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Changes likely for McFarland Parkway mixed-use development
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SOUTH FORSYTH -- Forsyth County will need to make some changes to proceed with an upcoming mixed-use development.

Commissioners voted 4-0, with District 2 Commissioner Brian Tam recused, on a time-sensitive basis to go ahead with a major county-initiated amendment to the master planned district, or MPD, zoning district tied to the Halcyon development, which is underway on McFarland Parkway off Exit 12 of Ga. 400.

The change is needed after issues have arisen with roads in the development that do not meet county standards.

“We are going to have to designate the interior corridors within the Halcyon project as not public, or private streets,” County Attorney Ken Jarrard said.

Jarrard said the agreement is needed since private roads are required to meet public roads standards, which those in the development would not.

“Otherwise, Halcyon is going to have to go back and restructure their entire development to make it [to] our public and private street standards,” he said.

He said the change comes down to definitions in local rules.

“They’re going to be private,” Jarrard said. “It’s just that they’re not going to be private streets, because once you call it private streets … our code declares they must be built to public standards.”

Issues with roads were over width and storm water drainage under the road.

The amendment was approved as county-initiated to cut down time and will shave about a month off the project.

Forsyth County will not be responsible for road maintenance.

Representatives with the development said engineers discussed the roads with the Forsyth County Fire Department.

An easement to allow the county to go in and work on utility projects was discussed, though Halcyon would be responsible for the costs to repair any plantings or roads damaged.

When the project broke ground in February, officials said the first phase of the $370 million mixed-use project will open in fall of 2017 and feature 87 single-family units, 155 town homes and 448 luxury apartments.

They will go along with 125,000 square feet of retail space, 65,000 square feet of loft offices and “built-to-suit spaces,” as well as a hotel with 110 rooms.