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Planners dont see necessity of change
Move crafted for sports complexes
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Forsyth County News
The Forsyth County Planning Commission has rejected a proposal that would allow more leeway for sports complexes.

The five-member panel unanimously voted Tuesday night against changes to the county’s unified development code that would create a new agricultural-recreational zoning district.

Vanessa Bernstein, senior long-range planner, explained that the changes would allow for private developments that include athletic fields, aquatic centers, eateries, skating rinks and sports-related retail stores.

“It would be a recreational center used for athletic training purposes for the exclusive use of members and their guests with indoor and outdoor facilities,” she said.

The Forsyth County commission is expected to hold another public hearing on the changes next month.

Tuesday’s hearing was the planning board’s second on the proposed district.

During the first meeting in September, attorney Elliot Smith of Lipscomb, Johnson, Sleister, Dailey and Smith spoke in support of the proposal.

“We originally brought this to the board with a large project we were proposing and since that time the project has been put on hold,” said Smith, adding that he and his colleagues still see the benefit of the zoning.

“We feel like it would give the county some flexibility in promoting some recreational facilities that might not be able to be accommodated otherwise.”

No one spoke in favor or against the proposal Tuesday night.

Planning commissioners discussed whether the zoning would allow for shooting ranges, which are regulated by county ordinances, and billiards.

Brant Meadows questioned whether the definition of athletic training facility in the proposal was too broad and would allow for unintended consequences.

Fellow commissioner Jim Quinn said he didn’t see “the necessity for this change at this time.”

“This was intended for one potentially specific applicant and he doesn’t seem to be in the picture anymore,” Quinn said.