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Density at issue by Echols

Rezoning request worries residents

POSTED: September 28, 2013 1:29 a.m.

While some south Forsyth residents are rallying against the growing trend toward high density residential development, people in other areas of the county hope to preserve the existing agricultural character.

Tuesday night, the Forsyth County planning board heard from residents living off Echols Road who have concerns about a proposed rezoning to Res-2 for a subdivision abutting their large lots.

The request by D.R. Horton would allow for nearly 8 acres to be added to 62 acres planned for a subdivision. The overall density has been proposed at about 1.1 units per acre.

The board voted 4-0, with member Joe Moses absent, to approve the rezoning from agricultural to Res-2, but without the requested variances to eliminate buffers and setbacks and to reduce the distance between homes.

Neighbors along Twin Branches Road, near Echols and Hwy. 20, said they moved there to enjoy the privacy of the natural area.

If the developer moves forward with the subdivision, adjacent homeowners asked for adequate buffers to shield that view.

Attorney Ethan Underwood, representing D.R. Horton, said the variances were requested to allow the oddly shaped 8 acres to conform with the larger 62 acres zoned residential.

Underwood said the developer had worked with certain neighbors who were agreeable with reducing the buffer and suggested certain lots that would be good candidates to keep the buffer requirement.

However, the planning board opted not to grant any variances.

Its recommendation will go to the county commission for a final vote, possibly on Oct. 17.


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