The controversial proposal to build a waste transfer station on Ozora Road that sparked a backlash from residents in the Grayson and Loganville area has been withdrawn, Gwinnett County Planning Commission Chairman Chuck Warbington said Tuesday.
The application by property owner Darron Britt and Southern Sanitation owner Buddy Ray Johnson to build the waste transfer station on a 51.62-acre property on the 800 block of Ozora Road near Tribble Mill Park, two schools, a Vulcan Materials quarry and several neighborhoods. Widespread community opposition quickly formed.
The issue was scheduled to come up at the July Planning Commission meeting, but Warbington said the applicant’s attorney and Gwinnett Planning and Development Director Kathy Holland contacted him and told him the rezoning application was being withdrawn.
“I haven’t gotten any reasoning why other than I got a note that they were withdrawing the application,” Warbington said. “Later this week, I plan to give them a call to find out why.”
This may not necessarily be the end of the battle of the property in question. While the applicant withdrew the rezoning request for the waste transfer station, Warbington did not rule out the possibility that they could come back with a alternative proposal.
“I think they’re looking to do possibly other things on property — maybe,” Warbington said.
Larry Rose, the head of a community group that organized to fight the waste transfer station proposal, urged followers of the Stop The Waste Transfer Station On Ozora Road Facebook group to remain vigilant, telling them “the battle may have been won but the war is not over” because the application can be resubmitted after 30 days.
“We’ve got to be prepared for the worst,” Rose told the Daily Post. “We have to be prepared to think this thing, in 30 days, could get resubmitted and we might be right back where we are so I don’t want people to let their guards down.
“I don’t want people to think it’s over and then be disappointed in 30 days to find out that, gosh, we just lost 30 days that we could have been communicating this message to people and making sure that we got out to as many people as possible.”
Rose said he and other leaders of the community opposition group recently met with Britt to discuss their concerns about the proposal. Britt also called Rose Monday night to tell him of his plans to withdraw the application and look at residential options for the site.
The community group’s stance is that they only want the property, which is currently zoned for residential uses, used only for a residential purpose.
“His intent, what he’s telling me, is he wants to come up with something that we can live with and something that he can live with,” Rose said. “He says he’s going to look at residential options. Whether he does that or not, we’ll see, but that’s what his message to use was.”