SR 614 - Norfolk Southern RR Intermodal Facility - expressing opposition

First Reader Summary

A resolution expressing opposition to construction in Austell of a proposed Norfolk Southern Railroad intermodal facility.

Thompson, Steve (33rd) Tanksley, Charles B (32nd) Lamutt, Robert (21st)
Clay, Charles C (37th)
Status Summary HC: SC: Trans LA: 02/19/98 S - Passed/Adopted
Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3
Senate Action House
2/11/98 Read 1st time
2/16/98 Favorably Reported
2/17/98 Read 2nd Time
2/19/98 Read 3rd Time
2/19/98 Passed/Adopted

SR 614                                             LC 25 0938 
                             A RESOLUTION 
  1- 1  Expressing opposition to construction in Austell of a 
  1- 2  proposed Norfolk Southern Railroad intermodal facility; and 
  1- 3  for other purposes. 
  1- 4  WHEREAS, Norfolk Southern Railroad has proposed to construct 
  1- 5  a 450 acre "intermodal freight facility" on C.H. James 
  1- 6  Parkway (State Route 6) at Westside Road within the 
  1- 7  corporate limits of the City of Austell in Cobb County; and 
  1- 8  WHEREAS, in 1996, the Atlanta Regional Commission determined 
  1- 9  that Norfolk Southern's proposed development is not in the 
  1-10  best interests of the State of Georgia, due to concerns 
  1-11  about land use and development related to the intermodal 
  1-12  facility; the need to protect the Clarkdale Historic 
  1-13  District; the need to relocate Westside Road to make room 
  1-14  for the development; the need to protect water resources in 
  1-15  Powder Springs Creek and Sweetwater Creek; concerns over 
  1-16  transport, storage, and handling of hazardous materials at 
  1-17  the site; potential reduction in air quality associated with 
  1-18  vehicular traffic delays at railroad crossings; and concerns 
  1-19  that additional diesel truck trips and diesel locomotive 
  1-20  activity will worsen air quality in the 13 county 
  1-21  nonattainment area; and 
  1-22  WHEREAS, the proposed freight facility will attract 
  1-23  industrial service and transportation related businesses 
  1-24  such as container repairs, truck repairs, tire recapping, 
  1-25  shipping container sales, and container storage yards to 
  1-26  undeveloped, industrially zoned property in the area that 
  1-27  may have otherwise developed residentially or commercially; 
  1-28  these uses are typically unsightly and detrimental to 
  1-29  property values when concentrated in large numbers in a 
  1-30  particular area and will give the entire area an industrial 
  1-31  look and feel, causing more desirable residential and retail 
  1-32  developments to avoid the area; and 
  1-33  WHEREAS, the noise and pollution from the proposed 
  1-34  development, its construction, and its location will destroy 
  1-35  the appearance and historic setting of the Clarkdale 
  1-36  Historic District and will have a negative impact on the 
  1-37  livability of the homes in the district; and 
  2- 1  WHEREAS, flooding and water quality problems of Sweetwater 
  2- 2  Creek, which provides drinking water for the City of East 
  2- 3  Point, will be worsened by the proposed freight facility, 
  2- 4  with runoff dramatically increasing from the paving of 250 
  2- 5  or more acres of the proposed facility, with construction 
  2- 6  sediment damaging the creek and its wildlife, and with the 
  2- 7  tremendous risk of environmental damage to the creek in the 
  2- 8  event of the spill of hazardous materials in the rail yard; 
  2- 9  and 
  2-10  WHEREAS, the intermodal freight facility will cause rail 
  2-11  traffic in the area to increase, with the trains moving 
  2-12  slower as they approach the terminal, causing traffic delays 
  2-13  at railroad crossings and increasing air quality 
  2-14  degradation; and 
  2-15  WHEREAS, truck traffic on area highways and local roads will 
  2-16  greatly increase, with Norfolk Southern estimating 3,500 
  2-17  additional tractor-tractor trips each day generated by the 
  2-18  intermodal facility; and a 
  2-19  WHEREAS, the proposed intermodal facility will create 
  2-20  substantial noise pollution, with noise from the rail yard 
  2-21  disturbing nearby residents and truck traffic generating 
  2-22  noise throughout the area, diminishing the quality of life 
  2-23  for residents of southwest Cobb County; and 
  2-24  WHEREAS, the proposed development will damage or destroy at 
  2-25  least 17 acres of wetlands on the site and potentially 
  2-26  others off site; and 
  2-27  WHEREAS, the proposed facility will irreparably harm the 
  2-28  most promising site for municipal drinking water wells 
  2-29  identified in a study by Emery and Garrett Groundwater, 
  2-30  Inc., in a December, 1997, study commissioned by the City of 
  2-31  Powder Springs Water and Sewer Department, which site is 
  2-32  located immediately adjacent to the Norfolk Southern tract 
  2-33  to the northwest; and 
  2-34  WHEREAS, in 1997, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce Board of 
  2-35  Directors voted to oppose the construction of the Norfolk 
  2-36  Southern intermodal facility, finding that the project is 
  2-37  not the type of quality development encouraged by the 
  2-38  chamber and is not in the best interest of the community; 
  2-39  and 
  2-40  WHEREAS, the Cobb Municipal Association, representing all of 
  2-41  the six cities in Cobb County, also voted unanimously to 
  3- 1  condemn the Norfolk Southern proposal because of the 
  3- 2  negative impact of the development on the county; and 
  3- 3  WHEREAS, because of the detrimental impact the development 
  3- 4  would have on the area, the Mayor and City Council of 
  3- 5  Austell denied zoning amendments and permits requested by 
  3- 6  Norfolk Southern Railroad to build the intermodal freight 
  3- 7  facility, and Norfolk Southern has filed suits against the 
  3- 8  City of Austell in both Cobb Superior Court and federal 
  3- 9  court to force the city to permit the development, 
  3-10  attempting to usurp local zoning authority delegated by the 
  3-11  Constitution of the State of Georgia to local governments; 
  3-12  and 
  3-13  WHEREAS, the Mayor and City Council of Powder Springs 
  3-14  adopted a resolution opposing the development of the 
  3-15  intermodal freight facility and committing to financially 
  3-16  support the City of Austell in its defense of the lawsuits 
  3-17  filed by Norfolk Southern Railroad to force Austell to 
  3-18  permit the development and have, in fact, contributed the 
  3-19  sum of $10,000.00 to the City of Austell for this purpose; 
  3-20  and 
  3-21  WHEREAS, it is in the interests of the State of Georgia to 
  3-22  protect established communities from undesirable development 
  3-23  that will destroy the quality of life of the residents, 
  3-24  damage irreplaceable historic resources, and harm the 
  3-25  environment in which we live. 
  3-27  hereby opposes the proposed intermodal freight facility to 
  3-28  be constructed in Austell by Norfolk Southern Railroad and 
  3-29  requests that Norfolk Southern Railroad relocate the planned 
  3-30  facility to a nonresidential area in the state where the 
  3-31  impact of the development will not be so severely negative. 
  3-32  BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate is 
  3-33  authorized and directed to transmit an appropriate copy of 
  3-34  this resolution to Norfolk Southern Railroad. 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98