Despite opposition, business gets go-ahead

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Despite alleged safety concerns raised by a local resident, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to let an existing oil change business use its parking lot to rent out moving trucks.

James Kelly of Lawrenceville said he worried the presence of such vehicles near his road -- Chesterfield Drive -- would make bad traffic worse.

"There's a lot of congestion already at this intersection," Kelly said. "Now, we're going to put unskilled truck drivers in big trucks ... trying to pull out into the congested traffic."

The board listened, but ultimately approved the request for a special-use permit at Valvoline Instant Oil Change on Oak and Dogwood roads in a unanimous vote during Tuesday's night's regular meeting.

The planning department initially recommended the board of commissioners deny the measure, but the planning commission produced a list of special conditions and recommended approval.

Conditions included stipulations that the business owners limit the number of moving trucks to eight or fewer at any given time and that all moving vehicles -- with the largest being 24-feet-long -- must be parked behind the building.

Kelly said the conditions didn't address his concerns that the trucks would produce traffic too close to nearby schools like Five Forks Middle School. "We're talking about areas with primarily two-lane residential roads with school buses and school children all over the area," Kelly said.

One of the business owners, Timothy J. Roe, agreed to all special conditions. He said that, contrary to Kelly's claims, he didn't foresee the measure causing traffic problems in the area.

Roe owns similar moving truck rental locations and said that to his knowledge, those who rent the trucks haven't caused a wreck in 10 years.

The company, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, has been in business at the Oak Road and Dogwood Road location for about 15 years, Roe said.