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Better zoning fit sought for proposed commercial athletic fields in north Forsyth

Other action

Also during its work session Tuesday, Forsyth County’s planning board approved Jayne Iglesias, representing District 2 in south Forsyth, as chairwoman, and Robert Hoyt, representing District 5 in east Forsyth and Lake Lanier, as secretary.

NORTH FORSYTH — Forsyth County’s planning board is set to make a recommendation on a proposed change to local code that would allow what was described as a more suitable zoning for commercial athletic fields.

The unified development code modification would allow certain athletic fields to be approved for commercial use within the agricultural district, or A1, zoning by applying for a conditional use permit.

Currently, applicants wishing to open commercial athletic fields, similar in use and accessibility to many county park amenities, must file for a commercial business district, or CBD, zoning.

Tom Brown, the county’s director of planning and community development, said commercial athletic fields have not been approved in the past with a CBD rezoning because they usually do not meet the future land use of the area.

Concerns in previous applications came into play when planners thought of what would happen to the property if the owner sold it, therefore allowing any commercial use that falls under a CBD zoning.

The potential change was largely a response to an application being reviewed by the planning board, though Brown said there have been a number of requests for commercial athletic fields in the past.

The Fields at Keith Bridge LLC is seeking to rezone about 54 acres from A1 to CBD with a conditional use permit to create cricket fields and a night watchman residence. That projects to a total of 4,733 square feet of building space and 229 parking spaces.

Located on Keith Bridge Road and surrounded by Cantrell Circle in north Forsyth, the property borders agricultural land and the Wild Rose subdivision, a single family residential Res-2 district developed at .89 units per acre and a minimum lot size of 20,500 square feet.

Should the site be zoned CBD and the owner sell it, the community’s residential and agricultural makeup does not seem to fit a 54-acre commercial use.

Planning board members discussed with the applicant’s attorney, Ethan Underwood, the idea postponing the request until next month to wait for the result of the code modification proposal.

After the board makes a recommendation on Jan. 26, the county commission is scheduled to make a final decision Feb. 18.