The Forsyth County planning board , which serves as a recommending committee for the Board of Commissioners, had their monthly work session Tuesday, May 16, where they discussed zoning applications to be heard at a public hearing on May 23.
Landfill gas refinery plant must be decided Tuesday
• What: Clean Eagle RNG LLC wants to rezone 10.4 acres from agriculture district (A1) to restricted industrial district (M1) with a conditional use permit (CUP) for a proposed gas refinery plant totaling 15,730 square feet with five parking spaces.
The company captures gases emitted by landfills from the decomposition of waste and converts gases like methane and carbon dioxide into “desirable” natural gas that is sold to Atlanta Gas Light for use. Currently, the gases emitted from the landfill are burnt off, producing a foul smell.
• Where: On north Forsyth’s Eagle Point Landfill just east of Old Federal Road.
• Comments: Planning members initially liked the idea, but at a public hearing last month, residents voiced their anger over the landfill’s imminent expansion at the public hearing and the board chose to postpone the application so Clean Eagle’s developer could meet with residents and explain the process of gas refinery and help them understand the intent of the plant.
At a work session Tuesday, District 4 board member Bettina Hammond said she was glad the board had made the decision they did because it has given her and other planning members time to meet with residents and ask more in-depth questions.
Hammond, along with others, will be meeting with members from the Forsyth County Fire Department to determine the plant’s safety and whether it would need a disaster relief plan. District 3 board member Patrick Britt previously expressed opposition to the application due to safety concerns.
• Possibilities: Because the planning board chose to postpone the application at last month’s public hearing, they must make a decision whether to send the application to the Board of Commissioners with a recommendation of approval or denial on Tuesday. They do have the ability to postpone the application, but that would send the CUP straight to the BOC with no recommendation. At Tuesday’s public hearing, the board may discuss a proposed unified development code change to require applications such as this on A1 land to be filed strictly as a CUP rather than a rezoning. Should the board approve this rezoning, they discussed making it contingent on the UDC change, which the BOC would have to approve.
Proposal to combine 37-lot subdivision with recently approved 57 lots
• What: Post Sosebee LLC is asking to rezone about 28 acres from A1 to single family residential Res-3 district for 37 residential lots with a density of 1.33 units per acre.
• Where: Off Karr Road in north Forsyth, west of Dr. Bramblett Road.
• Comments: District 1 planning board member Rusty Whitlow, whose district the application falls in, said though he generally supports the request, he will likely condition some larger lots close to Karr Road. In December, the BOC approved a 57-lot Res-3 subdivision adjacent to this property, which the developer wants to combine to create one large subdivision.
District 2 board member Stacy Guy has previously voiced his opposition to Res-3 lots, though said he may support the application if Whitlow conditions larger lots on Karr Road.
• Possibilities: Whitlow may also condition several larger lots on a strip of land behind Aldrich Road. The Lake Astoria subdivision already has large homes, and Whitlow said he met with neighbors who said they want the lots to line up with theirs, many of which are 100-plus feet wide. Whitlow said he also will likely condition a setback from those homes so the new houses don’t “loom over” the existing ones.