project. 

“A vote yes tonight could give everybody more time,” he said.

The proposal drew opposition from nearby residents, who said they were worried about traffic, especially with larger trucks, and safety near residential neighborhoods.

“I would ask you to look at the economic benefit to the citizens of Flowery Branch, versus the detriment to those that live around it,” Frank Powell said, asking that the item be tabled so traffic impacts could be studied more. “Is it worth it?”

And Farley Barge, co-founder of the nearby addiction recovery center Lightway Recovery, said the development would have been less than a quarter of a mile from the center and other residential uses.

“The illusion that there’s some sort of cohabitation between residential and light industrial is a farce,” Barge said. 

The project would have been about a $55 million development and was estimated to add up to 200 jobs, Steve Rowley of CA-Ventures said Thursday. 

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