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Residents secure Res2 rezoning in south Forsyth

Other action

Also during its meeting Thursday night, the Forsyth County commission:

* Postponed until its work session Tuesday review of an agreement with the city of Cumming on a generator for a water intake pump in Lake Lanier.

Last month, the city council approved an amended agreement with the county that had initially been approved as part of the most recent extension of the special purpose local option sales tax.

Per the agreement, Forsyth would pay up to $1 million for the generator, and Cumming would contribute up to another $1 million should the cost exceed the county’s contribution. The city would own the generator.

The generator is intended to provide both entities water in the event that the intake station loses power.

Forsyth has a permit allocation from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, but no way to draw the water from Lake Lanier. As a result, it purchases most of its untreated, as well as some treated, water from Cumming.

* Pushed back for 90 days discussion of what is being described as a proposed “couples only” hotel on Antioch Road in north Forsyth.


-- Kelly Whitmire

SOUTH FORSYTH — The Forsyth County commission voted 5-0 on Thursday to rezone 91.5 acres at Campground and Wills roads from agriculture district, or A1, to single-family residential 2, or Res2.

The decision came three weeks after neighbors, developers and a commissioner met to discuss what had become a controversial proposal.

One of the sources of disagreement was whether the property should be Res2 or Res3, also a single-family designation. Res2 offers 1.71 units per acre maximum and larger minimum lot sizes than Res3.

During the meeting Thursday, Commissioner Todd Levent acknowledged the contentious process.

“This has been a difficult zoning, the neighborhoods that adjoin the property, as well as all nearby stakeholders, have expressed numerous and heartfelt concerns with respect to a proposed Res3 on this property,” Levent said.

“I’ve listened carefully to their concerns and have also listened to the concerns of owners of the property and the builder and mindful of that the proposed developer of the property, Tom Sharp, delivers a superb residential product.”

Approval for the zoning went through several meetings and changes, before Levent made his motion Thursday.

Two of the bigger changes, which did not have the support of developer Sharp Residential, were a maximum density of 1.59 units per acre and a Res2 zoning with a minimum lot size of 18,500 square feet.

“This is what all of the stakeholders sat down with Sharp Residential and agreed to, with the exception of [those changes],” Levent said.

The original recommendation from the county’s planning board was for Res 3 with a maximum density of 1.71 units per acre and an average lot size of 16,000 square feet.

Levent also dispelled speculation that he would benefit financially from the project.

“While ordinarily I would pay no attention to such talk, rumors have circulated to the point that I have to address it,” he said “I want to be very clear on this issue, that rumor is absolutely and completely false.”

Prior to the decision, several speakers shared their concerns with commissioners. Dozens in opposition to the higher density wore red shirts to the meeting.

“In our area, in addition to the large land owners, we have several people with 2-, 3-acre and 1-acre lots,” said Anita Wilson, who lives nearby. “We absolutely do not have anything Res3.”

A family member of the property owner also so spoke, saying his family did not object to the surrounding neighborhoods when they were built.

“Our family moved here in the late 1700s,” said Todd Bagley “As a child growing up when Calamar [a nearby subdivision] was developed, my family never opposed that development whatsoever.”