The Norcross city council voted 4-0 against the Family Dollar rezoning request at its monthly meeting Monday night.
"I think it was pretty obvious from the input we had and also the reccomendations we had from our boards," said Mayor Bucky Johnson after the meeting was adjourned.
As an issue that had been the Family Dollar request involved rezoning a parcel of land at 2570 Beaver Ruin Road near Light Circle to build a store there. The land is currently zoned as I-O (office industrial) and would have to become C-2 (general business use).
The request was in the council meeting in February. Family Dollar had updated its request, though, so the council decided to table it until April so that the Planning and Zoning Committee could review the new plan.
The committee recommended denial for both requests.
"I support any business that wants to come into Norcross, if there's a good fit," said councilman Craig Newton after the meeting. "Unfortunately, with this location, I don't believe it was a good fit for this particular venture."
Dozens of locals from Creekside Park, Light Circle and other Beaver Ruin neighborhoods attended to show their disapproval for the rezoning, and seven people came forward to voice their opposition.
Light Circle resident Gerry Grimes spoke about how the store would create danger with increased left turns, increased crime and a for the residents on his street.
Jennifer Rogers-Kunda, a resident of Creekside, said that it , which calls for an Educational, Recreational and Arts Activity Center in that area. Additionally, the store would conflict with a future crosswalk on Beaver Ruin as part of the .
Brant Aden of the Foresite Group and Nick Addison of Boos Development Group represented Family Dollar, and said that the store would have a positive impact on the community.
One point that the developers brought attention to was that no big-box grocery stores are in the area, so having a Family Dollar nearby would help supply basic food needs.
While many citizens agreed, they also pointed out that there are plenty of vacant stores along Beaver Ruin and Buford Highway that Family Dollar can move into.
After an hour of going back and forth with the developers and the citizens, the council finally came to a unanimous vote, causing many locals to applaud and celebrate.
"I'm extremely happy about it," said Leslie Johnson, a resident of Creekside. "My house backs up to Beaver Ruin and our house has been broken into before, so I have a big concern with foot traffic."
Other agenda items that were also discussed:
- A proclamation was given to Hallie McClendon, who's been with the Norcross Housing Authority for the past 36 years.
- Victor Pinero and Benard Hill were sworn in as Norcross Police officers.
- Ice Box Custom Jewelry at 183 N. Norcross Tucker Road and 5942 Buford Highway proposed to occupy a vacant suite in its shopping center so that it could operate a full-service jewelry store, particularly adding a precious metal dealership component. The council voted in favor of it.
- The annexation of 5275 Light Circle was approved. The request was part of Family Dollar's updated rezoning plan.
- The project list on the Transportation Investment Act was discussed and citizens expressed their opinions on certain projects.