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West Hall companys expansion plans stir talk about Browns Bridge Road traffic
Mincey Marble officials want to build across street from current plant
Mincey Marble officials want to build across the street from current plant on Browns Bridge Road.

Hall County Board of Commissioners

What: Public hearing and vote on rezoning to allow expansion by Mincey Marble in West Hall
When: 6 p.m. July 14
Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

The proposed expansion of a West Hall marble plant has raised larger questions about traffic along busy Browns Bridge Road.

“We need to have (Browns Bridge Road) fixed so residents can get in and out (of side streets),” longtime area resident Junior Wetherford said. “… They need to put a four-lane highway down there.”

Another resident, Russell McCall, also has fretted about the curvy, largely residential two-lane road that carries heavy traffic between Hall and Forsyth counties.

“Browns Bridge Road is ridiculous anyway, if you’ve ever tried to get in and out of any place on the road,” he said.

Mincey Marble is seeking a rezoning that would enable the 39-year-old cast marble manufacturer to expand operations with a 100,750-square-foot building across the street from the current plant at 4321 Browns Bridge Road.

The new building would be next to Spainhill Road, west of Cherokee Trail.

Mincey is working with the Georgia Department of Transportation on new turn lanes off Browns Bridge Road at the property, said Ed Myers, a civil engineer working with the company.

“We’re definitely going to try to improve traffic that goes through there,” he said.

Also, in addressing concerns about the project’s impact on Spainhill, Myers said construction traffic wouldn’t use the road during the project and no driveways onto Spainhill are planned.

As for the widening of Browns Bridge Road, the project has been discussed for years by transportation officials, but it may not take shape for a couple of decades.

Mincey’s expansion plans got the Hall County Planning Board’s approval, with conditions, on June 20. The company has one more hoop to jump through before it can start the project — a public hearing and rezoning vote by the Hall County Board of Commissioners on July 14.

Hall County planning staff, meanwhile, has recommended denial of the project for other reasons.

“Marble manufacturing may have an adverse effect on the existing residential properties,” a staff report states. “The proposed use is likely to produce obnoxious odors, noise, dust and possibly other objectionable conditions.”

Myers said that while the proposed building is next to residential properties, “there are pretty good natural buffers due to the hardwoods that are outside of what’s been graded.

“And we’re not anticipating removing any more trees from the site.”

If the rezoning is approved, construction on the new building could start in August and be completed by the first of the year, said Jim Huddleston, Mincey’s vice president of operations.

“We’re excited to bring this proposal. … We’ve just been growing and growing over the years,” Myers said.