Vote postponed on Powder Springs distribution center

Developer vows to work out traffic plan, hold town hall with concerned residents

An Alpharetta developer plans to build a 338,550 square-foot logistics center and a 60,000-square-foot warehouse on nearly 126.7 acres of undeveloped land along Oglesby Road just outside Powder Spring’s southern boundaries.

The Native Development Group on Monday sought to have City Council rezone a 9.2-acre portion of the development site that sits within city limits. The rezoning would allow light industrial activity within yards of the Springbrook Estates subdivision, a community of about 40 homes just north of the development site.

City Council is expected to annex the remaining 117.5 acres into Powder Springs on Oct. 18. That land is currently in unincorporated Cobb County. That’s when council members are expected to vote on the rezoning request.

Kevin Moore, a Marietta attorney, representing the Native Development Group, said developers plan to meet with residents at a nearby subdivision who were “adamantly opposed” Monday to the prospect of a distribution center being built adjacent to their neighborhood. Developers also intend to conduct a traffic study to analyze the impact of truck traffic from the logistics center.

“I think that folks deserve that opportunity,” Moore said of a community meeting. They’ve asked for it and we certainly want to provide that to them.”

The warehouse and distribution center are proposed to be built near a juncture where C.H. James Parkway, Burrow Trail and Oglesby Road intersect.

City officials said the facilities can bring up to 200 jobs and about $85,000 in tax revenue to Powder Springs.

Many homeowners said those benefits would be outweighed by negatives.

“When we chose to call Springbrook Estates our home, this was not a part of our vision,” Kevin Sampler said.

It was not clear which trucking company intends to set up shop at the location. Powder Springs Community Development Director Tina Garver said the site was part of a 251-acre property that city leaders once proposed for an Amazon operations center in 2017.

According to Garver, Powder Springs planners intend to meet with Cobb County and Georgia transportation officials this week to discuss the possibility of installing a traffic light, adding more turn lanes for trucks along Lewis Road and creating an access road that connects C.H. James Parkway with Oglesby Road. The only access to the proposed site currently is along Burrow Trail.

Marvin Stokes was one of several residents who asked council members to deny the rezoning request for the distribution center. He told council members it backs up to his home along Misty Creek Court.

“Anywhere you put these distribution (centers), you have to have it zoned correctly,” Stokes said. “You cannot back it 1,000 feet from my back door thinking it’s not going to affect my property value, my quality of life and the way we live our everyday life.”

Other residents worried it would cause noise and air pollution, pose dangers to pedestrians and increase traffic from hundreds of delivery trucks and employees using Lewis Road to access the distribution center.

“You’re the only thing that’s standing between us and that business that wants to change what we have,” Ben Carter said. “We have a good thing and we don’t want it to change so I implore you to vote on our behalf. Vote it down, tell them to go somewhere else.”

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