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Community center shelved -- for now
Plan withdrawn on Crystal Cove
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Forsyth County News
Plans for a youth community center in a northeastern Forsyth County neighborhood appear uncertain, though both sides say the issue may not be over.

Construction of a 5,000-square-foot building on Crystal Cove Trail requires that the Forsyth County commission approve an exception to zoning rules for the property.

At Thursday night's meeting, however, Commissioner Patrick Bell -- whose District 4 includes the site -- made a motion to withdraw the application. It passed 5-0.

It was a county-initiated proposal, which made Forsyth the applicant.

Former Commissioner David Richard said the matter was initiated by the county because, "I wanted to try to get it done before my term was over with."

The item was postponed several times. Bell replaced Richard on the commission in January.

Bell said he made the motion to withdraw the application Thursday because he was "concerned about the direction it was taking."

"The county shouldn't have been the applicant on this," he said.

Attorney Ethan Underwood, who represents supporters of the center, said the organization seeking to build the center is "investigating our options at this point."

Attorney Joseph Stauffer, who represents residents opposed to the community center, thanked commissioners for withdrawing the decision, but vowed residents would remain vigilant.

"There have been rumors that this is going to get built anyway," Stauffer said. "We want to make sure everyone knows we'll be keeping a watchful eye on this."

Faith-based nonprofit BridgePoint Community Networks could come back seeking approval of the variances, or zoning exceptions.

For the past five years, members of the organization have focused their efforts on the youth of Crystal Cove Trail, holding Bible studies and group discussions with neighborhood teenagers and young adults.

Some residents of the community believe a center housing these meetings would be a plus, while others contend it would hurt property values and increase traffic and crime.

E-mail Frank Reddy at