It is with great joy and pride that we write this letter to inform you that the waste transfer station (WTS) fight is finally over! On January 11, 2011 the Archdiocese of Atlanta and our church, The Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Catholic Church, completed the purchase of the 9-acre property ending a 2-year long fight against the controversial proposal.
From the start, this proposed WTS has garnered a lot of negative publicity. The decision to develop a WTS right next to a vivant, growing church with 4000 members was shortsighted. Just as misguided was the decision by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners (BOC) to rezone and approve the Special Use Permit, inexplicably paving the way for a WTS right in the middle of an established neighborhood dotted with offices, schools and our church. The BOC’s action is that much more incredulous considering that it violated land use plans (2020 and 2030 Land Use Plans) itself adopted without a clear, compelling public reason. For whatever reasons, the BOC seemed determined to push through this WTS despite having done very little to address the potential health, noise, traffic and other harms that would fall upon the 800 children and hundreds of elderly church members once the WTS becomes operational.
These are the precise issues which our congregation could not accept. We were compelled to act to protect our church from an unjust violation as well as to preserve the decency of our community and simultaneously that of Gwinnett County. In our pursuit, we were joined by countless supporters whose generosity and encouragement gave us strength and further reinforced our conviction, even in the face of an overwhelmingly uphill battle. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory supported our effort from day one, providing guidance and resources. So did the 12 catholic parishes and missions throughout Gwinnett County. Many others also provided assistance, including our neighbors, the surrounding businesses, schools and members of the local media. Help also came from as far away as Washington DC like Congressman Joseph Cao, Congressman Mike Honda, Ms. Piyachat Terrell, EPA AAPI (The Whitehouse Initiative for Asian American and Pacific Islander) and Father Vien The Nguyen from New Orleans. We’d like to take this opportunity to express a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you who embraced our cause and fought this valiant fight! The outcome today would simply not be possible without your contribution.
In reflection, many things have changed in the last two years. Many new revelation concerning questionable dealings between members of the BOC and developers have been brought to light by the Special Purpose Grand Jury. These findings have brought about immediate changes to our county and the BOC itself. As our county works to rebuild the public trust, we hope that our elected officials currently in office will focus on moving the county’s agenda forward without losing the hard-learned lessons from the past.
As for our congregation, we are brimming with excitement toward the future. We have emerged from this experience with a renewed faith in God and a strengthened sense of community. The Lord indeed works in mysterious ways. Many things once seemed impossible are becoming a reality. God willing, our congregation will build a new glorious church on this very site in the future, hopefully very near future!
Please continue to keep each other in prayers and especially for our fund raising process.
The Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Catholic Church, Norcross Georgia
PS: If you would like to learn more about our long and hard fought battle against the WTS , please visit:
February 4, 2009
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
As many of you may have heard, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners voted on Feb. 3rd to approve the construction of a Solid Waste Transfer Station adjacent to our Church. The final vote was 3-2 with Commissioners Shirley Lasseter, Kevin Kenerly and Charles Bannister voting to approve the Solid Waste Transfer Station and Commissioners Bert Nasuti and Mike Beaudreau casting no votes. While this was not the outcome we had hoped and prayed for, we remain faithful that this setback is all within God’s plan for our congregation.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for the wonderful support in the last few weeks! With your help, we have collected over 5000 signatures, received another 1200 email petitions and countless phone calls over this controversial proposal. We found great comfort in knowing that our Father and our Brothers and Sisters in Christ are marching with us throughout this ordeal.
Our unity is stronger than ever, and our entire congregation remains committed to defend our Church and our Archdiocese. We are in the process of evaluating the various options available and will keep you abreast of new development. Please continue to pray for one another.
Thank you again for your continued support!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Holy Vietnamese Martyrs’ Mission is located near the intersection of Beaver Ruin Road and I-85 in Norcross, Georgia. We are a catholic congregation of 4,000 members, including over 800 children participating in daily mass and other parish activities throughout the week. On their behalf, we ask for your prayers and support to appeal in opposing the construction of a solid waste transfer station next to our SANCTUARY.
We strongly oppose this solid waste transfer station; not only because it would DESECRATE OUR HOLY GROUND OF WORSHIP by dumping and sorting household trash, construction and demolition waste materials literally within feet from our SANCTUARY, but also because it would potentially create many adverse effects for the entire Gwinnett County and its residents including: health hazards, pollution, noise, and especially traffic congestion. One estimate suggests that the operation could increase traffic by an equivalence of 810 truck trips on day one, not accounting for any future expansion. This level of increase in traffic would further exasperate the traffic condition already congested on I-85 corridor.
Numerous agencies including the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District, the Gwinnett County Department of Planning and Development, and the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners’ Planning Commission have recommended to DENY this proposed location for a solid waste transfer station. Despite these recommendations, a few members of the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners voted to approve this solid waste transfer station, disregarding the suggested recommendation of its very own Planning Commission and against the plea of more than 1000 Gwinnett residents presented at both public hearings. The current vote stands at 2-2, but we need ONE ADDITIONAL VOTE to defeat the proposed solid waste transfer station location.
What can you do to help us? There are several ways:
Option 1: Click on to our website’s link below (under Section II. How Can You Help) and sign an online email petition, urging the Board of Commissioners to deny this solid waste transfer station location.
Option 2: Call your own District Commissioner to voice your objection and enlist his or her support (below is the link under Section II, Step 1 for contact information). Please also encourage your families, friends and co-workers to do the same.
Option 3: We cordially invite you to join us for a 12-hour prayer vigil at our Church on Saturday, January 31, 2009 beginning from noon to midnight. Please also join us to hear the final decision-making outcome on our case by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on February 3, 2009 at 1 pm; this meeting will be held at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, GA 30045. Members of the local media will be present to cover both of these events.
Whichever means you decide to help, we urge you to ACT and ACT QUICKLY as the Board of Commissioners will make their final decision on February 3, 2009. Our church and our congregation are in need of your help, support and prayers to appeal for our case during this difficult time.
THANK YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU!
II. How can you help?
For online email petition, there are three simple steps:
Step 1: If you are a Gwinnett County resident, click here to identify your District Commissioner; then please click back to our website to complete the online petition. If you are not a Gwinnett County resident, please send your email petition to all Gwinnett County Commissioners.
For commissioners' contact information, please click here.
Step 2: You can choose to write your own petition or simply click here to copy and paste our sample petitions.
Step 3: For the last but the most important step of all, please pray for us and with us.
(Tiếng Việt: xin bấm vào đây.)
Gwinnett residents say no to Waster Transfer Station
III. Contact us
Holy Vietnamese Martyrs' Mission
4545-A Timmers Way
Norcross, GA 30093
Website address: http://www.cttdvnatl.org/
For directions to our church, please visit