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Residents split on south Forsyth rezoning

SOUTH FORSYTH — In what is becoming an increasingly regular occurrence in rapidly growing south Forsyth, residents on both sides of a contentious rezoning issue met Wednesday to seek a compromise.

If granted, the proposal would rezone 91.5 acres at Campground and Wills roads near the Midway community from agriculture district, or A1, to single-family residential 3, or Res3, for some 150 homes.

The meeting was arranged by Forsyth County Commissioner Todd Levent after the parties attended a Forsyth County commission meeting earlier in the month.

“This is a zoning. A zoning is a form of legislation,” Levent said. “There are some guidelines that go with it. We have maps to go with it. We have a comprehensive plan that somewhat gives you a plan or guidelines of what you should stay or adhere to somewhat closely.

“We’re trying to get some good basic information. Everybody needs to understand that everybody is entitled to their opinion. Everyone is a stakeholder at some level.”

Disagreements over density and whether the property should be rezoned Res3, Res2 or the new single community residential district known as CR2 dominated the meeting that stretched 2.5 hours.

“We have family members here who would like to sell their land,” Levent said. “We have stakeholders who live in the area that want the zoning to help them sell their land to be something that doesn’t put their lives up and still lets them remain some sort of quality of life.”

Supporters included family, both those who had inherited the land and others, neighbors and developer Tom Sharp.

Sharp said the houses built in the development would be priced in the $500,000 range, and that the plan had previously been lowered from 177 homes to 158.

Opponents, who claimed more than 2,000 people have signed a petition against the development, were concerned about the potential impact on roads, schools and waterways.

The group was able to come to an understanding on some conditions for the development, but not on density.

A compromise zoning that would zone part of the property Res2 and another portion Res3 was discussed, but no consensus could be reached.

It is likely that another meeting on the issue will be held, though nothing had been scheduled as of Thursday afternoon.