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Forsyth planning board denies cell tower, approves church, neighborhood
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Church next to Denmark High School to hire traffic officer

What: Georgia-Cumberland Association of Seventh-day Adventists Inc. requested a conditional use permit to build a church sanctuary, school, gymnasium, multi-purpose field and pavilion totaling 37,000 square feet with 179 parking spaces on about 9 acres currently zoned agricultural district, or A1.

Where: Off Fowler Road, just south of Atlanta Highway. (Hwy. 9) and west of Ga. 400, directly across from Denmark High School.

Discussion: District 3 planning commissioner Patrick Britt, whose district the application falls in, raised concerns at the previous week’s work session regarding traffic and a “wicked turn” on Fowler Road. Though he was not present at the public hearing, he added a condition prior to Tuesday’s meeting requiring a law enforcement officer to be present Monday-Friday during the school year and on Saturdays for the church service. An officer must also be present if the church holds an event that will generate 100 or more vehicles.

Cell tower in north Forsyth denied

What: Verizon Wireless requested a conditional use permit to put a 199-foot cell phone tower on a lease area of 0.2296 acres zoned A1.

Where: Off Holbrook Road by Starrbrook Crossing.

Discussion: Residents opposed the tower, citing the unsightliness it would create and raising concerns about electromagnetic radiation waves the tower would emit. Given the FCC sets standards for radio frequency devices, District 4 planning commissioner Bettina Hammond said she once had a tower built near her home and called it a “nuisance.”

Vote: 2-1, with District 5 planning commissioner Robert Hoyt opposed, to recommend denial of the application. Board members Patrick Britt and Jayne Iglesias were absent.

Boat storage and office facility on Lanier approved

What: GTMT LLC requested to rezone 1.45 acres from a lake residential, or LR, to a commercial business district, or CBD, with a conditional use permit for proposed storage and office buildings totaling 10,000 square feet with 10 parking spaces.

Where: Off Shady Grove Road, just south of Browns Bridge Road (Hwy. 369).

Discussion: Though planning staff was not supportive of the application, Hoyt, whose district the application falls in, disagreed with staff at the previous week’s work session, saying the property’s location is at the edge of residentially zoned properties and its intended use is only to store “very big boats and some cars.” He also said the surrounding land is relatively undeveloped, but the property would be used for storage as opposed to “things that are going to be loud and frighten the cows.” At the public hearing, planning commissioners added a condition that no “biohazardous fluids” can be used to clean the stored boats or cars.

Number of lots reduced for west Forsyth neighborhood

What: Samuel Palaio’s application is to rezone 33 acres from A1 to a single family community residential district, or CR2, for 32 lots.

Where: Off Hubert Martin Road, east of Matt Highway. (Hwy. 369) and west of Dahlonega Highway. (Hwy. 9).

Discussion: District 4 planning commissioner Bettina Hammond, whose district the application falls in, expressed concern at the previous week’s work session that the subdivision would look like two separate entities, given it is divided by Settingdown Creek. At the public hearing, the number of lots was reduced from 32 to 29, which will reduce density. The applicant added a walking path for residents over Settingdown Creek but kept the two entrances.

*All applications were unanimously recommended for approval unless otherwise noted. The planning board serves as a recommending body for the Board of Commissioners, who have final say.