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Board weighs overlay district
Standards possible for stretch of Hwy. 9
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Forsyth County News
Forsyth County commissioners are looking at turning a section of Atlanta Highway (Hwy. 9) into an overlay district, which would carry special standards for new businesses.

The stretch of highway under consideration runs between Post and Bethelview roads.

Commissioner Jim Harrell, whose district includes the area, directed planning staff to look into the matter.

“The Venable Hall is a quality build there on Hwy. 9 and if you look north of that it’s a hodge podge [of development] and there’s no plan in it,” Harrell said. “We have a chance to create a quality vision for that area.”

Commissioners approved the plans for Venable Hall, a large mixed-use development on 240 acres along Hwy. 9, last month.

At Tuesday’s commission work session, senior long-range planner Vanessa Bernstein reviewed some possibilities for the overlay district.

District standards could include restrictive uses for development regarding site design, parking, vehicle and pedestrian access and architectural and landscape standards.

New businesses with indoor storage, machine shops, open-air shopping and vehicle sales and service would have to get a conditional use permit from the commission.

All businesses would be required to have an equestrian motif “to be visible from roadway entrances.”

“It would be up to the developer as to what they wish to include,” Bernstein said. “It could be landscape related or it could be architectural.”

For businesses with shopping carts, a special cart corral, free of rails, would be required. All sites would also be required to have bicycle racks or lockers.

A pedestrian sidewalk would have to be developed as well.

Public hearings on the overlay could be in the works after the commission decides whether to move forward with the proposal.

It may also look into a similar overlay on Majors Road near Ronald Reagan Boulevard.