Annexation of about 40 acres near the planned Cumming City Center and a pair of new parks and recreation community centers were discussed this week during a Forsyth County Board of Commissioners work session.
All items were approved by a 5-0 vote in recent months.
Over the last few months, annexations have been a source of strife between Forsyth County and the city of Cumming, but commissioners approved a request this week with less animosity than has become the norm.
Commissioners approved sending a letter to city officials saying that the county would not object to the annexation of about 43 acres located on both sides of Buford Highway and included conditions for issues that had been concerns for the commission.
District 1 Commissioner Molly Cooper, who represents the area, said she had already spoken with the majority of the city council about the conditions.
“Since our [last] BOC meeting, I have spoken with four city council members, and they were very positive and cooperative on the conditions that we had discussed, as far as landscaping and the 50-foot buffer with a fence on the northern border of the tract that is on the northern side of Hwy. 20,” she said.
The property abuts the planned Cumming City Center, and the 50-foot buffer will run along the northern boundary of the property. A 20-foot landscape buffer will be planted on each side of Hwy. 20.
In recent months, issues with annexations have come up between the county and the city, including 113.5 acres on Pilgrim Road between Hwy. 9 and Pilgrim Road and about 150 acres on Market Place Boulevard and Turner Road.
One Forsyth County park will receive a new recreation center, while another will see its existing rec center expanded.
Commissioners approved a bid worth $794,600 for design and construction documents for a recreation center at Matt Community Park and approved $239,500 in a bid for similar documents for the expansion of the Central Park Recreation Center. Both bids were awarded to Lyman, Davidson, Dooley Inc.
The Matt project will combine recreation and senior services, and Jim Pryor, director of the parks and recreation department, said will it be referred to as a community center.
“It will have a little bit different of a footprint, be a little bit larger than the buildings we have had in the past,” Pryor said.
The Matt community center will require a new road and parking lot, along with taking down trees for the project.
“This area of the county needs this, and I am excited about having it,” Cooper said. “We have nothing. There is really nothing up there, so I’m excited about it coming in.”
County officials said a library is also planned in the future for the area.
For the Central Park project, engineers will look at how space is currently being used and whether senior services will be included.
“We are going to work with senior services to get the best bang for our buck,” Pryor said.