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Buford Highway drawing car dealerships
County commission wonders if more might be on way
Lou Sobh Honda and other car dealerships are flocking to the Buford Highway (Hwy. 20) corridor east of Cumming. - photo by FCN file photo

Other action

Also during their meeting Tuesday night, Forsyth County commissioners:

* Authorized title, insurance and tagging for two vehicles for the Forsyth County Health Department.

* Condemned two parcels for the widening of Bethelview Road.

* Moved forward with updating the sign code relating to billboards in order to get public input.

* Discussed ways to better get their message out to the public.

* Approved accepting bids for engineering services to renovate 14 to 25 campsites at Shady Grove Campground


Note: All votes were 5-0.


-- Kelly Whitmire

EAST FORSYTH — The Forsyth commission recently discussed whether the county should steer away from having too many car dealerships in one area.

Commissioners, with Cindy Jones Mills recused, reviewed the recent approval of several auto dealerships along the Buford Highway (Hwy. 20) corridor, east of Cumming.

“You now have three car dealerships approved all together on [the highway],” said Commissioner Jim Boff. “I’m trying to get a feel from the board in advance [as to] what degree everybody thinks this is the right thing to do with Highway 20. I never anticipated that we would get a whole cluster of them together.

Lou Sobh Honda opened in late 2013 on the highway near Sanders Road. In September, work began on a Lou Sobh Kia next door. Earlier this month, the commission approved the rezoning of a nearby 8.2-acre tract on the highway for auto dealership Q Automotive.

Boff, whose district skirts the southern edge of the Hwy. 20 corridor, is concerned that a flux of dealerships could adversely impact it.

“This is a big change to this area, zero [dealerships] to [potentially] five or six,” Boff said. “These are the ones I can foresee coming. I don’t know what else is coming down the pipe.”

One concern is that during test drives, cars would have to either make U-turns or right turns, which are generally done due to safety, through residential areas.

“I’ve just heard new plans for one that was just approved that does U-turns and only U-turns,” Boff said. “And then the next thing is, what’s it like to have people driving their cars making rights, rights, rights through neighborhoods.”

Mills recused herself due to an “abundance of caution,” due to a future zoning matter that may deal with car dealerships.

“This future zoning has yet to be filed with the county, and therefore I do not believe I have a direct conflict of interest in this matter,” she said. “I’m recusing to avoid even the hint of an appearance of impropriety.”

No action was taken on the matter.