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3 things from this week’s BOC meeting
Forsyth County

Changes to the county’s unified development code, a plan for a new middle school and an alcohol license approval and suspension were among items approved at a Forsyth County Board of Commissioners meeting this week.

All votes were approved 5-0 unless otherwise noted

Hendricks Middle

A planned middle school in west Forsyth cleared a planning hurdle.

Commissioners approved a sketch plat, a layout of the proposed development, for the planned Donald F. Hendricks Middle School.

The commissioners had a chance to approve the proposal in June but elected to have a traffic study done before making a decision.

“We conducted a detailed traffic study,” said Abdul Amer, president of A&R Engineering. “Just in general, we made the recommendations that both of the entrances to the school property be accommodated with a left-turn lane for traffic turning into the driveways, as well as a right-turn lane to facilitate drivers turning in, as well as leaving the property. There will be two exiting lanes for left and right turns for a total of three lanes on the driveway.”

Amer said other than the intersection of Hwy. 20 and Hyde Road, which has some issues making left turns, no other roads had issues, per the study.

Mark Redfern, who lives near the school, thanked commissioners for the study but said he had concerns with safety.

“There’s a hill at the southern end of the property that when you crest the hill, I’m concerned that you’re not going to have enough sight distance,” he said.

Redfern said he also favored a left-turn lane onto Hwy. 20.

The school is slated to open in August 2021.

Code changes

Forsyth County Commissioners approved a slew of changes to the unified development code, or UDC.

The first approved change would require that any change to a sketch plat or site plan that increases the amount of “open display or outside storage” for non-residential units by 10% or more will be considered a major change rather than a minor change.

For county-wide residential design standards, several changes were made, though some were rearranging the code rather than adding anything new. One change would only require the standards for new phases of developments be subject to the rules.

A change was approved for home occupation permit rules that clarified signage rules for signs in the neighborhood.

The final change approved at the meeting related to land disturbance permits, including allowing the county’s planning and zoning director to grant an extension beyond the 12-month deadline to submit applications. Extensions would only be given if justification was “beyond the control of the applicant.”

Other parts of that code change included a potential extension, if approved by the director, to extend the time between approval and beginning of development from 18 months to up to five years for certain industrial projects larger than 10 acres. Similar changes were approved for zonings that were county-initiated.

Alcohol approval and suspension

A south Forsyth gas station will have a three-day suspension of its alcohol license last week after a pair of violations to the alcohol code.

Alpharetta Marathon, at 5715 Atlanta Highway, will not be able to sell alcohol for three days starting on Monday, Sept. 9 after an employee sold alcohol to an underage customer sent by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and without an alcohol license.

Store owner and license holder Chery Patel said the store might be up for sale, and District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent pointed out that if there were enough potential violations to lead revocation of the license, that would prevent any owner of the store from seeking an alcohol license for five years.

Earlier in the meeting, an alcohol license was approved for applicant Amber Christine Cummings for a new RaceTrac gas station at 4265 Browns Bridge Road.