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North Forsyth mixed-use development discussed
Was first MPD zoned in county
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NORTH FORSYTH -- A long-dormant zoning of a Forsyth County master planned district zoning, or MPD, in north Forsyth is once again being discussed.

At a recent meeting, Forsyth County commissioners voted 4-0, with District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills recused, to go ahead with a county-initiated rezoning, per owner approval, for commercial properties included in a proposed mixed-use development on Matt Highway (Hwy. 369) near the intersection with Bannister Road.

Per the county’s unified development code, MPD zonings require a minimum of 25 percent commercial or office space, though the property originally being discussed at the meeting for a zoning condition amendment was fully residential.

Originally zoned in 2005, County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the zoning is likely the county’s first MPD and that the adjoining properties, which the commission voted to proceed with rezoning, were meant to be the commercial component.

“The MPD zoning classification was not adopted at the time the applicant began to develop this, not parcel, but project,” Jarrard said. “Because of this, this project was initially started as three different zoning applications due to the backlog of residential applications.”

The commercial properties make up about 37 acres, while the residential component is about 95 acres. A BP gas station at the corner of Matt Hwy. and Bannister Road is not included in the MPD.

Jarrard said he had not been in contact with the other property owners but that they wouldn’t be affected.

“I don’t think anybody is going to be disadvantaged or advantaged, because what we’re talking about are already [commercial-zoned] parcels. They would just become locked down as part of the MPD zoning,” he said.

With the addition of the commercial properties, Mills recused herself from the matter as she “may be involved with a future transaction” on one of the parcels.

Previously, Mills, who represents the area, said a request on the residential portion of the property to amend zoning conditions would improve the development.

“They’re bringing back to us a much-improved zoning, reducing the lots by 168 lots. That is beneficial to the district,” she said. “They’re getting the less buildout, and they’re getting the Shiloh Overlay with a better fence. They’re getting better looking homes.”

Due to the change, the original public hearing scheduled for the residential zoning was not held.

A public hearing on the commercial portion will be held at the commission’s Oct. 6 meeting.

At the first work session after that meeting, commissioners will provide Jarrard direction depending on the hearing.