Norcross denies 'low end' rezoning

NORCROSS - Owners of the property located at 2395 Beaver Ruin Road petitioned the city of Norcross to rezone the property for commercial use. Bun Soon An is an entrepreneur who reclaims discarded furniture, refurbishes it and then sells it. His business has grown to the point that he requires a storefront in order to keep up with demand. There is a ranch-style house already situated on the property.

In earlier meetings with the city's Planning Commission, the businessman said he needed commercial zoning for a flea market-type establishment. In Monday night's city council meeting, residents spoke out against the requested rezoning, saying that a nearby furniture store often displays its wares outside the store near the curb.

Norcross resident Faye McFarland objected to the rezoning because she said the builder did not do certain things he was supposed to do. She also said another furniture store would be an unsightly addition to that section of Beaver Ruin Road. A relatively new 90-home subdivision is located right next to the parcel of land in question.

The city's planning and zoning board recommended denial of the C-1 zoning, because it does not dovetail with the 2030 Comprehensive Plan for that area. According to city planner Howard Koontz, the proposed furniture store/flea market is not the "highest and best use" of the


Councilman Keith Shewbert said Monday that, "This is what we've been fighting on Buford Highway and Mitchell Street. This is certainly not something you'd want behind your house."

City to hold hearings on millage rate

Council members voted to uphold Finance Director Rudolph Smith's recommendation to hold the tax millage rate at 6.027. Three public hearings are required before the action is official, and the last of the three will be held at the Sept. 1 city council meeting.

Shewbert said during the discussion that the city of Norcross consistently has one of the highest millage rates in the county, and that he would like to see an effort to decrease spending across the board.

Blasting required at Lillian Webb field, College Street properties

Council members voted to approve a loan to the Downtown Development Authority to fund blasting required at two DDA-owned College Street properties. Rock has been discovered on these parcels that can not be removed by less invasive meth-ods.The land is not under contract yet, but city manager Warren Hutmacher said existing structures at nearby Lillian Webb field could be damaged if blasting is delayed.

The loan will be a 3-year, no-interest transaction.

Rock has also been found underground at Lillian Webb field, and an additional $66,565 is required to blast it out of the ground. City officials will attempt to recover some of the additional cost from the geo-tech firm that performed initial on-site boring but did not identify the rock before construction began. Underground pipe and retaining walls have already been built and could sustain damage resulting from the blasting.

"We're not sure if anyone is responsible at this point," Hutmacher said. However, a DDA attorney is looking into the matter.