A new restaurant near Little Mill Middle School, moving ahead with a long-zoned property on Sanders Road and a future bridge to welcome drivers into the county were among issues brought up at the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners' most recent meeting.
All votes were 5-0 unless otherwise noted.
Restaurant decision postponed
After hearing from officials representing a development seeking a proposed restaurant on Browns Bridge Road (Hwy. 369 east) and from neighbors opposed, commissioners voted to give both sides more time to hash out their issues and voted to postpone a decision until the board’s March 7 meeting.
The item requested a change for two zoning conditions – adding an entrance and access from Little Mill Road with no entrance or access from Diana Circle and allowing a drive-thru, with no voice amplification, on the site – for a shopping center at 6730 Browns Bridge Road, which is at the southeast corner of the Browns Bridge-Little Mill intersection.
“The shopping center is designed for a drive-thru. It used to be a dry cleaner's, and we have a potential tenant that is a restaurant that is requesting a drive-thru as a condition as a tenant,” said David Johnson, who was representing the development.
Johnson said the restaurant would not be a fast food chain. A breakfast restaurant is also being considered for the development.
Several neighbors spoke against the development, saying it could lead to increased noise, more traffic and issues with parents dropping off and picking up kids from nearby Little Mill Middle School.
“The backup on the road right now is horrible on both sides,” said county resident Bill Manley. “It really would be a lot worse if any exit out of that shopping center came out to Little Mill Road. Just coming over here, it’s hard to get out of the intersection either way you go.”
Sanders Road development goes ahead
It can take a long time for some plans to become a reality, which is the case for a property at 1135 Sanders Road, where commissioners approved zoning condition amendments and variances to the county’s unified development for an original zoning approved in 2001.
“The subject parcel is a little shy of an acre. It was originally meant to be part of a much larger urban village, multi-use, retail development that fell through,” said Samuel Bagwell, an attorney representing the property.
Bagwell said the land had become an “orphan lot” after the project fell through and made the lot “undevelopable and unsellable.”
The development will be a single-story building. A medical use for the building was brought up in the meeting.
He said there have been several meetings with nearby neighbors, and District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills praised both sides involved.
“I just appreciated the spirit which everyone came together and worked on the zoning,” Mills said. “I appreciate an applicant that gives as much as they are willing to give and people working together.”
Bridge design moves forward
Commissioners also approved spending for projects to make the upcoming Hwy. 369-Ga. 400 interchange a gateway to the county.
“The idea here is that to make the bridge at 369 the gateway there’s two things that we’ve asked to price,” said County Manager Eric Johnson. “One is the extra-large [concrete] stamping, which comes to $354,000. That’s 900-feet of wall that ranges up to 35 feet in height … The second is simply the difference in the chain-link fence [the Georgia Department of Transportation] has their contractor installing, to update it from galvanized chain-link to black vinyl-coated fence.”
The fence upgrade is about $11,700.
The bridge, along with a bridge planned at the new Union Hill-Ga. 400 interchange, is being considered a bookend to the county and are planned to welcome drivers into the county.