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Snellville changes ordinance, now prohibits crematories

SNELLVILLE - City officials approved a change to the Snellville zoning ordinance Monday, removing crematories as an approved use in the Office Professional district. Crematories are now no longer permitted in any zoning district in the city.

According to acting Planning Director Jason Thompson, there were two rounds of amendments made before the new draft of the zoning ordinance was presented to the city council. In addition to removing crematories as a permitted use, day care centers, pharmacies and salons will be allowed only as conditional uses in an OP district. Conditional-use permits are granted only after being heard by the mayor and council. Hospitals will now be zoned Civic/Institutional.

Councilman Robert Jenkins pointed out Monday that the "extra scrutiny" required for granting conditional-use permits might head off future controversies such as the current crematory issue in the city. The city Board of Appeals withdrew Crematory of the South's certificate of occupancy last month, even though the business had been in operation for about six weeks, citing a substantially different building plan than the operation that opened for business on Sept. 2.

Crematory of the South has threatened to sue the city, and as a result, other decisions regarding soil and air emissions and the Board of Appeals ruling have been postponed until Dec. 8. An opinion from the state attorney general is also necessary before council members move ahead with imposing soil and air emissions regulations.

Monday's approval of the text amendment to the zoning ordinance lifted the moratorium on OP zonings in the city.

City employees, resident honored

Catherine Creasy, a longtime resident of Snellville, was honored Monday for her dedication to the Citizens Police Academy Alumni.

"Ms. Creasy has been dedicated to (the organization) for seven years and serves as the group's secretary," said mayor Jerry Oberholtzer. Creasy was also instrumental in securing a grant for the Snellville police department's newest K-9 unit.

Public Works Director Gaye Johnson and her Recycling Center staff were also recognized Monday for their outstanding work. The department was awarded first place in the state for waste reduction.

On Oct. 22, Director of Parks and Recreation Cyndee Bonacci was named the 2008 Distinguished Professional of the Year for the Georgia Recreation and Park Association's 7th District.

"Cindy collects awards like most of us collect traffic tickets," Oberholtzer said. "This award means she's top in the state."