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Multiple north Forsyth subdivisions, south Forsyth synagogue pass planning board

The Forsyth County planning board, which serves as a recommending committee for the Board of Commissioners, held their monthly public participation meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 29, where they voted on what recommendations to send to the BOC.

105-lot subdivision approved in north Forsyth

What: TRB Bethelview LLC is requesting to rezone about 88.5 acres from agricultural district (A1) to single family residential Res-3 district for 130 lots with a density of about 1.5 units per acre.

Where: On Hurt Bridge Road in north Forsyth, just west of the intersection with Holbrook Road.

Comments: One group of residents opposed the zoning, citing school overcrowding and traffic, while another group wanted a 100-foot tree save area. After two failed motions, District 1 board member Rusty Whitlow, whose district the application falls in, capped the number of homes at 105 lots.

Vote: 4-1, with District 2 board member Stacey Guy opposed.

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Application for Res-2 neighborhood off Hwy. 306 approved

What: Pilgrim Mill Family Partnership LLLP asked to rezone about 109 acres currently zoned A1 to single family residential Res-2 district for 126 lots with a density of 1.16 units per acre.

Where: On Hightower Circle, right off Matt Highway (Hwy. 369) in north Forsyth.

Comments: No one spoke for either side during the public hearing.

Vote: 5-0.

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North Forsyth small mixed-use development approved

What: Tallant Family Limited Partnership wants to rezone from A1 and single family residential district (R1) to a master planned district (MPD) on about 20 acres for 55 residential lots with a density of 2.7 units per acre and commercial buildings totaling 39,000 square feet with 161 parking spaces.

Where: On Dahlonega Highway (Hwy. 9 north), south of Browns Bridge Road (Hwy. 369).

Comments: This is the second time the planning board has seen this application. The first time, in March, someone at the public hearing pointed out there was not enough commercial — 25 percent — required of MPDs. The application had to go back through the whole process and now is back at the planning board’s review stage. One resident opposed to the application said he does not want homes to look “cookie cutter” in the development. The board reduced the amount of commercial space from 39,000 square feet to 31,000 square feet, with two 8,000-square-foot buildings on the sides of the property instead of four 6,000-squar- foot buildings by Hwy. 9, inaddition to other commercial.

Vote: 5-0.

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Traffic a concern for 20-lot application

What: Van D. Hall wants to rezone about 17 acres from A1 and single family residential restricted district (R2R) to single family residential Res-4 district for 20 lots with a density of 1.2 units per acre.

Where: On Mathis Airport Parkway, south of Old Atlanta Road in south Forsyth.

Comments: At their work session last week, planning board members said people “fly down the road” and, due to Mathis Airport Parkway being a divided highway, residents wanting to turn left out of the subdivision would have to cross two lanes and make a U-turn, which would be a “very dangerous” situation. There is a break in the median where Bagley Road meets Mathis Airport Parkway, but putting the subdivision’s entrance there is “not feasible” due to a creek under the road, Guy said. Whitlow, who said the board prefers approving applications rather than denying them, said “there’s not really a solution for this one,” prompting a no-vote by him and three other board members. He did question whether traffic concerns “would stop [all] development in [Guy’s] area.” Guy emphasized he was opposed to a Res-4 and even Res-3 zoning, calling Res-2 zonings, which he pushes for at almost every planning meeting, “the will of the people.”

Vote: 4-1 against, with District 4’s Bettina Hammond in favor.

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Board approves rabbi’s permit to operate synagogue

What: Levi Mentz, co-director of Chabad of Forsyth County, applied for a conditional use permit (CUP) to operate a synagogue in an existing house currently zoned A1. The CUP is also asking for 10 parking spaces.

Where: On Brannon Road in south Forsyth, just south of Ronald Reagan Boulevard in south Forsyth.

Comments: Members of the synagogue’s planning committee said they met with neighbors and when, not if, the synagogue grows, they will have proper law enforcement for traffic and other needs. Guy said the county is “very fortunate” to have such diversity and the establishment of its first-ever synagogue.

Vote: 5-0.

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Office building owner requests all-encompassing permit for tenants

What: The applicant is requesting a CUP to operate personal service establishments, such as hair and nail salons, tutoring facilities and dance studios in an existing 24,514-square-foot office building on about 2 acres with 116 parking spaces currently zoned office and institutional district (O&I).

Where: In McGinnis Village just north of McGinnis Ferry Road in south Forsyth.

Comments: At their work session last week, board members said the applicant has come before them previously to request CUPs for individual units in the building. This CUP would apply for the entire building, which the applicant owns, so he would not be required to come back for every new space he wants to lease to tenants. Existing businesses include tutoring facilities, dance studios, hair and nail salons and other personal services. Guy included a list of prohibited uses, including tattoo parlors, dry cleaners, massage parlors, adult entertainment or novelty stores and thrift stores, among others.

Vote: 5-0.

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Rezoning requested for horse stable

What: Kimberly Marie Suddeth wants to rezone about 5 acres from R2R to A1 to build a 1,152-square-foot non-commercial horse stable.

Where: On Pleasant Grove Road southwest of Dr. Bramblett Road in north Forsyth.

Comments: Only one person spoke at the public hearing, saying he was supportive of the use because it will be used as a non-commercial horse stable, which he said the county should have more of and that more land should be zoned A1. At last week’s work session, Whitlow suggested he would recommend approval of the application as-is, saying if the county wants right-of-way land they had asked for, they would have to pay Suddeth for it. At Tuesday’s meeting, he changed his mind and required her to reserve a 40-foot right-of-way from the road’s center line for future county road improvements.

Vote: 5-0.

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South Forsyth storage facility postponed

What: MVS Properties LLC is requesting a CUP to build a 161,000-square-foot climate-controlled storage facility with 26 parking spaces on about 3.5 acres currently zoned commercial business district (CBD). A variance seeks to eliminate the zoning buffer abutting an A1-zoned property from along the western property boundary.

Where: On Atlanta Highway (Hwy. 9 south) in south Forsyth, just north of Hamby Road.

Vote: The planning board postponed the application to the Sept. 26 meeting.