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SPCA denied permit for new facility

SUWANEE - The Georgia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was denied a special-use permit required for building a new 5,000-square-foot facility on Eva Kennedy Road in Suwanee.

The proposed 2.8-acre site for the pet adoption facility would have also housed the corporate home office for the Georgia SPCA.

According to Josh Campbell, the city's Planning Director, said Monday that "the site can not support the proposed use," and that the Planning Commission recommended denial of the special-use permit application. Suwanee's 2030 Comprehensive Plan designates the area as an Historic Old Town character area and recommends that the area be used for residential purposes, even though it is currently zoned for commercial use.

Several residents spoke in opposition to the special use for the Georgia SPCA adoption center. Leanne Manning, whose property would be directly adjacent to the adoption center, said that she was concerned about the water runoff from the site onto her property. Animal waste, in her opinion, would be washed onto her property and would negatively impact her children. Manning also felt that a pet adoption center that could house 200 to 250 dogs and cats would negatively impact property values on Eva Kennedy Road.

Manning and other surrounding property owners also voiced concern about the noise that the adoption center would generate. While every resident who opposed the center also voiced their support of the SPCA's mission, none of them wanted the center to be located on their street.

Natalie Guthrie, the Georgia SPCA Public Relations Director, said Tuesday that state-of-the-art technology had been designed into the proposed new facility that would quiet the noise level and make the facility eco-friendly.

Guthrie said that her organization will just have to make do with the Buford Highway (Suwanee) location the center currently uses. Grant money recently received by the organization will be used to update the storefront location on Buford Highway.

Sims Lake Park grand opening scheduled

Mayor Dave Williams announced Tuesday that a grand opening celebration for Sims Lake Park has been scheduled for 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Nov. 8. City manager Marty Allen said that the park should be available for use by the end of this month. The park features picnic and play areas as well as a walking trail that is about a mile long.