Forsyth County’s planning board favored the Res-3 zoning classification for residential requests during its meeting Tuesday night.
Of the three residential rezoning applications heard, the board picked the 2.5-unit-per-acre district as the best option, though two developers sought a higher density, smaller lot Res-4.
The board voted 3-1, with Alan Neal opposed and Craig Nolen absent, to recommend a Res-3 rezoning for Eddie Fowler on 18.8 acres on Daves Creek Drive.
The application had sought a Res-4 with 56 lots and nearly 3 units per acre.
Neal suggested approving the smaller lot size in the Res-4 category, but limiting density to 2.5 units per acre, to allow more open space.
Board member Joe Moses said neighbors seemed most concerned with conditioning the rezoning to ensure quality homes would be built.
However, Moses has also emphasized the importance of following the county’s comprehensive plan, which calls for no more than a Res-3 zoning in the suburban living area.
The board also voted 3-1, with Neal opposed, to recommend approval of a rezoning from agricultural to Res-3 for Home South Communities on nearly 37 acres on Mullinax Road.
Moses said later in the meeting that he misunderstood the motion and would have voted against it, however the board did not opt to reconsider.
The applicant had requested a Res-4 with a density of 2.73 units per acre and a variance to allow the distance between homes to be 11 feet.
Attorney Emory Lipscomb said the current trend is homebuyers wanting smaller lots for lower maintenance requirements.
The board, however, limited the number of homes to 84, with 12,000-square-foot lot sizes, instead of the requested 96 with an 8,000-square-foot minimum.
A variance was recommended with a 15-foot separation between less than half of the lots.
Planning board members voted 4-0 in favor of a Res-3 request for FR-Oakcliff to allow 109 lots on nearly 81 acres on Howard Road.
The property had previously been zoned Res-2 conservation, but the planned project didn’t take off due to the economy, and the site had been reduced in size, attorney Ethan Underwood said.
Due to changes in the county’s zoning classifications over time, Underwood explained the minimum lot size would actually increase from 9,000 to 10,000 square feet.
Residents of the adjacent Hampton’s Grant subdivision expressed concern with the 1.35 units per acre density, stating that more than half the land is not buildable, so the true number is closer to 2.2.
Underwood said Forsyth credits developers for the land they can’t legally build on, so the taking doesn’t hit them twice.
Neighbors also discussed issues with flooding in the area due to the converging creeks, as well as how removal of existing beavers and their dams could exacerbate the water buildup.
Underwood said the beavers have been backing up the water beyond the floodplain.
Also on Tuesday, the board voted 3-1, with Neal opposed, to recommend rezoning an acre on Atlanta Highway in south Forsyth from single family residential, R1, to commercial business district to allow for a used car dealership with several zoning conditions.