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Snellville postpones vote on emissions ordinance

SNELLVILLE - City leaders voted unanimously Monday night to postpone the second reading and vote concerning possible passage of an air and soil emissions ordinance.

Officials also voted to postpone a decision regarding the city's Oct. 14 Board of Appeals revocation of the crematory's certificates of occupancy and development conformance.

The appeals board overruled the city planning department, which took the position earlier this year that the controversial crematory, located at U.S. Highway 78 and Abington Drive, was not substantially different from the plans originally submitted in 2006.

The vote concerning the emissions ordinance was postponed until the Nov. 10 city council meeting, as the city attorney is still awaiting an opinion from the state attorney general as to whether such an ordinance could legally be enforced by a municipality.

The vote regarding the "substantial difference" in the crematory plans was postponed to the same date "because of possible litigation," according to Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer.

Day care rezoning request withdrawn

Chanta Rose planned to build a 13,000-square-foot day care center and separate gymnasium along Lenora Church Road, until Snellville council members told her they would deny her rezoning request Monday. Rose had asked that a 2.78 acre parcel located at 2706 Lenora Church Road be rezoned from residential use to civic/institutional use.

Under the civic/institutional zoning designation, day care centers are a permitted use. But mayor pro tem Warren Auld pointed out that all the surrounding uses, outside of residential development, are governmental. A recycling center, a park, a fire station and a library are all located in that immediate area. Auld maintained that any new building should be civic in nature, also.

Jason Thompson, the city's acting planning director, said that there is a conflict in the ordinance that should be corrected in the future. Oberholtzer said he was a city council member seven years ago when the civic/institutional zoning was changed to include day care centers.

The mayor said that day care centers were included in 2001 to accommodate churches who may possibly want to offer those services to the community, not with the intention that a standalone day care center could be built in that zoning.

"Two administrations ago, a commitment was made to area citizens not to bring commercial development in there," Oberholtzer said.

Rose maintained that she specifically asked for civic/institutional zoning because day care centers are allowed, according to the way the ordinance is currently worded.

Councilman Tod Warner moved to deny Rose's application, and councilwoman Barbara Bender seconded his motion. Both cited traffic safety concerns and resident opposition as their reasons.

Oberholtzer advised Rose that she could withdraw her application to rezone before the council voted to deny. By withdrawing the application, the property can still be rezoned under another application for another use. Without the withdrawal, the property could not be rezoned for any use for one year. Rose agreed to withdraw her application for rezoning.