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Overlay district duties stay with planning board
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Forsyth County News


Forsyth County's planning board on Tuesday night voted 3-2 to retain the authority for reviewing alternative designs for the Peachtree Parkway and Castleberry-Bethelview Crossroads overlay districts.

Pam Livesay and Jim Kelleher voted against the measure.

The board also approved 5-0 a motion to remove power transmission line overlay districts from the county's unified development code.

The Peachtree Parkway Overlay District issue stems from a Jan. 25 board decision involving Academy Sports Outdoors, which plans to open a store at The Avenue Forsyth.

The overlay district requires the exterior of stores at the south Forsyth mall be 75 percent brick, stone and glass, while Academy's plan called for 45 percent.

The Smart Growth Forsyth organization wanted to appeal the decision, but the county commission couldn't hear it since no appeals process exists in the overlay process.

Unlike all other votes, the planning board has the final say on alternative design reviews, which are written for the Peachtree and Castleberry-Bethelview Crossroads districts.

These decisions are not required to get approval from the county commission.

Smart Growth is preparing a challenge in Superior Court that seeks to erase rather than reverse the decision to allow the store to have less brick.

In other news from the meeting, the planning board unanimously agreed to recommend approval of the following to the Forsyth County commission:

* BS Bently's request to rezone 2.8 acres from residential conservation to residential for six lots at 2.13 units per acre on the north side of Bentley Road in the Edenwilde subdivision.

Developer Howard Carson told the board the neighborhood is served by a private sewage treatment plant that has been a nuisance.

He plans to rip it out and run 3,800 feet of county sewer line to the development.

The change would result in about $200,000 in sewer tap fees paid to the county.

* Cumming First United Methodist Church's proposal to rezone 3.4 acres from agricultural to a commercial business district.

The church plans to build a 2,500-square-foot food bank. Also approved was a variance to the sewer distance requirement.

The site is on the east side of Tower Road, about 1,000 feet north of Hwy. 20.

* 431 Commerce Park Drive LLC's request to rezone 6.4 acres from a commercial business district to industrial for a 48,675-square-foot office and warehouse facility with 93 parking spaces on Ridgeland Parkway.

* Villas at Canterfield's plan to rezone about 2.8 acres from residential to a commercial business district with a conditional use permit for a senior housing and assisting living facility. The property is on Atlanta Highway near Greenfield Drive.

* Conditional use permit for Paul Lanier Warbington Jr. to offer seasonal community activities and entertainment and to grow and sell produce on about 40 acres off Crow Road.

* Home occupation permit for Susan E. Malphurs to operate a music education business at her Green Summers Drive residence.

* Conditional use permit for Oaks Senior Living for an assisted living facility on 16.9 acres off Hampton Park Drive.