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Mixed-use site proposed near greenway

Development plan calls for 300 apartments

POSTED: January 17, 2013 12:33 a.m.
 

Forsyth County’s planning board on Tuesday reviewed rezoning applications for a proposed mixed-use development in south Forsyth.

The two rezoning requests by Walton Bluegrass would allow for apartments and commercial development on 73.5 acres on McFarland Road near Shiloh Road.

The plan includes 300 residential units on about 51 acres at the north end of the site and commercial development near the Big Creek Greenway, where the developer wants to install a trailhead for public use, said attorney Ethan Underwood.

“The intention is to have people that live in apartments that can walk down and get a cup of coffee or ice cream and then get on the greenway,” Underwood said during the board’s work session.

Chairwoman Pam Livesay asked the developer to consider putting a public restroom at the trailhead, a suggestion that will be revisited during the public hearings.

The rezoning applications are scheduled to be heard during the Jan. 22 meeting of the planning board, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

The site is zoned for multi-family residential, or Res-6, and commercial business district, but the applications seek to swap the locations of the two zonings.

The existing Res-6 would then be adjacent to the proposed rezoning, and the developer has asked that any conditions on the two pieces line up.

Underwood said differing zoning conditions for one set of plans causes issues when seeking a building permit that can delay the project.

Planning department staff, however, sought new conditions for the proposed Res-6 based on the McFarland-Stoney Point Livable Centers Initiative, an overlay created after the original zoning.

In determining whether to include those related conditions in a possible rezoning, planning director Tom Brown advised the commission to consider the future goals for the area.

“Look at the conditions and how they match up to the specific attributes of the site and decide if you think they’re appropriate,” Brown said. “You need to do what we always do and weigh out the burden it puts on that individual versus what it provides to the community as a whole.”

Underwood noted that the livable centers initiative also calls for the area off of Ga. 400 at Exit 12 to be the highest density of development in the county, which makes it a great location for apartments.

“If you’re going to put them somewhere,” he said, “that’s where the [future development] map says to put them.”
Initially, light industrial also was proposed for the site, but that rezoning application was withdrawn in December.

 

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