BUFORD — A North Hall man’s plans for a South Hall landfill were rejected Monday night by the Buford City Commission.
As when the city’s Planning and Zoning Board recommended denial in April, applause broke out across the meeting room in City Hall as the commission voted 3-0 against Glenn Hamilton’s plans.
Hamilton had planned to use 14 of 27 wooded acres off McEver Road, just north of Lanier Islands Parkway/Ga. 347, into a dump for discarded tree stumps.
He addressed the audience during his remarks to the commission, saying the area has a need for such an operation.
“We’ve run out of places to take the stumps,” he said. “When it’s full … maybe I can take a tax write-off and provide the citizens of Buford a park.”
Residents packed the meeting room in opposition, with several voicing their objections.
Gina Grate-Evans, sales consultant at adjacent Mabry Ridge subdivision, protested Hamilton’s plans as she showed the commission a map of the area.
“We certainly don’t see a landfill fitting the city’s vision for the future development of this area,” she said. “Putting a landfill in this area is certainly going to poison the well, to coin a phrase.”
Dale Caldwell, headwaters watershed protection specialist with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, has said his group’s biggest concern is the landfill would be about 7,500 feet from Buford’s water supply on Lake Lanier.
He brought up the point again Monday night.
“I’ll also point out we monitor (neighboring) Big Creek on rain events and it’s already an impaired waterway,” Caldwell said. “This (landfill) would just increase the potential for further pollution and degradation.”
A March 2 report to the city from Suwanee firm McFarland-Dyer & Associates, which evaluated Hamilton’s proposal, also recommended denying the permit.
“Traffic, odor, dust, erosion, methane mitigation, noise and rodents are concerns that support denial,” the report states.
Even though Hamilton’s request was denied, Buford City Commission Chairman Phillip Beard said a landfill is needed in the area.
“They won’t let you burn trees anymore,” he said. “You either got to grind them up or put them in a landfill. … At some point and time, somebody is going to find some property that there’ll be little or no objection to, and it’ll happen.”
After the meeting, Hamilton said he would consider other options for his property, such as office/warehouse uses.
“Something is going to happen (on the property),” he said in an interview last week. “It’s not just going to sit there anymore.”