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Opinion: Warehouse coming for Buford must be stopped
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With the designation an inland port in Gainesville, there has been an explosion of gigantic distribution warehouses and tractor-trailer truck traffic. 

At first, these monstrosities arose from the land near highways and industrial areas. Now, with land prices soaring, these brazen developers are pushing to encroach upon established neighborhoods.

That’s why we, the citizens, count on land use plans and responsible elected officials to keep the selfish greed of nonresidents at bay. It almost worked, twice. Now for a third time we are having to invest our time, energy, money and hearts into what should have been settled. 

CA Ventures, a $13 billion global real estate investment management company, has set its target on a wooded 33-acre parcel along a residential stretch of McEver Road. The parcel is zoned AG and indicated as residential future use on Hall County’s land use plan. Established subdivisions and large lot estates are across the two-lane curvy street (sadly referred to as dead man’s curve). 

The beautiful home my family purchased is on a 5-acre adjacent parcel. The zoning of PBD was necessary when the grand home was previously used as a bed and breakfast. The zoning also made it perfect for the residential use we desired, which was to create a safe and quiet place where women could recover, refresh and put their lives back together. The stable and supportive community has welcomed a nonprofit ministry and the beautiful women who live here. 

In September 2020, we were notified of the intent by CA Ventures to build two warehouses, 218,700 and 168,480 square feet, with 280 car parking spaces and 73 truck spaces for a 24-hour distribution operation. Hall County staff recommended denial, and at the planning commission hearing, after much debate, they agreed. CA then withdrew the application. Whew! People had come to their senses, right? Wrong! 

In less than a month, the proposed plan had been accelerated through to Flowery Branch City Council for annexation and rezoning to be heard Dec. 17 in the midst of holiday madness. After courteously listening to every community voice on a Zoom meeting, this council also deemed the project not in the best interest of the community. 

Sadly, the giant would not go away. The developers’ representative informed us that Buford city came to them and was favorable to annex and rezone for this project. 

How could that be possible miles away from downtown Buford? They would annex through Brentwood, a residential subdivision and across the railroad tracks behind the property! 

Once again, next week, citizens must make our appeal. This is just wrong! This time we appeal not to our own elected officials but to men who seem to place more value on money than the life-changing adverse effects on adjacent and nearby neighbors. 

Please help us stop this onslaught of interstate business use into residential areas. Hearings July 20 and Aug. 2 in Buford. The next site might be next to you!

Teresa Cantrell

Buford

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