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Planning board reviews residential rezoning requests
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Forsyth County News

In its first work session since November, Forsyth County’s planning board reviewed several requests to rezone property from an agricultural designation to single-family residential district.

The six residential requests were for projects ranging in size from 40 houses to a 308-home proposal on Aaron Sosebee Road. Many fell in the county’s south end, but a 54-home plan was proposed for Hopewell and Glen Ivey Drive in north Forsyth.

Most applicants are seeking the Res-3 designation, which along with the Res-4 category was tweaked last year by the county commission.

Commissioners lowered the minimum lot size for Res-3, hoping to draw away requests from the denser Res-4, which they felt more often stirred resident opposition.

The difference is in square footage, which was reduced from 14,500 square feet to 10,000 in Res-3. For Res-4, the square footage is 8,000 square feet, up from 6,000. Res-4 changes also lowered the units per acre from 4 to 3.5, with Res-3 remaining unchanged at 2.5 units per acre.

The move appears to have had the intended effect.

“We have ... within the past one to two months, had more Res-3 requests than Res-4,” said Vanessa Bernstein, the county’s senior planner.

The planning board did not make any decisions during the work session Tuesday night. Its recommendations to the county commission, which has the final say, are expected after a meeting Jan. 28 that includes public hearings on many of the requests.

Other requests reviewed Tuesday seek reduced setbacks, less space between homes and a variance for a 195-foot cell tower on Keith Bridge Road, closer to another tower than the required distance.

In addition, planning staff has recommended support for a request from Advanced Disposal Recycling Services Atlanta LLC to expand on 8.6 acres off Shirlee Industrial Way.

The proposal calls for an additional 76,000 square feet of space and 85 parking spaces at the recycling collection facility.

The planning board’s joint work session and meeting in December was scrapped due to a lack of a quorum.

At least three of the five members must be present for a quorum, but the resignation of District 5 representative Joe Moses earlier that month had left just two available.

Since that time, District 3 representative Craig Nolen has also resigned.

Robert Hoyt was appointed last week to fill the remainder of Moses’ term. Hoyt’s first meeting was Tuesday.

District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent has said he hopes to fill Nolen’s vacancy within the next few weeks.