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Planning board split on 200-lot subdivision in north Forsyth
Also: recycling plant proposed to eliminate landfill smell
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The Forsyth County planning board held a work session on Tuesday, April 18 to discuss applications on the agenda for its monthly public hearing, set for Tuesday, April 25.

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200-lot north Forsyth subdivision divides board

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* WHAT: Settingdown Properties LLC is looking to build a 196-lot subdivision on 163.4 acres currently zoned A1, creating a density of about 1.1 units per acre with a single-family community residential district (CR2).

* WHERE: Off Dr. Bramblett Road, next to Settingdown Creek in north Forsyth.

* COMMENTS: The planning board and Board of Commissioners have said they typically do not like CR2 zonings, with only one being approved in the last year. Whitlow, whose district the application falls in, said the developer is “trying to do something different” with the property to avoid the cookie cutter subdivision look.

Neighbors are concerned about preserving Settingdown Creek and a ridge that runs west of it and are reportedly willing to compromise for smaller lots to protect them. District 2 planning board member Stacy Guy protested against smaller lots, saying, at the minimum, he wants the property to be a single-family residential Res-2 zoning. Whitlow and Hammond countered, saying the developer would disturb the ridge and make the subdivision traditional if the property was zoned Res-2 and that it wouldn’t be “something people will be proud of in 25 years.”

* POSSIBILITIES: As of Tuesday, the board was split down the middle, with Whitlow and Hammond supportive of the CR2 and Guy and Tim Dineen of District 5 against. District 3 member Patrick Britt was absent. Whitlow said he will continue to work with neighbors and the developer to create something he hopes will be approved Tuesday.

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Recycling plant aims to eliminate landfill smell

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* WHAT: Clean Eagle RNG LLC wants to rezone 10.4 acres from agricultural district (A1) to restricted industrial district (M1) with a conditional use permit (CUP) for a proposed recycling plant totaling 15,730 square feet with five parking spaces.
The company captures gases emitted by landfills from the decomposition of waste and converts undesirable gases like methane and carbon dioxide into “desirable” natural gas that is sold to Atlanta Gas Light for use. Currently, the gases emitted from the landfill are burnt off, producing a foul smell.

* WHERE: On north Forsyth’s Eagle Point Landfill just east of Old Federal Road.

* COMMENTS: Planning members liked the idea. District 4’s Bettina Hammond, whose district the application falls in, said she is pleased that the plant would likely eliminate the landfill stink in one-two years. Several board members questioned whether the plant and smell reduction would incentivize the company to expand the landfill, though a representative from the operation said they have no plans to do so. Hammond questioned why landfill expansion would necessarily be bad, if the smell was gone and the bad gases were to be captured.

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113 lots proposed in north Forsyth

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* WHAT: Apex Land Company LLC wants to rezone 66.4 acres from A1 and single-family residential restricted district (R2R) to a single-family residential Res-3 district for 113 lots with a density of 1.7 units per acre.

* WHERE: Just south of Hurt Bridge Road and north of Canton Highway (Hwy. 20).

* COMMENTS: Whitlow said he is still working with neighbors and the applicant and that more details have to be ironed out before the April 25 public hearing. Guy said he would like to see this subdivision have larger lots and be downzoned to Res-2.

* POSSIBILITIES: The application must be voted on at the April 25 meeting, per county ordinance that requires action be taken within 100 days.

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North Forsyth cell tower draws little concern

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* WHAT: Verizon Wireless LLC requested a 190-foot cell tower on 0.1 acres of a 13-acre parcel currently zoned commercial business district (CBD).

* WHERE: Off Holtzclaw Road in north Forsyth, east of Ga. 400.

* COMMENTS: Planning board generally supportive, though District 1’s Rusty Whitlow did toy with the idea of adding camouflage to the pole. Andrew Rotenstreich, Verizon’s attorney, nixed the idea, saying while Verizon does add a façade sometimes, in this case, it would make the tower “look like a giant bottle scrubber.”

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*** The planning board makes recommendations to the Board of Commissioners, which has final say on rezoning requests.