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Forsyth County reviewing plans for lake park sites
Gained rights to five in 2012 settlement
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Forsyth County News

NORTH FORSYTH — Forsyth County is moving forward with talks on the future of five park sites along Lake Lanier to which they secured access in 2012.

The parks were part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta that brought the years-long Bethel Park litigation to a close.

The YMCA has since moved forward with its long-held plans to develop a youth summer camp facility on 62 acres on three of Bethel’s peninsulas.

During a recent work session, the Forsyth County commission heard plans for developing its parks: Chestatee Bay; Rocky Point; Six Mile Creek; Wildcat Creek; and the fourth Bethel peninsula.

The areas range in size from 19 to about 170 acres and each is near an existing subdivision.

“There were six parks that we obtained access to from the corps,” explained Deputy County Manager Tim Merritt. “… Of those six, [the commission] selected five that [they] were interested in looking at the accessibility to the site in order to make a decision on which of those five we wanted to move forward with master plans.”

Chestatee Bay, Rocky Point, Wildcat Creek and the fourth Bethel peninsula are undeveloped. The areas range in size from approximately 19 acres to about 170 acres, and due to growth each park is near an existing subdivision.

“[Geographic Information Services] had been asked to review access to the five local parks along the lake and provide the ins and outs of each area,” said John Kilgore, the county’s GIS director.

Bethel’s fourth peninsula is the smallest of the proposed parks at around 19 acres. It is north of the existing park and can be reached from Bethel Road and adjoins Bowen John and Lyonesse Estates neighborhoods.

Near the existing Six Mile site, off of Browns Bridge Road, the county is also considering renting a 44-acre peninsula to the south. That site would have to connect to the existing park through 2,000 feet of woods and beach or go through the Six Mile Cove subdivision.

Near the end of Pilgrim Mill Road, the county is looking at 86 acres to be called Rocky Point. Like the other sites, access would pass through a subdivision, in this case William Shores.

In north Forsyth, Wildcat Creek is under consideration. The park would cover 23 acres with access off Crystal Cove Trail. It would, however, have to go through two private parcels in the Crystal Cove Shores subdivision.

The largest of the parks considered would be Chestatee Bay, totaling about 170 acres. That site could have two entrances, through Bayhill Drive or Windsor Way, and would be next to Bayhill and Bridgewater subdivisions.

No decision on the parks was made at the recent meeting. The commission will hear another presentation on the parks at its first work session of 2015.