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Responses due in community center fight
Residents contend it's a church
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Forsyth County News

Responses to a complaint filed over a faith-based, youth community center are due in the next few days.

Forsyth County government has until Friday, and Bridgepoint Community Networks until Monday, to respond to the challenge from residents of a northeastern Forsyth subdivision.

The Crystal Cove Shores’ complaint, filed in Forsyth County Superior Court, questions the county commission’s decision to grant a permit to Bridgepoint earlier this fall.

Bridgepoint plans to build a 2,000-square-foot facility on a half-acre lot at Crystal Cove and Thunder trails.

The proposal has been highly contentious in the community.

The nonprofit first requested the permit for the center in late 2008, but withdrew it for further review before resubmitting in late 2010.

The complaint states the approval of the permit on Sept. 1 was "unreasonable and arbitrary."

Attorney Stuart Teague, who represents the neighbors who filed, said the primary concern is that the center will be used as a church, which would not be permitted on that site under the county’s unified development code.

"[Bridgepoint] traveled under a weakness in the ordinance to basically do an in-and-around of the UDC," Teague said. "That’s the meat of it, so to speak."

The suit also alleges that the county violated the state open meetings act in not providing proper notice prior to the public hearing before the planning board and not maintaining required signage on the property.

"The decision of the planning commission and the board [of commissioners] to proceed on the matter interfered with public participation," according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs named on the suit include Crystal Cove property owners Brigido Martinez, Rich Marcom and Nancy Bustle.

Specific people must be named to receive standing in court, Teague said.

He added, however, that the suit, filed Sept. 30, has the backing of more residents than just those three.