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Smyrna: Oppose variances for Glock facilities' expansion at 6000 Highlands Parkway.
Glock in Smyrna is planning to build three new buildings at 6000 Highlands Parkway, bordering Camp Highland Rd and Prince Rd. That's not the problem. The problem is they are requesting a variance to bring their construction closer to our residential neighborhoods off Camp Highland Rd (2-3 miles by car, but adjacent as the crow flies). Please go to the Smyrna Zoning Board to speak your mind. For those opposed to the variance and who cannot go in person due to work: we should individually submit comments as a letter/email to the Smyrna Planning and Zoning Board against any variances that allow them to encroach any closer to Prince Rd and Wetherbrooke or affect the quality of the stream buffer.We should also oppose any plans to use Camp Highland Rd as a construction Road. Indicate that you want your comment read during the meeting. Also, send a letter/email to Glock indicating that you expect them to show regard for the residential community.
The encroachment over the buffer could potentially affect comps and create a bad precedence. The land values of Wetherbrooke and Prince Rd may affect comps of our properties in the future, especially Wetherbrooke. However, even Prince Rd may have reconstruction in the future that improves the character of our neighborhood, and this could decrease the value of those properties. Furthermore, traffic down Camp Highland Rd is against the residential nature of our neighborhood.
I'm all for increasing the Smyrna tax base but not at the expense of established neighborhoods. They were not zoned to encroach on residential buffer zones. They were also not zoned to create traffic down Camp Highland Rd. The only solution is they better use land they are already allowed to build on. Furthermore, they should be required
to plant a buffer of evergreen trees to further mask off any new buildings.
Here are the variance requests from http://www.ci.smyrna.ga.us/Modules/S...ocumentid=1005 :
(1) Public Hearing - Variance Request V10-018 - Encroachment in stream buffer without State Waters - 6000 Highlands Parkway - Consultinvest, Inc.
(2) Public Hearing - Variance Request V10-019 - Encroachment in stream buffer with State Waters - 6000 Highlands Parkway - Consultinvest, Inc.
(3) Public Hearing - Variance Request V10-020 - Encroach in 50' residential buffer – 6000 Highlands Parkway - Consultinvest, Inc. - Item withdrawn by applicant per Staff request.
Here are details from our HOA:
Glock is a hand gun manufacturer. They own 19 acres off of Camp Highland Road and Prince Road that backs up their existing facilities on Highlands Parkway. Glock is proposing to expand their facilities with the construction of a new manufacturing building (one of three proposed buildings in a 5 year plan). To build this building they will need to pipe the existing stream on-site and mass grade the site to balance the site and get it ready for construction. Glock is seeking a variance from the State to encroach in the state stream buffer area and they are seeking a variance from the city to encroach into our stream buffers. Glock is willing to dedicate to the city three acres of undisturbed land on the south side of Highlands Parkway, which is on the same stream. The manufacturing will be conducted completely within the building and Glock will be required to meet all State and Federal government requirements to operate. The manufacturing is not expected to cause any noise or disruption to the community. There may be some temporary disruption to the community during construction due to construction traffic having to use Camp Highland Road for access.
The first site plan shows the location of the streams in relation to Camp Highland Road and Prince Road. The second plan shows the master plan for what Glock plans to build over the next five years. Glock is proposing to construct building “B” right away and will construct buildings “C” “D” and “E” at a later date. All the property shown on the site plan is owned by Glock and is currently zoned Light Industrial, which allows manufacturing as a permitted use. This property has been zoned Light Industrial for quite sometime (I believe before the subdivisions were rezoned and developed in that area). I’m doing research on the history of the zoning because it was a question that was brought up at last Tuesdays meeting. Hopefully, I will have the history by the June 23rd meeting.
This is what I just sent through email to the city planners:
My name is *************. As a Smyrna citizen living at ********** in Woodland Brooke off of Camp Highland, I ask you to read this aloud at the June 23 meeting and tally my vote against the variances. Please respond that you received and processed this email.
I am all for an increased tax base, but not at the expense of your citizens. We are a residential neighborhood with pedestrians, including children, who frequently walk to the silver comet trail and other nearby areas. Additionally, the construction traffic will detract from the residential quality of the neighborhood.
* Deny the variances to the stream buffer or any residential buffers. Furthermore, I request all buffers be upheld, extended to 50' when not already set at 50', and that Glock should be responsible for planting a barrier of pine trees within this buffer.
* Request building C be removed from plans since it encroaches too far into the stream buffer and residential neighborhoods, and borders too many residential properties. Furthermore, it negatively impacts the chances of residential redevelopment along Prince Rd.
- Rezone this land to high density mixed-use retail/residential and refuse future requests for light industrial (more on that below)
* Refuse the request to the use of Camp Highland Rd for any construction vehicles or materials.
Rezone land for Building C to high density mixed use retail/residential. Although this land was originally zoned light industrial, too much residential has grown up since without this land being used. Therefore, the already developed properties should be protected. Mixed-use development will have comparable value and therefore not prevent the developer from making a profit.
You have a responsibility to the citizens represented and to the residential land value and there will definitely be some negative impact from the construction and encroachment on neighboring homes and land, affecting comps. I am a resident of **********. I live in Woodland Brooke off of Camp Highland, via Clay Brooke Dr and bought my home in 2007 on the faith that Smyrna would protect our land value. Our housing community has over 150 homes with a combined value of over $5,000,000 and we are one of four similarly sized developments off Camp Highland and Argo Rd that will be impacted by the construction traffic and directly by the neighboring industrial encroachment: including Wetherbrooke, Woodland Gate, and Woodland Brooke for a total value of upwards of, by my estimates, $15-$20 million.
First of all, Glock will expand their Hazardous Material handling. There was an explosion in 2003 at Glock with fatalities. How can ammunition be used 20' from the existing homes??? Their shooting range operates until 11 pm and we can hear the shots. More manufacturing- more guns tested- more contamination. Glock is secretive about their lead and other waste so no one would know how many guns they make. Poisonous gases are discharged every time a gun is fired. Glock tests each gun they make, shooting two rounds per gun, per ? many guns a day. Nice heavy industrial HAZMAT neighbor next door!
Second, all this land should have been rezoned residential after our 3 sub divisions went in. Common practice, if not law, is that there should be 500' between residential homes and industrial zones. This property will have hazardous materials 50' from our homes!!!
Thirdly, where will all the storm water go after Glock clears about 20 !!! acres of trees??? There will be no treees and their root systems to absorb it. Glock will destroy a couple of hills that seperate them and us.....Our basements is one of the paths for that water that I see. What preliminary study can prove where the water is going to go after two stream buffers are destroyed, as well as two large hills are leveled....
Lastly, what benefit is this expansion for the city and its residents? Glock said the new 3-4 buildings will create 30 jobs!!!! (They first told us 30 jobs then the next week that number went up to a whopping 100 in the distant future) WOW 30 low paying jobs for non Smyrna residents.... what can be better. You see, its only 30 jobs because their facilities will be fully automatic and operating 24/7 50' underground. You know, computers never make mistakes handling ammo and toxic waste 20' from your house..... right?
Our 3 subdivisions plus indivudual home owners pay around $1 mil to the City in taxes every year and around $3 mil to the County. I would expect some represantaion from the local officials for that kind of money. New Glock facilities will most likely not generate more than $20,000! in extra real estate revenue and will probably cost the tax payers incentives and tax breaks. Glock is not even in the top 10 corporate contributors to Smyrna.
* Meeting moved to July 6 because the manufacturer and Wetherbrooke couldn't come up with an agreement. Wetherbrooke asks for additional remediation of visibility beyond an immature planting of a tree buffer, facades, crossing guards when moving trucks in, escrow for road damages to Camp Highland, and additional assurances no contaminants will affect citizens.
* I went to Smyrna city hall and paid for a copy of the communication between the Wetherbrooke lawyer and the development company's lawyer.
* The 50' residential buffer was preserved throughout most of the site
* Much of Camp Highland will be abandoned and replaced with a cul-de-sac. The rest of Camp Highland will be turned into a driveway for a home that will be left, for viewing the site, along with an emergency entrance to the site.
After visiting community development and seeing the plans in more detail, I submitted my own modified statement that the emergency entrance should be made to look like an estate driveway with "S" shape road to block visibility of the site and to look like it goes with the home. The home should be visible from the road. That way, the end of Camp Highland looks like a residential estate home.
I am likely going to hire an attorney to write up something more official.
I am completely opposed to these variance requests. First off, I can not believe that the city would grant a building permit for a testing range that backs up to residential. Is that something you would want in your back yard? If you do any sort of search on hand gun emissions you will see just how dangerous these facilites are. I am not talking about the dangers from the bullets coming from the actual guns (even though we should all be concerned with this company who had a fire and a fatality back in 2003 in their firing range due to unacceptable procedures). I am talking what is released in to the air when a bullet is discharged. There is lead, chromium, etc. There are buffers on streams for a reason. With what this company is doing, allowing them to get closer to the streams in my opinion is increasing the likelihood of lead, etc. entering the grounds and streams and potentially contaminating my drinking water and those of all my fellow citizens. How can a city who is supposed to be pro-residential and has a motto of Keeping Smyrna Beautiful allow this to happen? This kind of activity should occur in a heavy industrial area far away from streams, children, and families.
We are talking about a mnaufacturing facility. Right now they manufacture hand guns. They are wanting to build a new 94,000 sqft production facility to continue current handgun production as well as entering new markets like Semi-Automatic Urban Assualt Rifles. They test each gun a minimum of two times but have not disclosed how many guns are produced outside of just saying "a bunch".
I tried to find the poll option that said "completely support the expansion of a company that will hire more locals and ensure the continued employment of locals because sure as ice smyrna needs glock there" but i couldnt find it.
let me know when you add it so i can vote. meanwhile i'll send some letters in support of the variance request!!
thanks for bringing this issue to my attention
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