Also during its meeting Thursday night, the Forsyth County commission:
* Heard an update on the proposed fiscal year 2015 budget. A vote on the spending plan, which totals about $103.4 million, is set for Nov. 6.
* Ended the practice of having an official quorum of the commission at planning board public hearings by a vote of 3-1, with Commissioner Jim Boff opposed.
* OK’d an ad valorem tax to fund general obligation bonds on behalf of the school board. Voters approved a $195 million bond referendum in May.
* Recognized Connie Brooker, the local indigent defense administrator, for 25 years of service.
Note: All votes were 4-0, unless noted otherwise, due to the absence of Commissioner Todd Levent.
-- Kelly Whitmire
WEST FORSYTH — The county commission on Thursday approved rezoning nearly 444 acres on Chamblee Gap Road and Brookfield Circle in west Forsyth for a master planned district.
Developer Lennar Georgia plans to build 572 residential lots and 124 attached residential units on the property, which was previously zoned agricultural and single-family residential.
The vote was 3-0, with Commissioners Todd Levent absent and Pete Amos recusing himself.
The development includes a variance to the county’s unified development code to reduce the required commercial space in a master planned district from 25 percent to zero.
“I know that we received a few emails about the MPD and the variance to the commercial, and whether that was a rational number,” Mills said.
Mills said it could be “very complex” to piece together a zoning that had a lot of variety.
“Speaking personally as a commissioner since I got into office, I have recognized that we have a huge loophole within our [code] in developments just like this,” she said. “There’s no real category to fit a development of this size that wants to do a variety of products.”
According to Mills, the development would be a move away from copycat houses and offer more diversity.
“I think that we’ve heard a lot from the community that says that they would like to see products of variety, where you don’t have just cookie cutter … sized homes,” she said. “I think this development does offer that.
“If this MPD didn’t have a variance, you could have 111 acres of commercial development on a road that isn’t conducive to commercial development.”
The developer has previously stated that the development will not open until after the widening of Chamblee Gap is finished, which should be around 2017.
The commission also voted 4-0 to approve rezoning about 16.4 acres for 38 lots on Post Road from A1 to Res3, and about 8.2 acres on Buford Highway from R1 to commercial business district for auto dealership Q Automotive. The approval required an addition that certain businesses would not be on the property.
Those that are prohibited include: convenience stores; gas stations; 24-hour businesses; hotels; theaters; electronic game-playing centers; adult entertainment centers; adult novelty stores; pawn shops; pool halls; tattoo shops; and bars, lounges or nightclubs, unless it is a restaurant that serves alcohol.