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Forsyth planning board approves conservation subdivision

Other action

Also during its meeting Tuesday night, Forsyth County’s planning board postponed until Oct. 27:

* An application from 58NW LLC to rezone 56 acres from Res-3 to a less dense Res-2 for 65 lots with a density of 1.16 units per acre at Bannister Road and Norman Wallace Drive in north Forsyth

* Ridge 19 LLC’s request to rezone 29 acres from restricted industrial district, or M1, to master planned district, or MPD, for 97 residential lots with a density of 3.3 units per acre and 24,000 square feet of commercial retail with 131 parking spaces

* A decision on The Kroger Co.’s proposal to rezone 27 acres at Castleberry and Bethelview roads from M1 and agricultural district, or A1, to commercial business district for 141,930 square feet of commercial retail trade establishments with 658 parking spaces

In addition, the board:

* Did not give a recommendation of approval or denial but instead recommended the county commission hold two public hearings on a proposed change to Chapter 18 of the Unified Development Code on surveyor and owner certificates relating to minor plats.

The board could not postpone a decision because it previously held a public hearing and the next scheduled meeting is more than 31 days later.

The vote was 4-1, with District 4’s Alan Neal opposing.


* All votes were 5-0 unless otherwise noted. All planning commission votes serve as recommendations to the BOC.


-- Kayla Robins

FORSYTH COUNTY — Five out of six items on the agenda for the Forsyth County planning board meeting Tuesday night were postponed or deferred, while the only rezoning application approved could bring a more than 300-home conservation subdivision near Canton Highway (Hwy. 20).

Sharp Residential LLC asked to rezone the nearly 190-acre property to build a 309-lot subdivision on Watson Road east of Tribble Road.

Josh Scoggins, an attorney with the firm  of Miles, Hansford & Tallant, which is representing Sharp Residential, said this is the first conservation subdivision he has seen in about 10 years.

The property, known as Lakehaven, would be rezoned to a single family residential district Res-3 with the conservation requirements added on. Those include substantial green space and the protection of waterways.

There is a 12-acre lake with an earthen dam and streams in the property boundaries, which is currently zoned agricultural district, or A1, and Res-2, which is less dense than a Res-3.

However, the site plan proposed 44 percent open space. This would the bodies of water, tennis courts and walking trails.

Neighbor concerns included proximity to their property and runoff, though the applicant tentatively agreed to a separation fence, 35-foot buffer and fewer houses adjacent to a northwest neighbor.

While conservation subdivisions were more common from 2000-07, said Tom Brown, director of planning and community development for Forsyth County, regular Res-3 zonings have been more popular as of late.

Within the past year, Res-3 requirements evolved, making the two “comparable in incentives.”

Lakehaven would be built at a density of 1.63 units per acre with no average lot size. However, lots would range from 60 feet to 90-100 feet.

Attorney Scoggins said a Res-3 without the conservation aspect would yield 311-312 lots with a minimum unit size of 14,750 square feet.

The board’s vote to recommend the county commission approve the request was 5-0 in favor.

To continue with the night of uncommon rezoning applications, the planning board voted to postpone a request for what would be the county’s first single family community residential district, or CR2. The category was created earlier this year.

Applicant 645 Tidwell LLC wants to build 45 lots at a density of 1.97 units per acre on nearly 23 acres zoned A1.

The property sits in extreme southwest Forsyth, east of Tidwell Road and north of Tidwell Circle.

Part of the requirements for the new CR2 is that the property in question must be at least 30 acres, so the applicant had to request a variance to reduce the minimum lot area under the claim that it is land-locked by already-developed property owned by other people.

The area is within District 3, whose representative Greg Dolezal opposed the application because of the variance, saying it should adhere to the requirements.

The application was ultimately postponed to Oct. 27 public hearing before being given a final decision by the county commission Nov. 19.