Zoning request denied for waste recovery facility
The Polk County Planning and Zoning Board denied an application for property near Coot’s Lake to be changed from C1 Commercial to I-2 Industrial.
However, the issue hasn’t been thrown out with the trash just yet. The Polk County Board of Commissioners will get their chance to vote the zoning change up or down in August.
During the board’s meeting on Thursday evening, members denied the application made by David Jackson, Green Landfill and Medcare Management to move the property into an industrial zone on behalf of the company that wants to purchase it.
Current owners wantto sell the property to A&M Disposal LLC for use as a waste recovery facility. But A&M’s president, Matthew Iles, will have to wait for the Board of Commissioners to hear the issue in August.
Iles reiterated that the facility would not take in waste that would go into a landfill, but instead the company will re-use what was once a landfill itself that has been covered over.
He also said his company – which is looking to call Polk County home – will spend “a good deal of money” to fix problems with the inert landfill already on site.
Iles also said the noise of the machines that would run on site crushing rock and chipping wood for mulch would not be as serious as a concern as previously thought, since trees surrounding the outer edges of the property would dampen the noise.
He said his familyrun business – with only three trucks in their
fleet currently – was looking for a place to call home, and said he wanted to invest and give back to Polk County if allowed to locate the business at the site.
Iles also went so far as to tell the board that he would be willing to include written promises never to bring any kind of materials onto the property that would be damaging to the local environment.
He said addendums to any zoning change could also be included to immediately put the property back into commercial zoning should he ever decide to sell it.
The Standard Journal reached out to County Attorney Brad McFall for comment on whether addenda to a zoning change approval could survive a court challenge, but calls were not returned by press time on Monday.
Local resident Art Ragsdale spoke on behalf of other property owners in the area and voiced concerns about pollution, loss of property value, and kind of the impression the business would make on those coming into the county on Highway 278.
“It doesn’t matter what we call it, it’ll still be called ‘the dump,’” Ragsdale said.
Ragsdale also argued that local residents are concerned that no matter what promises Iles commits to writing, unintended pollution could still get into the watershed from the property and cause major issues down the road.
“We tell our kids all the time ‘don’t put that in your mouth, you don’t know where it’s come from.’ Well, it’s the same thing here. You can’t really know where this mate- rial is coming from or what it’s been through,” Ragsdale said.
The rezoning application now moves on to the August meeting of the Polk County Board of Commissioners who will hear a report from the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission before making a decision.
Julie Meadows, the director of regional planning for the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, told zoning board members the NWGRC will deliver a report on the proposed zoning change to the Polk County Board of Commissioners within days of that night’s denial.
She said the report will include comments from state and federal authorities, among others.
The two other applications on the agenda, one from David Fincher, who wants to locate a cabinet shop on his property, and one from Murphy Harpst Children’s Center to change the zoning to allow a building on their Grady Road property to be rented out for a personal care home, were approved.
Matthew Iles of A&M Disposal makes the case to allow for a zoning change on Rockmart property he wants to buy during the June 18 County Planning and Zoning Board meeting.