Several Special Use Permits Approved at November Buford City Commission Meeting

The Buford City Commission held its monthly meeting on November 7, 2022. Following approval of the November agenda and October meeting minutes, the commission opened public hearings. During the public hearing, the panel considered several special use permits, as follows:

The first special use permit considered was #SUP-22-17, requested by Mike Vahle of Public Storage, 4624 Friendship Rd., 08-156-002191. This Special Use Permit would authorize a three story self-storage facility. Present at the meeting to support the Special Use Permit, Vahle is Vice President of Public Storage and lives in Buford. He said they are proposing an air-conditioned building which will only have access from inside the building. They are also asking for a deviation from the required number of parking spaces and to allow the use of the orange corporate color on the building. The Special Use Permit was unanimously approved with six conditions in place, including no outdoor storage of unwanted vehicles on site, and that the landscape and architectural design must follow Buford’s zoning ordinance.

Next, #SUP-22-18, requested by Buford Lanier Storage, LLC, 6702 McEver Rd., 08-160-001005, was considered. This Special Use Permit would allow for a self-storage facility with boat and RV parking/storage with a reduced buffer zone. The application was unanimously approved with 10 conditions in place, including that the permit is for Buford Lanier Storage, LLC and will expire if the applicant leaves the site. The conditions also include the limitation of an aisle to be approved by the Georgia Department of Transportation, and no accumulation of junks or mechanical work on boats or recreational vehicles is permitted.

The last Special Use Permit considered was #SUP-22-21, requested by Powerstroke Specialty, LLC, 1046 Parkway Ct., Suites A, B, C, D, E, 7-299-001-43 . The permit requested the Ford Diesel Pickup Truck Repair and Restoration Allowance. Although there are many vehicles and parts on the property, the owners said they have begun to clean up the site and have secured three acres out of town to store vehicles awaiting service. The request was unanimously approved with conditions, including a ban on storing commercial products outside for repair and a limitation of up to 25 vehicles stored on site in an orderly fashion awaiting repairs.

After the close of the public hearing, the commission considered a request to change the New Year holiday from Monday, January 2, 2023 to Friday, December 30, 2022. The request was approved unanimously. The President said that 73 people voted to approve the passage of an ordinance/resolution to facilitate a study of package store licensing, and that the city is currently working on planning for this study and development. potential within the city.

The commission voted unanimously to approve extending Special Use Permit, SUP-15-14, at Atwater Court, Suite 101-102 for one more year to allow for church operations. A unanimous vote by the commission approved an exemption plaque for Felicia Butler adding property at 3240 Shoreland Dr. The commission unanimously approved extending the solid waste franchise agreement with Republic Services with prosecutor’s approval from the city. An automobile rental agreement between the City of Buford and the City of Buford Schools was also unanimously approved.

The President and City Manager were authorized to sign election forms for MEAG Power Off-System Voluntary Sales Margins and Deposits into the Municipal Competitive Trust (MCT) account. The President was also authorized to enter into an agreement with the City of LaGrange and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) to purchase excess reserve and excess capacity. The commission voted unanimously to authorize the transfer of scholarship funds to the Buford City Schools Foundation for future management.

The commission also voted to authorize the City Manager and City Attorney to acquire easements for the pedestrian and streetscape project on West Moreno Street from South Lee Streets to West Main, and authorized the City Manager to enter into an agreement to purchase properties located on Bona Road. The purchase of properties located at 555 New St. (7-295C-002) for $300,000, 151 S. Harris St. (7-295A-044) for $10,000 and 146 Forest Street (7-296-031B) in the amount of $170,000 with the transfer of these properties to the Downtown Development Authority.

The commission’s unanimous approval appointed Mark Cunningham to the board of the Buford Housing Authority. Amendments to the City of Buford Flood Plain and Flood Damage Management Ordinance also passed unanimously. The commission authorized the City Manager to modify the budget and contribute $1500.00 per singer for the Buford Community Girls Chorus Portugal tour in June 2023, and approved the City of Buford’s 2023-2024 theater season, concerts and performances at the Buford Community Center. A special event request for the Buford Sports Complex for flag football in January and February 2023 has also been approved.

The Buford Town Commission has authorized the release of funds pledged from Peoples Bank and Trust. They then authorized the City Manager to negotiate and enter into an agreement with Keck & Wood for the engineering and design services of the Town of Buford Multi-Use Pathway – Garnett Street Extension with services partially funded by the alternative transportation funds through the Georgia Department of Transportation.

A unanimous committee vote authorized payment of an invoice for the Southside WPCP tertiary filter replacement project to Veolia Water Technologies, Inc. in the amount of $149,823.60, as well as payment #2 for the Hamilton Mill Road Gas Replacement Project to CEDS Construction Co., Inc. in the amount of $247,567.50. Also authorized was payment #17 for the waterworks replacement project at Ruby-Collins, Inc. in the amount of $742,497.70.

The commission approved payment of Bill No. 8 for the Buford High School Baseball and Softball bleachers and scoreboard project to Charles Black Construction Co., Inc. in the amount of $101,550, $20, plus Payment No. 8 for the Buford High School Visitor Field House Project to Charles Black Construction Company, Inc. in the amount of $77,052.00. Also authorized was payment of Invoice #1 for the Heraeus Boulevard Widening, Curb and Sidewalk Project to Charles Black Construction Co, Inc. in the amount of $270,856.46 to be paid with SPLOST funds, and the payment of Invoice #5 for the Buford Middle School renovations/modifications project to Charles Black Construction Co., Inc. in the amount of $5,406.57.

Payment of Invoice #6 for the Harris Street Passive Park Project to Charles Black Construction Co., Inc. in the amount of $152,108.55 was also approved. In addition, payment of Invoice #1 for the Buford Southside Water Treatment Plant Office Building Project to Charles Black Construction Co., Inc. in the amount of $13,095.00 has been authorized. . The commission also authorized payment of invoice #3 for the New Street (Buford High School Stadium) relocation project to Charles Black Construction Co., Inc. in the amount of $436,949.62, and payment of invoice #18137-07 in the amount of $96,310.82 and invoice #18137-08 in the amount of $91,089.45 to Breaux and Associates.

During his report, City Manager Bryan Kerlin said there have been a few reported cases of Covid-19 and the flu but overall the city is doing well. Todd Cleveland reminded the commission of the Jason D. Williams concert scheduled for Nov. 18 at 8 p.m., with tickets on sale now at and the next free Jake Owen concert on Nov. 19 at 3 p.m., with doors open at 1:30 p.m. Also mentioned was the “Art-Tiques Holiday Market” which also has free entry and is scheduled for November 11-13. Hours of operation are Friday noon to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kerlin said the passive park has been progressing slowly but will hopefully be finished soon. Hill Street repair and tree removal will begin soon. The trees have caused damage that has required the sidewalks to be repaired in the years since they were installed in 2005. According to the latest update, the water plant is 69% complete. The city manager also said the Moreno Street Phase 1 project, from South Lee Streets to West Main, was being tendered for a contractor and they should receive recommendations in December. During the public comment period, a citizen asked about the gas tax suspension and was told that on December 1, 2022, the gas tax would be reinstated. After research, Governor Brian Kemp has extended the statewide gas tax suspension through December 11, 2022. The Buford City Commission will hold its next meeting on December 5, 2022 at 7 p.m. Buford Arena.

Aurora J. William