EAST FORSYTH — The Forsyth County commission is holding a public hearing Thursday to gather feedback on a proposed subsidized apartment development near Buford Highway.
At a recent work session, Commissioner Jim Boff shared a letter he had received about the project from the state Department of Community Affairs.
According to Boff, the property had recently been discussed for a possible car dealership, which are not uncommon along the corridor, also known as Hwy. 20, but that fell through after pushback from nearby residents.
In addition, he noted, the area had been zoned to allow apartments in 1986, before Forsyth’s exponential growth.
“So the owner of the property had some sort of [meeting] and said that I’m going to be putting apartments there,” Boff said. “Then after that happened I received a letter, an email from DCA, saying that the developer or builder of the apartments was applying for federal and state housing tax credits for the purpose of development of affordable rental housing.”
The commission voted 5-0 to hold the public hearing Thursday. Any comments will be used in a response letter to the DCA, which can choose whether to use them.
Boff said that he generally has not been in favor of subsidized housing.
“When I hear the term affordable or subsidized housing, it’s not one of the most exciting things that I want to happen to my district,” he said. “On the other hand, that’s just kind of a naive point of view, because I don’t have a lot of experience.
“I do know that I fought hard against [U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department] financing that the developmental authority wanted for the senior [citizen] place that is going up on Windermere, because I didn’t like the concept of HUD financing.”
According to Boff, the new development would be near the Gates in Forsyth neighborhood, and he has already heard from some residents. The project would require sketch plat approval from the county’s zoning department, but not need to be rezoned.