The Douglasville City Council voted Monday to table a vote on approving a plan for a proposed portable rock crushing plant until its next round of meetings later this month.
The move to table came from Councilman Mark Adams, who chairs the planning and development committee overseeing the development plan, after the council heard from the developer’s lawyer, city staff and several citizens opposed to the plant.
Mayor Pro Tem Richard Segal said he didn’t want the council’s move to seem like it was “kicking the can” down the road but that new information had been received Monday the council needed to consider before making a final decision on whether to approve the plan.
The plan presented by developer Bart Boyd of Kennesaw would entail putting two grinders and a 400-square-foot building on 10 acres of a 152-acre site along West Strickland Street at South Flatrock Road.
Boyd told the council at Thursday’s work session “earthen materials” such as clay, dirts, stone, that type of material” would be transported to the plant and manufactured into a “construction fill type of product” before being transported off site.
Curtis Shipley, who has been a citizen leader among citizens who don’t want a quarry or rock grinding on the site, cited Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code 32 and told the council it doesn’t allow a mining operation, which he contended the rock crushing plant would be even if the material is not mined directly on site. He told the council that according to the code “crushing and breaking of stone and the crushing and grinding or otherwise preparing sand, gravel and non-metallic chemical and fertilizer minerals other than barite are defined as mining.”
Beth Johnson, a Douglasville resident, told the council that a conservation easement on the property would have to be removed and the plans re-submitted before the council could approve the plan.
Citizens also questioned whether proper setback requirements are met in the plan and whether trucks carrying the materials could pass through an area zoned for light industrial to an area zoned for heavy industrial.
Aaron Ruffin, interim community development director, told the council the only issue he sees with the development plan submitted by Boyd is the 50-foot setback.
Atlanta land use attorney Doug Dillard told the council in rebutting the citizens’ concerns “we satisfy the 50-foot requirement around residential.”
Dillard asserted that Boyd is “sitting on a piece of property we have a legal right to use under code.”
Councilman Mike Miller, a local attorney, said “this is probably the toughest thing I’ve had to do as a city council member.”
Adams said his biggest concern was the SIC codes and the “confusion” around them. He said by tabling the issue until the council’s May 17 work session and May 21 voting meeting, the council could more thoroughly look at the codes to determine if the plan presented by the developer complies with them.