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Firm's expansion plan clears board
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Forsyth County News


Also during its meeting Tuesday night, Forsyth County’s planning board heard from member Joe Moses.

Moses announced that he had spoken with the Georgia Attorney General’s office and learned that a phone call he’d made to fellow board member Matt Murphy in December was not a violation of the open meetings act.

“Not only is it not a violation, it’s a common occurrence, is what the attorney general’s office of the state told me,” Moses said.

Murphy brought the matter to the board during its work session earlier this month, saying Moses had asked him to support his quest to become chairman of the panel.

Murphy questioned whether the conversation was legal.

Moses said he had changed his mind and no longer wanted the post, currently held by Planning Commissioner Pam Livesay. A vote on the issue was never held.

In other action, the board:

• Voted 4-0 to recommend approval of a request by John Barrett to rezone about 1.9 acres on Boyd Road from agricultural to residential. The county commission will decide the matter.

• Approved 3-1 a request by Rusty Williams for a conditional use permit to develop a church on about 10 acres on the southeast corner of Union Hill and Shiloh roads.

Moses cast the lone vote against it.

It will be up to the Forsyth County commission whether a sheet metal processing firm will get the variances it seeks as part of an expansion plan.

The Forsyth County planning board on Tuesday voted 4-0 to recommend the commission approve METCAM’s rezoning request.

The company wants to rezone about 9.2 acres from industrial and agricultural to industrial at 305 Tidwell Circle and on Tidwell Road about 600 feet southeast of the crossing with Tidwell Circle.

The company’s plans call for a nearly 61,000-square-foot expansion that would bring the total building area to about 154,000 square feet.

However, in his motion to approve, planning board member Jim Kelleher excluded the company’s requests for variances.

Planning Commissioner Matt Murphy did not attend the meeting.

METCAM asked to eliminate a 75-foot rear yard setback, a 60-foot rear yard buffer and to reduce the side yard setback by 40 feet to allow a 35-foot setback, as well as to reduce the side yard buffer by 35 feet to allow a 25-foot buffer on the west side.

It appears that METCAM and neighboring property owners, the Orkin family, have been trying to come to an agreement on conditions relating to the company’s plans.

The Orkins own about 163 acres south of the METCAM site.

A revised set of conditions was submitted to the planning board late Tuesday afternoon.

Attorney Emory Lipscomb, who represents the family, said his clients support METCAM’s plans if the conditions are included in its approval.

“It’s not unusual for [a neighboring] landowner to ask that the neighbor who’s requesting something, that they would agree to support a change in zoning of the adjacent tract,” Lipscomb said. “So I don’t think what we have done is unusual or unreasonable.”

George Butler, the attorney representing METCAM, said the company would agree to many of the conditions the Orkin family has recommended.