In this week’s community spotlight, we wanted to highlight a struggle going on in the Lawrenceville/Loganville/Grayson area of Walton and Gwinnett Counties. Residents in these areas are fighting an attempt to rezone a residential area into a heavy industrial trash transfer station.
Here is some important information:
Website – https://www.stopozorarezoning.com
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/StopOzoraRezoning/
Important dates to show up and support:
Jul 2 – Planning and Zoning Meeting
Jul 23 – County Commission Meeting
What is Happening?
A trash company is attempting to rezone a piece of property that is zoned residential to a M2 “heavy industrial” area. The company says that since the property is located next to a Vulcan Mine, it is acceptable to rezone the adjacent residential property for use as a trash transfer station. If the rezoning is approved, it is assumed that the company will quickly proceed with building the trash transfer station.
Why is it a Problem?
What’s the big deal? We need trash transfer stations, right? Residents have pointed out multiple problems with the proposed plan. They are as follows:
- Improper location of the trash transfer station.
- This area is surrounded by hundreds of homes. The transfer station would actually be adjacent to multiple homes with a small 100-foot buffer. A primarily residential area is not the correct place for a new trash transfer station.
- This area is close to multiple schools. With this area being primarily residential, there are numerous schools that would be very close to the station.
- This area has multiple parks and nature areas that are enjoyed by thousands of people every year.
- There are already two other transfer stations located 8 miles away. Neither is in a primarily residential location.
- Reduced quality of life and increased danger in surrounding areas.
- The trash transfer station will reduce the quality of life and make the area more dangerous for the surrounding homes, schools and parks due to bad odor, increased pollution of air/land/water supply, constant noise, more vermin and other pest animals, and the massive trucks on neighborhood, school and park roads.
- The effects of trash transfer stations are easily seen at other locations which is why they are almost always located in areas without heavy residential, school and park presence.
- Reduced Property Values
- Residents are concerned that if this trash transfer station is built, their property values will decrease. This is due to the fact that when residential areas are transformed into heavy industrial areas, they become less appealing to live in.
- Studies have been done that link trash transfer stations to loss of property value for surrounding homes: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d96a91_8b27aff0ddb54d4e9a1588361696c4c1.pdf
- Bad precedent and potential future expansion of heavy industrial areas.
- One of the most concerning aspects of this rezoning issue is the future impact. The precedent set for rezoning residential areas for heavy industrial use will be bad not only for the residents near this trash transfer station, but for all the communities in surrounding counties as well.
- The current Vulcan Mine has been in the area for DECADES with no heavy industrial expansion of the area until this trash transfer station.
- If the rezoning is successful, what’s to stop other properties in the area from being rezoned for other heavy industrial uses? This will further degrade the quality of living and property values of surrounding areas.
- The Vulcan Mine could be repurposed as a landfill. Trash transfer stations are bad, but a landfill is much worse. Studies link living near landfills to multiple health problems and birth defects. They can also leech into the groundwater and cause a host of other problems. Mines are OFTEN repurposed as landfills and if this trash transfer station is built, it is not inconceivable that a landfill could follow. Vulcan and the trash company have already been in talks as Vulcan recently sold them some land for the transfer station.
What Can be Done?
Good news, you can help! There are multiple ways you can assist these communities. For a full list, visit https://www.stopozorarezoning.com/what-can-i-do.
- Show up at important events.
- The most important events upcoming are the planning and zoning meeting on Jul 2nd and the county commissioner meeting on Jul 23rd. Taking a few hours out of your day to show up and support the fight against rezoning will make a difference.
- Contact the local representatives.
- Your voice matters and when enough people contact the local government about an issue, they must take notice. All the emails you need to contact are conveniently listed here: https://www.stopozorarezoning.com/contact-community-leaders.
- Sign the Petition.
- This one is easy! Just go HERE and sign the petition. Help them reach 5,000 signatures!
- Donate to the GoFundMe.
- You can also help by donating to the GoFundMe located HERE. This money is being used to buy signs, banners, t-shirts and to help pay for legal counsel.
- Help spread the word.
- You can put up signs, banners and wear t-shirts. Or print out brochures and tell your neighbors and friends what is happening. You can also share and like posts on social media!
What if I don’t live in the area? Why should I care?
Great question! While this rezoning may not directly impact you, there are multiple things you should take into consideration:
- Where do your employees live?
- Georgia Health Insurance is primarily located in Dunwoody, GA. This issue is not something that will directly impact our business or our owners. However, we have employees that live and work in the affected area. We care for our employees and their communities not only because it is the right thing to do; it is in our best interest as well.
- Where do your customers live?
- This is a large area that will affect thousands of people. If your business serves the Atlanta area, chances are some of your customers will be directly affected in a negative way if this trash transfer station is built. Support your customers and they will support you!
- Is this a good precedent to set?
- Could rezoning primarily residential areas into heavy industrial zones affect you in the future? Yes! The more this type of thing happens the more developers and companies will be encouraged to do the same thing. This time it is not in your back yard, but what about next time? Stand with others and they will stand with you!
Georgia Health Insurance Inc is a locally owned, family business that helps Georgia businesses and individuals with Group Health Insurance and Employee Benefits, Individual and Family Health Insurance, Medicare, Life Insurance, Disability Insurance and Long-Term Care Insurance! We are a 5-star rated company on Google, Facebook and Yelp and we would love to help you with your insurance needs!