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Commissioners approve agreement for development
Brown breaks previous tie vote
Forsyth County

After previously reaching a tie on the matter, Forsyth County Commissioners have come to a consensus on a north Forsyth zoning issue. 

At a recent regular meeting, commissioners approved an agreement with developer Taylor Morrison relating to the fourth phase of the Settlers Lake subdivision. 

In November, commissioners voted a 2-2 tie, with District 1 Commissioner Pete Amos and District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills in favor and District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent and District 5 Commissioner Laura Semanson opposed — and the District 2 seat vacant — on whether to approve the settlement. 

Since then, District 2 Commissioner Dennis Brown was sworn in, meaning there were enough votes to break the tie.

“Commissioner Brown, if you were to vote in favor, then the settlement agreement … would be approved,” County Attorney Ken Jarrard said before the vote. “If you vote against it … the settlement agreement would not be approved. Now, that does not mean the county cannot take up another motion.”

Brown voted against the original motion at the meeting, meaning the vote failed 2-3 before commissioners unanimously approved an amended motion.

“No pressure here,” Brown said, joking, before the first vote. 

As part of the approved agreement, lots would have a minimum size of 10,000 square feet, minimum lot widths of 75 feet, a landscape buffer would be built along Hopewell Road, developers would build a fire pit and no more than 92 lots.

Language on landscape buffers, a point of contention at the November meeting, was removed for the motion that passed. 

The development would be the part of the existing Settlers’ Lake subdivision, located off Jot Em Down Road, but would not connect roads with the existing phases and would be accessed via Hopewell Road. Though having no road connectivity, both sides would abut, and there are plans for a walking bridge to connect the two.

Included in the agreement was a letter from the existing community, which showed more than 80 percent supported the fourth phase of the development. 

The agreement dealt with whether or not Taylor Morrison was vested in the property, meaning the developer could go ahead under previous zoning rules.

Jarrard previously said his opinion was that the company was not vested in the property, which attorneys for Taylor Morrison appealed. After the appeal, the county and developer negotiated a settlement.