Some Mableton residents may get their wish to not have a transfer station, which accepts household garbage, in their backyard. A public hearing about the transfer station’s application was to be held on Feb. 21, but because the transfer station may interfere with FAA regulations, the hearing has been postponed until April 17, when a study of the station’s effects on airspace can be completed.
Bankhead C & D Transfer Station applied for a special land use permit, which would allow the facility to accept municipal solid waste, which is household garbage.
As the transfer station accepts household garbage, it could be attracting birds, which could prove potentially hazardous for air navigation of planes departing and returning to the Fulton County Airport.
John Pederson, Cobb Zoning Manager, wrote in an email dated, “On the recommendation of the Cobb County Airport Manager and Fulton County Airport Manager, I am going to continue these applications by staff until the April 17, 2012 Board of Commissioners Zoning Hearing. By that time a FAA 7460 Airspace Study should be complete determining if this proposal is a hazard to air navigation.”
The transfer station currently has a permit for construction and demolition, and is currently accepting household garbage without an appropriate county permit.
In the station’s permit application, the company stated an expectation to receive 150,000 tons of garbage a year and to operate for 11 hours a day, Monday through Friday and nine hours each Saturday.
Residents of Legacy at the River Line, a subdivision within 1,000 feet of the waste transfer center, have circulated a petition, written letters to commissioners and held several community meetings on the matter.
At a community meeting held Wednesday evening, residents hammered out a plan to request that the county prohibit the transfer station from accepting household garbage until the permit application is approved.
On Wednesday, South Cobb Commissioner Woody Thompson met with Legacy residents about the transfer station.
Although Thompson said he would not reveal how he plans to vote, he said, “I have some things I don’t like about it. I’d rather everyone hear about it at the hearing.”
In the transfer station’s application to the county, under the heading, “Criteria to be applied for special land use permits,” Attorney Garvis Sams wrote “the surrounding properties consist exclusively of Heavy Industrial and are used in a manner similar to that which the applicant proposes. Therefore, the values of the surrounding properties will not be adversely affected.”
However, Legacy residents and other nearby Mableton residents say their property values will plummet if the permit is approved.
Additionally, residents said having the transfer station so close to the gateway to Mableton and Cobb County would taint the area's image.
"You want your gateway to be stinky trash?" asked Legacy resident, Shelia Edwards. "This is the gateway to the community. Is that what you want? Welcome to Mableton, Land of the Transfer Station?"
Sams also addressed whether or not the public health, safety, welfare or moral concerns of the surrounding neighborhood would be adversely affected by stating, “The surrounding “neighborhood” consists of Heavy Industrial uses, all of which are comparable to the use proposed.”
However, within 1,000 feet of the transfer station are restaurants, homes, convenience stores and gas stations.
Edwards said she has seen black soot on the ground and sometimes smells a strong burning odor.
"We don't burn anything over here. It's got to be coming from over there. I have to go back inside because it's so strong," Edwards said.