(Note that future dates are estimates by HaralsonAlliance.org)
1) Rezoning Application was Formally Submitted by Solid Solutions on 9/22/21
a. On 9/22/21, Solid Solutions Development submitted an application to the Haralson Co Zoning Board requesting that a 2,047-acre site just north of Exit 5 (Tallapoosa) be rezoned to allow for the proposed landfill.
b. The application and supporting documentation can be viewed on the Solid Solutions’ webpage: https://solidsolutionsdev.com/zoning-application-package.
c. HaralsonAlliance.org has retained Don Stack of the environmental law firm, Stack & Associates, Atlanta, GA (www.stackenvirolaw.com), and Richard Klein of Community & Environmental Defense Services, Baltimore, MD (www.ceds.org) to lead our opposition and review of the Solid Solutions rezoning application.
2) NWGRC “Impact Study” (begun at the end of September, 2021)
a. On 9/28/21, the Haralson County Board of Commissioners referred the application to the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission (NWGRC), in Rome, GA (https://www.nwgrc.org), to do an “impact study.” As part of the impact study, the NWGRC will solicit input from various governmental entities in the area, including each city in Haralson County, as well as contiguous counties to Haralson, and DOT and environmental agencies. The NWGRC will have an “open” 30-day period in which to conduct the impact study. However, interested parties can request two additional 30-day periods in order to ensure that every interested party has ample time to voice their concerns. It is important to note that the NWGRC does not make a formal recommendation; rather they are conducting a data collection process.
b. Depending on extensions, this process could end between early Nov 2021 and early Jan, 2022*.
3) Haralson County Planning & Zoning Board Review and Vote (start of process could be Nov-Jan 2022*)
a. After the Impact Study is complete, The NWGRC will refer its findings to the Haralson County Planning & Zoning Board, which will then schedule a public hearing.
b. HC Zoning Board members are: Jeff Dewberry, Pam Henderson, Stanley McCain, Robert Smith, and Alan Williams.
c. The detailed steps involved in a rezoning case can be found on the County’s website, https://www.haralsoncountyga.gov/news.cfm?id=7550.
d. Notice of the public hearing must be published in the newspaper at least 15 days, but not more than 45 days, prior to the date of the first public hearing on which the application is scheduled to be considered.
e. At the public hearing, interested parties will have the opportunity to provide their thoughts about the rezoning request prior to the Zoning Board’s vote. HaralsonAlliance.org plans for our law firm, Stack & Associates, to present its findings of the review of the landfill proposal at this meeting.
f. After holding the public hearing, the Zoning Board shall vote, making a recommendation to the County Board of Commissions to approve or deny the request for rezoning. This vote is not the actual approval or denial of the rezoning app, but only a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners. (Note, this vote could occur at the same meeting as the public hearing, or it could be tabled until the next meeting.)
g. The Zoning Board can also refuse to make a formal recommendation and instead refer the issue directly to the Board of Commissioners without a finding.
f. Depending on extensions of this and previous processes, this process could end between early Dec, 2021 and early Mar, 2022*.
4) Haralson County Board of Commissioners Review and Vote (start of process could be Dec 2021 – Mar 2022*)
a. Following the action taken by the Zoning Board, the issue will move before the Board of Commissioners.
b. The Board of Commissioners is currently comprised of the following members: Ronnie Ridley, Chairman; David Tarpley, District 1; Jamie Brown, District 2; John Daniel, District 3; Ryan Farmer, District 4.
c. The Board of Commissioners must also give a 30-day notice for a public hearing.
d. At the public hearing, interested parties will have another opportunity to provide their thoughts about the landfill prior to the Board of Commissioners vote.
e. As is the case with the Zoning Board, the Board of Commissioners has the option of taking the vote following the public meeting or can table it until the next meeting.
f. The applicant, or other affected parties, may appeal a final rezoning decision of the Board of Commissioners to the Haralson County Superior Court by filing an appropriate appeal within 30 days of the decision.
g. Depending on extensions of this and previous processes, the vote by the Board of Commissioners could take place between Jan-Apr, 2022*. Our estimate is that the vote would most likely be held sometime in Feb-Mar 2022*.
5) Appeal to the Haralson County Superior Court
a. As stated in item 4-f, above, the applicant, or other affected parties, may appeal a final rezoning decision of the Board of Commissioners.
b. It is important to note that in rezoning applications such as this, the Superior Court acts as an appeals court. This is because our Board of Commissioners functions as a quasi-judicial body for these rezoning applications. This is important to note because it limits what our elected officials can say regarding the issue for risk of having their vote disqualified.
c. If an appeal is filed, that process generally takes around a year before a judge would issue an opinion.
6) How can you help fight the proposed landfill?
a. Call the Commissioners’ office at 770-646-2002 to participate in their phone poll and let them know you are “AGAINST THE LANDFILL!” Please have all voting age family members to call. They will ask for your name and address.
b. Sign the online petition at www.HaralsonAlliance.org. Your name and comments will be forwarded to our county officials to let them know your thoughts.
c. Sign up for Text Notifications by texting NOLANDFILL to 844-951-2667. You will receive text updates on developments, notifications of meetings, etc.
d. When the time comes for public hearings… SHOW UP and MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! It is very important that we let our county officials know that we do not want this new mega-landfill in our county!
e. Donations are very much needed and appreciated to pay for our attorneys and experts who are reviewing the Solid Solutions application. Donations may be made by check, payable to Haralson Alliance, PO Box 501, Tallapoosa, GA 30176 or by Paypal at our website, www.HaralsonAlliance.org. (Donations are NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE.)
* Please note that future dates are estimates and approximations.
HaralsonAlliance.org Published 10/4/21