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Contested rezoning moves on
Recommendation includes fewer homes, many conditions
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Forsyth County News

A contested rezoning application passed through Forsyth County’s planning board on a split vote Tuesday night.

The board recommended a Res-4 zoning with 247 homes for the nearly 84-acre undeveloped site on Daves Creek Drive.

The vote was 3-2, with board members Joe Moses and Alan Neal opposed.

The board’s recommendation calls for 20 fewer homes than developer 88 Daves Creek LLC requested in its alternative site plan, which was presented during the board’s meeting in May as a less dense option to the initial application.

The board included in its recommendation a long list of zoning conditions, including a minimum home size of 2,200 heated square feet, a required amenity area encompassing at least 6 percent of the site, landscaped buffers on certain property lines and other aesthetic requirements.

Many residents spoke out against the plan in May, expressing concern over the project's density and impact on schools, traffic and the area's character.

The planning board failed to get a majority vote for a recommendation May 28 and had postponed the matter.

Moses made the first motion during the meeting Tuesday, asking the board to recommend denial “due to all the irregularities with the site plan, which, in my opinion, does not conform to the [unified development code].”

He pointed to a section the in code that states a site plan shall be prepared by a registered land surveyor or engineer, etc. He added that no such stamp exists on the submission by 88 Daves Creek other than a company name that he said didn’t match any record in the Georgia database.

Planning director Tom Brown said the “etc.” in the code allows for site plans to be prepared by anyone with knowledge in the field, so he felt “comfortable” that the application adhered to the code.

The matter will be reviewed by legal staff prior to the county commission’s scheduled vote on the matter July 18.

Pam Bowman, who chairs the planning board, made the motion for the Res-4 rezoning, which falls under the panel’s power to adopt a less intensive zoning district than what’s requested.

The developer applied in March for a rezoning from agricultural to Res-6, or multi-family residential, zoning with 378 attached and detached homes.

That plan called for a 4.5-unit-per-acre-density, which neighbors opposed and the planning board appeared unlikely to approve.

The developer presented an alternative Res-4 site plan with a 3.2 density and 267 homes in May, when the board ultimately postponed the matter for further review.

Tuesday’s vote set a maximum density of 2.95 units per acre.