Members of a planned church agreed to a conditional requirement to connect onto public sewer in the future as part of the Forsyth County planning board recommending a permit for a school or day care.
Living Faith Lutheran Church is seeking to construct a permanent place of worship on about 8 acres at 1171 Atlanta Highway.
The building would initially be about 10,000 square feet, but the church hopes to expand to up to 40,000 square feet, including the addition of a school as the membership grows, said Ethan Underwood, attorney for the group.
The church requested a variance for the requirement to connect with public sewer, due to the large expense, and instead use an on-site septic system, Underwood said.
The nearest public sewer connection would require the church to bore under Hwy. 9 at an expense of hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said.
The planning board voted 5-0 on Tuesday to grant the conditional use permit for the school, with a condition the church must connect to public sewer prior to receiving occupancy permits.
“We did hear some discussion at the planning commission work session about the concern that if this does develop with a school or day care that at some point that septic system may not handle all that effluent,” Underwood said. “We are willing to agree to a condition.”
A neighbor to the property, Steve Burrows, aired several concerns with the proposal during Tuesday’s public hearing, including possible damages related to allowing septic, traffic issues and a drop in his property value.
He pointed to county staff’s suggestion that public sewer is the preferred option for the property.
Burrows will get another chance to address the issues before the county commission, which will also review the conditional use permit in June and the full sketch plat with a public hearing in July.
Also Tuesday, the planning board voted 5-0 to grant a home occupancy permit with variances to Dawn Fallite to operate a chiropractic clinic in the white house at the corner of Vaughan Drive and Brookwood Road.
The variances increase the number of allowed customers from two to six and the vehicles allowed from two to five, with conditions for shading the parking lot from view.
Kristin Morrissey, who lives in the neighboring Caney Creek subdivision, said the Fallites had worked with the community to find a compromise.
The home occupancy permit was the first approved since the county changed the rules, which allowed the planning commission to have the final say.