Powder Springs auto salvage business withdraws proposal
by Geoff Folsom
July 04, 2012 01:12 AM | 3461 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — A business already approved to salvage and sell used auto parts in Powder Springs withdrew its application for a special land use permit that would allow it to also crush cars for recycling before Tuesday’s Cobb Planning Commission zoning hearing. But not before 55 people showed up in opposition at the meeting.

Planning commissioners didn’t heed Selma LLC’s request to allow it to withdraw the application without prejudice for the property at 4995 Powder Springs Dallas Road. Instead, they voted 4-0 to recommend to the Cobb Board of Commissioners that the application be withdrawn with prejudice.

Planning Commission Chairman Murray Homan, who represents the district that includes the site, said the decision to withdraw with prejudice, which prevents applicants from trying again for the land use permit request for at least a year, was made because the applicants wouldn’t work with the county.

After the meeting, Homan said he couldn’t get developers to tell him exactly what they wanted to do with the property.

“They never sat down with me,” he said. “They never presented any kind of plan to me.”

Homan advised the applicant to apply for a permit with the city of Powder Springs, which borders part of the 17.5-acre site planned for M&R Used Auto Parts Inc.

“They use all the city services, city roads, city zoning,” he said. “It ought to be a city issue.”

Powder Springs Mayor Pat Vaughn, who was among those attending in opposition, said the applicant was seeking to add a recycling component onto the area the county approved for salvage and sales of auto parts in September 2011. She agreed with Homan that it would be better regulated by the city, but said the planned use would be too intense for an area close to homes.

“We felt it could be harmful to the health and welfare of our city residents,” she said.

County staff had recommended approving expansion of the facility, with stipulations including requiring the applicant to build a privacy fence around the site.

The site was proposed to have between five and six employees.

Meanwhile, a woman who had previously withdrawn her application for a land use permit to allow her to set up a group home in the face of heavy opposition was back Tuesday. While no one showed up this time to oppose Edith Page’s planned group home across from Gospel Nation Church near Powder Springs, she didn’t have much better luck this time, with the planning commission recommending denying the request by a 4-0 vote.

Page said she wanted to set up the group home for up to eight elderly and special needs residents in a seven bedroom, five bathroom home.

But Homan said that Cobb is reevaluating its policy on group homes in order to comply with changes to state law. He advised Page to initially set up the home for no more than four residents, which wouldn’t require a land use permit, and come back in a year if she would still like to add more residents.

In February, Page, a registered nurse, applied for a land use permit to operate a group home for up to 12 people in another house she owns on Brownsville Road southwest of Powder Springs, but withdrew it the day before the planning commission meeting. Not realizing the application had been withdrawn, the board went ahead with the hearing on the group home, at which 17 people showed up in opposition.

Among the issues raised at the February hearing were a driveway for the group home that was in a flood plain and concerns about a group home Page formerly owned in Powder Springs where a convicted child molester once lived.

Page responded that residents were discriminating against the mentally challenged.

Though the vote was ultimately for naught, the planning commission recommended denial of Page’s February application by a 4-0 vote.

Northeast Cobb board member Christi Trombetti didn’t attend Tuesday’s meeting.

The Board of Commissioners will take up the Planning Commission recommendations at a July 17 meeting.

Also Tuesday, the board recommended:

Unanimously approving a draft of the Vinings Vision plan, a series of five-, 10- and 20-year projects to guide future development in Vinings.

Unanimously approving a mid-year update to the Official Code of Cobb County. Among the changes proposed are a “social host” ordinance, which can hold residents responsible if they allow underage drinking to occur. Community Development Director Rob Hosack said violations of the ordinance could be punishable of fines of $150 for hosting a gathering that includes minors for the first offense, and $500 per offense after that.
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