The Gordon County Commission approved four rezoning applications at Tuesday night’s regularly scheduled meeting at the GEM Theatre, 114 N. Wall St., including three large industrial sites off Highway 41.

A pair of properties owned by OWR LLC off Highway 41 in the area of Trimble Hollow Road were approved for rezoning from A-1 agricultural to I-2 heavy industrial. Those two parcels total about 60 acres combined.

Another 115 acre property owned by Thor Equities LLC on the Bartow County line off Highway 41 was approved for rezoning from A-1 agricultural to I-1 light industrial.

The recent review of all three sites by the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission was reported by the Calhoun Times near the end of January.

OWR will be responsible for improvements to a portion of Trimble Hollow Road as part of the agreement with the county.

While the OWR properties had no spoken opposition from any members of the public present, there were a good bit of concern expressed by neighboring Bartow County residents of a subdivision bordering the Thor development site.

Taylor Forsyth, homeowner’s association president for the bordering subdivision, explained the neighborhood’s wishes for an extension of a planned berm to give all homes a sightline and noise barrier from the planned million-square-foot Thor facility.

Bartow resident Norman Parker, whose personal home as well as a rental property would be most affected by the Thor plans reiterated his concerns about noise and light, but said a complete berm would help to preserve his quality of life and the value of his properties.

Thor Equities representatives, including Greg Berman said the company has a desire to be a good neighbor and agreed to look at extending the berm to satisfy residents.

Local attorney Terry Brumlow represents all three industrial developments as council.

A future home site was also approved for rezoning by the board. An 8.14 acre property on Timms Loop Road was rezoned from A-1 agricultural to RA-1 residential.

All four rezoning requests were approved by a 4-0 vote with commissioners Steward, Owens, Cunningham and Potts present.

Also approved was the rewording of a previous typo in the ULDC Code regarding fire hydrant requirements and the re-appointment of Ken Padgett and David Mitchell to the Historic Preservation Commission with terms ending June 1 or 2023.

In his cash report, County Administrator Jim Ledbetter reported $70,126,773 in total funds on hand, up from $61,647,988 at the same time a year ago. He attributed part of the upswing to recent ad valorem tax collections as well as some COVID relief funds.

“Out of a COVID economy, we’re lucky to be up that well,” said Ledbetter, attributing the county’s financial success to “good, conservative fiscal management.”

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