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Mega-development approved for Hwy. 9
Plan calls for mix of homes, retail
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Forsyth County News

Despite objections from neighbors, a large, mixed-use development in south Forsyth got the go-ahead from the Forsyth County commission.

The measure passed 3-2, with Commissioners Jim Boff and Charles Laughinghouse opposed.

Residents sounded off on the 240-acre development by Paces Battle Properties, which plans to rezone the tract from agricultural to master planned district.

Pamela Battin, who lives near the site, which is between Hwy. 9 and Majors Road, asked that commissioners "think of the traffic first."

"The traffic on Highway 9 is extremely busy," Battin said. "This project will bring lots more."

The project, known as Venable Hall, calls for 727 residential units, about 1.1 million square feet of commercial space and 66 acres of open space.

In June, the county's planning board recommended approval in a 4-1 vote. The commission delayed its decision three times.

Longtime county resident Bud Lang felt the project will "bring a higher-end development to that end of the county."

"I think it's a very well-planned community," Lang said.

Commissioner Jim Harrell, whose district includes the future site, agreed.

"We have a chance to secure a quality build on Highway 9 and salvage a section on this highway, which is currently a hodgepodge north of this area on 9 and south of this area on 9," Harrell said.

Boff, however, questioned the proposal's conformity with county planning tools.

"It's a mystery to me how the future land-use map and comprehensive plan can be so radically different than what's being proposed to be developed here," Boff said.

The project was approved with 72 conditions, among them a traffic study that must be completed halfway through the project.