Planning commission board members suggested a few tweaks to a proposed 136-lot subdivision in northwest Forsyth at a work session Tuesday night.
The applicant, 4087 Post Sosebee LLC, requested to rezone about 72 acres on Holbrook Road from an agricultural district, or A1, to a single family community residential district, or CR2.
District 1 board member Rusty Whitlow, in whose district the property falls, questioned whether a Res-2 zoning might be more appropriate.
“I’m trying to work with the developer – I mean I want to get something that works for him and works for us also,” he said. “We’re looking at a 136-lot [subdivision] – actually 134 because of my recommendations.”
The application is unique because there is no builder yet, nor has the applicant guaranteed one anytime soon.
This means planning commission members can only see the concept plan drawn by the applicant, which the builder could choose to alter down the road, should the new zoning be accepted by the Board of Commissioners.
While any major changes in the future would require the application to be sent back to planning staff, smaller tweaks, such as where in the subdivision the larger lots would be located, would not need planning staff approval.
District 4 board member Bettina Hammond was uncomfortable that builders have more leeway to make changes on a CR2-zoned property than on a Res-2 property.
Board members may suggest a condition that would guarantee the bigger lots be located in a certain area on the property.
“Let’s say [they] are towards the entrance to the subdivision,” said Vanessa Bernstein-Goldman, deputy planning director for the county. “I would condition the general location of the parcel, if that’s a concern, because the [builder] can rearrange and unless they start moving other things that would trigger a sketch plat, they’re not going to have to go back through the [process.]”
District 5 board member Robert Hoyt was still wary of the application.
“I think these should be treated with a lot more skepticism than where there’s an actual builder there with a plan and elevations and all the stuff so we know what it’s going to look like,” he said. “It could also be denied and come back when it has a builder who has a plan that we can sink our teeth into.”
Jayne Iglesias, District 2 board member, said that is not an acceptable reason for denial of an application and that applicants have the right to request a rezoning regardless of whether or not they currently have a builder.
“That’s their right as a [citizen,]” she said.
The planning board will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, during which they may vote to approve or deny the application.
Their vote serves as a recommendation for the BOC, which will ultimately decide the fate of the rezoning request. The proposal is scheduled to appear before the BOC on Oct. 20.