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Proposed South Hall landfill denied by Buford planning board
Buford City Commission to ultimately decide issue
The Buford Planning and Zoning Board recommended denial on Tuesday of a proposed landfill on McEver Road. The matter now moves to the Buford City Commission.

A proposed, privately run landfill in South Hall got the Buford Planning and Zoning Board’s recommendation for denial Tuesday night.

Applause broke out at Buford City Hall as the board voted against Lula resident Glenn Hamilton’s plans for the landfill on McEver Road across from Blackberry Lane.

Robert Perkins of the board said that the road “is not designed for stump dumps … or landfills that you can ride by and see.”

“You can put them 20 miles off the road — that’s OK,” he said.

The issue now goes before the Buford City Commission for final approval on May 1. That meeting is set for 7 p.m. at Buford City Hall, 2300 Buford Highway.

The decision followed about 15 minutes of public comments. All the speakers opposed the proposal.

“A landfill coming down McEver would make my place look like a disaster,” said Ken Jonick, owner of Whitworth Inn bed-and-breakfast. “We don’t feel this is a good idea.”

Dale Caldwell, headwaters watershed protection specialist with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, said his group’s biggest concern about the proposal is the landfill would be about 7,500 feet from Buford’s water supply.

“Water pollution is water pollution, we understand that,” Perkins interjected.

The landfill also would be close to Big Creek, a waterway that flows from west of Interstate 985 to Lake Lanier.

“That is certainly a concern,” Caldwell said. “No matter how this project is developed, there are potential impacts.”

Hamilton wasn’t at the meeting, and no one spoke in favor of the project.

A March 2 report to the city from Suwanee firm McFarland-Dyer & Associates, which evaluated the proposal, recommends denial of a special-use permit.

“The application did not include detailed procedures for the disposal operation … as to prevent air, land or water pollution, public health hazard or nuisances,” the report states.

The firm also cited “adverse impacts to nearby properties.”

“Traffic, odor, dust, erosion, methane mitigation, noise and rodents are concerns that support denial,” the report states.

The Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Hall County area’s lead transportation planning agency, also has chimed in on the issue.

Sam Baker, transportation planning manager, said in a March 20 email to Buford Planning Director Kim C. Wolfe, that plans call for the eventual widening of McEver Road from Jim Crow Road/Gainesville Street in Flowery Branch to Lanier Islands Parkway/Ga. 347 in Buford.

Construction could take place between 2024 and 2032.

“We request that this widening project be considered in regards to access and facility setbacks during your planning phase,” Baker said.

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