Forsyth County planning board revisits postponed storage facility, discusses assisted living facility

The Forsyth County planning board, which serves as a recommending committee for the Board of Commissioners, held their monthly work session on Tuesday, Sept. 19, where they discussed zoning applications to be heard at their Sept. 26 public hearing.


Storage facility requested in south Forsyth

What: MVS Properties LLC is requesting a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to build a 161,000-square-foot climate-controlled storage facility with 26 parking spaces on about 3.5 acres currently zoned commercial business district (CBD). A variance seeks to eliminate the zoning buffer abutting an Agricultural District (A1)-zoned property from along the western property boundary.

Where: On Atlanta Highway (Hwy. 9 south) in south Forsyth, just north of Hamby Road.

Comments: Planning commissioners postponed this application last month, though revisited the issue at Tuesday’s meeting. Last month, the board was concerned with the building’s large size and its proximity to other storage facilities — both proposed and established — in the area, issues which were once again discusses Tuesday. District 2 board member Stacy Guy said he felt the facility was a “little intense” for its location.

Possibilities: District 3 planning board member Keith Banke said he has worked with the applicant to create conditions that would make the facility less intense. The board may choose to make a decision at next week’s meeting.

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South Forsyth MPD discussed, board still hesitant

What: Liu Investment Partners LLLP wants to rezone about 18.5 acres from CBD, office and industrial (O&I) and single family residential district (R1) to an MPD for 79 attached residential units with a density of about 4.3 units per acre and commercial buildings totaling 50,000 square feet with 261 parking spaces.

Where: On McFarland Parkway on the east side of Atlanta Highway (Hwy. 9 south).

Comments: Board members postponed the application last month due to the applicant not returning phone calls and said the likelihood of it being approved would be “kind of a long shot” due to the fact that pre-zoned CBD and O&I space is rare in the county. At Tuesday’s meeting, Guy said he was still hesitant because he didn’t want to take away commercially-zoned land to build townhomes and there was “no compelling reason” to deviate from the current CBD zoning.

Possibilities: The planning board may decide to deny the application next week.

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One of four Silver City zonings discussed

What: Bennett Capital Partners, LLC is requesting to rezone about 34 acres from A1 to single family residential district (Res-3) for 54 lots at a density of 1.57 units per acre.

Where: Located on Jewell Bennett Road in north Forsyth east of the intersection with Conner Road.

Comments: District 4 Chairwoman Bettina Hammond said this application is one of four silver city zonings that the planning board will soon have come before them. She said the vision for the area is for it to be comprised of Res-1 and Res-2 zonings, which are lower density than Res-3 and above. For this reason, she may downzone the property to Res-2, applying the new Res-2 standards (minimum lot size 20,000 square feet and maximum density 1.3 units per acre) the BOC adopted Sept. 7. 

Possibilities: Hammond said some residents were concerned about their wells being affected, should the developer need to perform blasting and that there was some confusion as to whether the property bordered state waters, which require certain buffers. She said she would do more research before Tuesday’s meeting.

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89-lot neighborhood shopping district postponed

What: Hopewell Group LLC has applied for two separate, but joint, rezonings. The first is asking to rezone from A1 to Res-3 on about 60 acres for 89 homes at a density of 1.5 units per acre, and the second is requesting to rezone from A1 to neighborhood shopping district (NS) on about 10 acres for a 6,000 square foot daycare and 30,000 square feet of commercial buildings with 146 parking spaces.

Where: Located on Dr. Bramblett Road, immediately west of Tomahawk Lane.

Comments: District 1 board member Rusty Whitlow said the applicant wants to subdivide the property, thus has submitted two applications. It originally came in as an MPD that “nobody wanted” so the Hopewell re-submitted the application as a Res-3. He said he would like the Res-3 to adhere to the new Res-3 standards (maximum density reduced from 2.2 to 1.8 units per acre.)

Possibilities: Postponed to the October work session.

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Pottery business proposed in north Forsyth

What: Qing Zang is requesting to rezone from R1 to CBD on about 2.5 acres to operate an open-air pottery business in an existing 1,800 square foot building with 14 parking spaces. The applicant is also asking for a CUP for an open storage yard for the pottery.

Where: On Canton Highway, south of Sawnee Mountain Park.

Comments: Planning board members were largely favorable to the application, though said they would like to see the front of the land conform to new overlay standards. The applicant may remodel the house.

Possibilities: Board members may condition certain screening required by Forsyth County code at Tuesday’s meeting.

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Log cabin, home proposed on Lake Lanier

What: Jessica Goulding wants to rezone about 2.7 acres from single family residential restricted district (R2R) to A1 to build a 6,000 square foot home with a 2,100 square foot log cabin on the property.

Where: On Freeland Road in north Forsyth.

Comments: Planning staff told the board A1 is the only zoning that allows more than one primary structure, which is why the applicant requested A1. Some of the neighbors are concerned with some of the uses allowed in A1, however, including the applicant operating a chicken house.

Possibilities: Board members may condition certain uses allowed in A1 be prohibited, such as operating a chicken house.

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120-unit assisted living facility proposed in south Forsyth

What: David Vickers wants to rezone about 9 acres from R1 to CBD with a CUP to build an assisted living facility with 120 units with 100 parking spaces.

Where: On Peachtree Parkway, south of Bagley Road in south Forsyth.

Comments: Planning board members said Vickers already operates at least one other similar facility and stressed this would not be an active adult community, rather an assisted living facility where the average age of residents is about 80 years old. This is also not a nursing home. Staff said they want on-site amenities, though acknowledged the amenities would be for the residents’ visitors, not the residents themselves.

Possibilities: Guy said he may condition the applicant not have flashing or blinking signs.