Facing 300 residents waving “NO” signs, the Gwinnett County Commission voted 3-0 to reject a special use permit that would allow Bill Head Funeral Home on Lawrenceville Highway to construct a 436-square-foot incinerator and crematory. The Commission vote follows the Planning Commission denial recommendation.
The AJC reports that the meeting drew the attention of State Senator Steven Henson who hinted at state involvement on the impacts of a crematory on surrounding communities.
After Tuesday’s hearing, state Sen. Steve Henson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he believes the General Assembly needs to re-examine data over crematories.
“I do think there’s every cause for concern,” he said.
Without officially resigning, embattled Gwinnett County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly voluntarily suspended himself until the charges have been resolved or until Kenerly’s term ends at the end of December. Kenerly is under indictment for allegedly accepting $1 million in bribes related to County land purchases and failing to disclose a relationship with a private developer seeking rezoning from the County.
Kenerly was facing increasing criticism from voters.
“That’s what he needed to do,” said Steve Ramey of the Founding Fathers Tea Party Patriots. “He should have done it a long time ago.”
James Bell, co-founder of the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance, said Kenerly’s presence on the commission was a distraction.
“I can’t say I’m happy, but I’m pleased,” he said. “Kenerly did the right thing in stepping down.”
Fellow alliance member Ron Williams agreed.
“I think it was a little late,” he said, “but it was the right thing to do.”
By a 4-3 vote the Gwinnett County Planning Commission recommended denial of a special use permit for Bill Head Funeral Home that would allow it to construct the 436-square-foot crematory incinerator at its Tucker location on Lawrenceville Highway.
The proposal has met almost unanimous opposition from the surrounding neighborhoods because the crematory would be about 100 feet from several residences and within a half-mile of 17 residential subdivisions.
The Planning Commission vote is non-binding. The application now proceeds to the Gwinnett County Commission, which could vote on it as early as November 16.
AJC reports the Grand Jury indicted Gwinnett County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly for one count of bribery and two counts of failing to disclose a financial interest in connection with properties the county bought.
The Grand Jury considered, but did not indict former Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charles Bannister who recently resigned amidst the controversy.
AJC obtained the Bill of Indictment.
Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charlie Bannister unexpectedly resigned before his scheduled appearance before a Grand Jury investigating the County’s $37 million land deals. Chairman Bannister was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. First elected to public office in 1976, Bannister served on the Lilburn City Council six years then two years as Mayor. Bannister went on to serve eighteen years in the Georgia House of Representatives before being elected Gwinnett County Chairman in 2004.
Chairman Bannister and fellow County Commission Kevin Kenerly were to appear today for the last meeting of the Grand Jury in its 9-month investigation into land deals. The investigation has centered on allegations that the County paid politically connected developers inflated prices for parkland.
Commissioner Kenerly met with the Grand Jury the news of Bannister’s resignation broke.
AJC snagged the resignation letter.
A Hall County Superior Court Judge will set a final hearing to determine whether a recall effort against Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister should proceed. The recall effort began after the Gwinnett County Commission voted 4:1 to increase property taxes by nearly 21%.
In late March, resident Randolph De Vault received certification for more than 100 signatures he presented to the elections office, the first step in applying for a recall petition. The petition lists five charges, ranging from the county’s handling of its solid waste plan to the its feud with cities over a service delivery agreement and accuses Chairman Bannister of malfeasance.
This month, Chairman Bannister filed a motion to stop the elections office from granting the recall petition of Mr. De Vault . Chairman Bannister contends the petition does not cite sufficient grounds for a recall.
Last week the Gwinnett County Commission voted 4 to 1 to increase property taxes by nearly 21%. This week the Gwinnett County Elections Office accepted applications to recall Commission Chairman Charles Bannister, District 1 Commissioner Shirley Lasseter and District 3 Commissioner Mike Beaudreau.
Recall organizers must collect the signatures of 100 registered voters living in the commission district by December 23. If certified, the recall organizers then must obtain the signatures of 30 percent of registered voters within 45 days – 28,000 signatures to recall Lasseter, 41,000 to recall Beadreau and 126,000 to recall Bannister.
If successful, the recalls would go to vote at a special election.