After a presentation from developers and comments from residents, the city of Grantville's Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend that the city council decline the rezoning of 101 Lowry Road from R-20 residential to light industrial.
A public hearing on the rezoning will occur at the Grantville City Council's Feb. 28 meeting.
The rezoning was requested by industrial developer Robinson Weeks, who wants to build a 1-million-square-foot warehouse at the location. Construction of the warehouse will also include a right turning lane off of Highway 29 to access the site.
According to Tyler Jones, a representative developer for the project, the warehouse is a speculative project — it is designed for a variety of uses, but currently there isn't a company that will occupy the space.
John Walker, a traffic engineer for the project, said, based on studies, the warehouse could expect 830 vehicles into the property and 830 out of the property. 550 would be cars for employees and 280 would be trucks.
The peak hours for the warehouse would be 7-8 a.m. and 5-6 p.m., Walker said.
Jones said the buffer between the warehouse and the nearby homes would be "pretty significant," and the warehouse would not be able to be seen from the residences.
According to Jones, the city of Grantville is projected to receive $1.9 million in tax revenue per year.
Robinson Weeks previously requested a development agreement with the city to construct a sewage treatment facility at the location of the warehouse. The developer would pay for the construction of the facility, which would then be turned over to the city for maintenance and operation.
Connecting the warehouse to the city's sewer system would require extending piping across the interstate.
The council did not display enthusiasm for the agreement at its December work session, and hasn't made a decision on the matter yet.
City Engineer Brennan Jones described the potential sewage treatment facility as "fairly passive," and said an operator would need to check on the facility once or twice a week for a couple of hours.
"Whatever arrangement they arrive at with the city, they can have those costs covered in that arrangement," he said.
"That's a preliminary discussion," Jones said of the development agreement. "Nothing has been agreed to, but that was actually presented as an alternate solution for the city to accommodate any kind of capacity concerns."
The Grantville residents who attended the meeting did not voice support for the development. Many said they were in support of the city growing, but opposed the location of the warehouse. Other residents had concerns on how the warehouse would impact the traffic near the interstate exit.
Josh Faircloth, a Grantville resident, said the nearby roads already have issues, and he doesn't believe they can accommodate new traffic.
"This road right here is going to be tough to handle it," he said. "I know when they have an accident, we can't even get out of the subdivision."
Grantville resident Andrew Williams echoed similar sentiments. He said he felt the warehouse would be a stress on the community.
"What happens if that place catches on fire? Do you expect the two guys down here to put it out? My brother is a fireman. I don't want him to die in some warehouse, because they're understaffed as it is," he said. "We can't handle it. I want growth. I'm a lumber salesman, it puts money in my pocket, but not like this. It's too much to handle."
Brandon McDowell, a resident at the meeting, said driving near Lowry Road was already hectic.
"It's like NASCAR 500 as it is now," he said. "You get transfer trucks and increased traffic; it's a death trap."
The Planning Commission voted unanimously in their recommendation to the council.
Danny Clay, a member of the commission, said he came to Grantville because of the city's slow pace and wants to preserve that.
"I'd like to see it stay quiet," he said. "I feel for those folks over there on Lowry Road. I got a good friend of mine that I grew up with all through school that lives on Lowry into Meriwether County, and I know what an impact it will be on them, too."