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A rezoning request for a proposed mulching and bagging plant in Shannon will go before the Floyd County Commission on Jan. 26.

Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission members recommended approval Thursday for the application from Oldcastle Lawn and Garden to rezone a parcel on Calhoun Highway from Suburban Residential/Light Industrial to Heavy Industrial.

The applicant — a Fortune 500 company based out of Dublin, Ireland — plans on building a lawn and garden mulch manufacturing plant on the 39.1-acre property near Pinson Road.

Workers at the plant will be in charge of dying and bagging the mulch before it’s shipped.

Rome-Floyd County Development Authority Director Missy Kendrick said they have been working with the company for a while.

Kendrick said they expect to hire 25 people at first and eventually 50 during the season. The company, which supplies mulch to both Lowe’s and Home Depot, markets it under various brands such as ACE, Timberline, Southland, Preen and Jolly Gardener.

If the rezoning is approved by the county commission, they plan to start building in March and have it ready by September.

The planning commission also recommended approval of several other applications at their Thursday meeting, including special use permits for a special event venue and cell tower.

The 150-foot-tall cell tower would be built at 4753 Martha Berry Highway in Armuchee and would be overseen by applicant Verizon Wireless, who had agents on the Zoom call speaking in favor of the application.

However, nearby resident Bill Thornton voiced opposition, saying that if the tower would fall, it would land in his back yard. He also said he was concerned about the potential health risks of living near a cell tower.

While the planning commission wasn’t able to address the health risks, they did amend the application so that the tower must be at least 300 feet from any property line. It was passed in a 4 to 3 vote.

Applicant Donna Peavy’s request for a special use permit for a special event venue also netted a recommendation for approval. Peavy wishes to use her property at 5406 Calhoun Road as a wedding venue.

While speaking in favor of the application, Peavy said she intends to respect her neighbors, including the church across the street. She said there wouldn’t be more than 100 people at any event, no loud bands and she would make sure all events end at the time stated in the Unified Land Development Code.

Commission members also backed a rezoning request for a self-storage development near the intersection of Alabama Highway and Oreburg Road, from suburban residential to light industrial.

Applicant Beers Housing Inc. wishes to expand the existing storage facility on the property.

All of the applications will go before the Floyd County Commission for public hearings and final votes on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Forum River Center at 301 Tribune St.

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