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Bagley Road rezoning angers residents
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Forsyth County News

Residents rebuked a real estate broker after the Forsyth County Planning Commission approved his request to rezone about 15 acres in south Forsyth from residential to commercial.

Plans for the property, on Bagley Road at Peachtree Parkway, originally called for 170,500 square feet and 632 spaces.

The five-member board unanimously approved the request during a meeting Tuesday night, with an amendment limiting the amount of commercial development on the site to no more than 50,000 square feet.

About 30 residents, some with their children, attended the meeting to oppose the project.

"Shame on you Ricky Bryan," one resident shouted while leaving the meeting. Others echoed her remark.

Bryan, who addressed the board on behalf of the property owners requesting the change, said there are some groups interested in developing the property, but no plans have been finalized.

Residents cited traffic concerns, a lack of speed control devices on Bagley Road and other issues with the proposed commercial development.

Stephanie Powell, who lives on the street with her husband and three children, spoke on behalf of the Bagley Road Community Organization. The group consists of people living in Lakeside Farms, Stonegate and Greystone Manor neighborhoods, all on Bagley.

To illustrate her point about traffic, Powell showed the board photographs of her overturned sport utility vehicle after a wreck Christmas Eve 2006.

She said she and her family were trapped in the SUV after being struck head-on by a speeding car that crossed the centerline and "flew over the hill on Bagley at 50 miles an hour."

"I am here to personally attest that Bagley Road is more than unsafe, it's dangerous," Powell said. "And that's the key issue with this rezoning tonight."

She said there are no stop signs, speed bumps or sidewalks on Bagley, resulting in a "racetrack-type atmosphere."

Powell said the road has no shoulder and is 20 feet wide in some places. The requested zoning requires that a road be at least 80 feet wide.

"In the past nine months alone there have been, according to Forsyth County records, two collisions, one loss of control overturned vehicle wreck, two animal-related traffic accidents and one mailbox knocked down," she said.

Bryan said property owners have agreed to pay for a stop sign on the road and that there would not be access to Bagley from the site until a traffic light is installed.

"We're not against slowing traffic down with multiple stop signs or speed bumps, but that is not my call," Bryan said. "It's an engineering call."

He said along with Bagley, four other roads on Peachtree Parkway - Brannon, Majors and Stoney Point roads, as well as Laurel Springs Parkway - are classified by the county engineering department as collector roads.

"Every intersection from McGinnis Ferry to Ga. 400 has a commercial component on its corner," Bryan said. "Every corner on Peachtree Parkway has a commercial component on it ... we've watered it down to not have high impact businesses at that intersection."

Bryan said the property, which is in the Peachtree Parkway Overlay, is subject to all the rules and regulations in the district.