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Commissioners discuss apartment location restrictions

With the adoption of the Forsyth County’s new comprehensive plan in 2017, apartments were limited to certain nodes, or community areas. Soon, they could be allowed in even fewer spaces.

At a work session on Tuesday, commissioners voted 4-1, with District 1 Commissioner Pete Amos opposed, to move ahead with a public hearing changes that would limit apartments to only within 2,500 feet of Ga. 400 of nodes allowing apartments.  

“This absolutely is a further restriction of apartments,” said Tom Brown, the county’s director of planning and community development. “It would be limiting them to this corridor, whereas right now they could be proposed outside of it.”

Apartments are only allowed in the county as part of a mixed-use project. If changes are approved following public hearings, and the portion of those mixed-use developments with the apartments would have to be in the corridor.

“I’m not interested in [nodes] filling up with apartments, and I bet you District 2 is not,” said Commission Chairman Todd Levent.

District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills expressed some concerns with the plans including that it could push more apartments to north Forsyth and could limit the projects coming to the county.

“My fear is that our need to control everything so tightly is going to limit us in getting some really good stuff,” she said. “If you look at Avalon [in Alpharetta,] Avalon has got some really, really nice things, like some really, really nice apartments.”

The matter will come to a public hearing at a future regular meeting.