The Barrow County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, April 13, threw its backing behind a planned housing materials manufacturer plant at the site of a former rail car facility by the county airport.

And, in approving the rezoning and future land-use map designation change requests for the property, commissioners also removed a recommended condition from the county planning commission that company representatives said would have caused them to abandon the project.

Commissioners approved the request by DIV005 to rezone and change the map designation for 76.3 acres at 880 and 976 Airport Rd., Winder, for the company to move into the former Trinity Industries train car facility, which shuttered in March 2020 when that company decided to consolidate operations at its Cartersville plant.

DIV005 has no plans to build any additional buildings on-site, attorney Bill Berryman, representing the company, has said. The company, which manufactures structural metal framing materials, plans to invest more than $22 million in starting operations in the county and will initially employ 55 people with an average wage of $20 an hour, with plans to eventually increase its workforce to over 250 people as it expands operations over the next several years.

In recommending approval of the request to rezone from M-1 (Light Industrial) to M-2 (Heavy Industrial), the planning commission last month backed a county staff recommendation to limit the uses on the property to manufacturing/fabrication of structural framing materials. But Berryman said the company wishes to lease out space on the property to businesses with “complementary” and “low-impact” uses prior to ramping up to full production at the site.

“The condition is too restrictive, and if it’s not removed, we won’t be able to locate here,” Berryman said.

Instead, the applicants offered an alternative condition that several permitted uses under the county’s M-2 zoning would be prohibited on the site, which commissioners agreed to as a substitute condition.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business Tuesday, commissioners:

•approved a request to rezone 9.5 acres at Jackson Trail Road and Highway 53 for a convenience store and office warehouse.

•approved a request to rezone 13.4 acres at 1521 Doster Rd., Winder, for an 11-lot subdivision.

•approved a sub-grant agreement with the Atlanta Regional Commission for the Barrow County Comprehensive Transportation Plan study focused on the State Route 316 corridor. The study is being funded primarily with a $250,000 federal grant through the ARC. The county will provide a local match of $62,500.

•approved a service provider agreement with Petpoint for software aimed at improving animal adoption rates. The software comes with the budgeted purchase of microchips at $12,000.

•approved the budgeted purchase of a new truck for the transportation department in the amount of $65,000 to replace a 1989 truck.

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