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Mega-Kroger near Cumming passes planning board
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Other action

Also during its meeting Tuesday night, Forsyth County’s planning board postponed:

• Proposed changes to the Unified Development Code, or UDC, to create the South Forsyth Lifestyle Center Overlay District needed for an expansion of The Collection at Forsyth

• An application from 58NW LLC to rezone 56 acres from Res-3 to a less dense Res-2 for 65 lots with a density of 1.16 units per acre at Bannister Road and Namon Wallace Drive in north Forsyth

• Ridge 19 LLC’s request to rezone 29 acres from residential industrial district, or M1, to master planned district, or MPD, for 97 lots with a density of 3.3 units per acre and 24,000 square feet of commercial space with 131 parking spaces off Ga. 400 in north Forsyth

In addition, the board:

• Voted to suspend the public hearing of an application from Vickery Real Estate LLC to rezone about 5 acres of agricultural district, or A1, to office and institutional district, or O&I, for an 84-unit senior housing facility in a 76,109-square-foot building with 57 parking spaces across the street and between Vickery Creek elementary and middle schools and the Vickery Village neighborhood

CUMMING — After months of planning work, meetings and compromising on details, a mega-grocery store proposed for a commercial intersection southwest of Cumming passed the Forsyth County planning commission with a unanimous vote of approval.

The Kroger Co. applied for the rezoning to build a Walmart-sized Kroger with unconnected outparcels, an 18-pump fuel station and almost 700 parking spaces on about 27 acres on the corner of Castleberry and Bethelview roads.

That intersection already has a Publix and a CVS Pharmacy on two corners, and planning representatives postponed the application twice to ensure the new Kroger would fit in the community and adhere to the area’s equestrian thematic overlay standards.

Two residents of neighboring subdivisions spoke in favor of the rezoning, saying they attended at least six meetings with The Kroger Co. and stakeholders and spent “a lot of time and effort” on reaching a number of compromises.

Greg Dolezal, in whose District 3 the property sits, said the elevation of the building is the biggest change the application saw from its birth.

The building and gas station will sit about eight feet below the road in the attempt to hide the enormity of the store.

Previous concerns about a parking variance to bring all of the spaces to the front of the building were favored by residents because a reconfiguration would bring the actual building closer to their homes.

Five additional handicap spaces were added to the rezoning to accommodate nearby homes that have a high concentration of elderly residents.

The vote was 4-0 with District 1’s Pam Bowman being recused due to an unspecified conflict of interest.

Another application that had been postponed was also approved, but the planning board recommended the Board of Commissioners (BOC) change the zoning category of the property in the extreme southwest corner of Forsyth.

All five planning representatives agreed an application from 645 Tidwell LLC to build 45 lots at a density of 1.97 units per acre on nearly 23 acres be zoned as Res-3 single family residential district instead of single family community residential district, or CR2.

The application would have been the county’s first CR2 zoning since the category was created earlier this year.

Part of the requirements for the category is that the property in question must be at least 30 acres, prompting a request for a variance to reduce the minimum lot area under the claim that it is land-locked by already-developed property owned by other people.

The property is east of Tidwell Road and north of Tidwell Circle.

The BOC is expected to hear both applications for a final decision in November.