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Retail center proposal clears planning board
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Forsyth County News

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Also Tuesday, Forsyth County's planning board voted 5-0 to recommend approval of the following:

* Noel Carpenter's request to rezone from commercial business district to industrial 5.56 acres on Atlanta Highway, south of Commerce Boulevard, for 54,725-square-foot office warehouse with 117 parking spaces.

* Smith-Burdette Enterprises' proposal to rezone from commercial business district to industrial 5.3 acres on Post Road across, from Concord Downs Drive, for a 77,896-square-foot office warehouse with 43 parking spaces.

* Paul Mashburn's request to rezone 3.28 acres from lake residential to commercial business district for boat and boat equipment storage in a 5,000-square-foot building. The property is on Mashburn Drive, west of Charleston Park Road.

-- Julie Arrington

Plans for a retail center in northwestern Forsyth cleared their first hurdle Tuesday night in a split vote of the Forsyth County Planning Commission.

The request, made by Matt Highway Investors, asks to rezone 6.82 acres from agricultural and commercial business district to commercial business district at Matt Highway (Hwy. 369) and Wallace Tatum Road. The property extends to Sexton Road.

Plans call for a 37,673-square-foot development that will include retail, restaurant, office space and a fuel center with 214 parking spaces.

The five-member board voted 3-2 in favor of the measure, with members Pam Livesay and Barry Russell opposing it.

The panel's nonbinding recommendation next goes to the Forsyth County commission, which could decide the matter on Nov. 20.

Attorney Ethan Underwood, who spoke on behalf of the developers, said a grocery store has submitted a letter of intent for one of the spots on the property. He did not identify the business.

"We understand that this is a rural area and it is designated and has been zoned by the board of commissioners for development of grocery," Underwood said.

"I live on the west side of the county, so I can attest there's nothing out there. So if we could get a grocery out there, it certainly fits the development trend."

Residents of neighboring subdivisions, such as Grove Crossing Court and Parkstone, spoke against the plan, citing concerns about buffers, noise from delivery trucks and the location of fuel tanks.

Planning board member Mary Helen McGruder noted the tanks would be less than 500 feet from property zoned for residential development, but which has not been platted or developed.

Underwood confirmed McGruder's assessment.

Some board members attempted to amend the measure before approving it, but those changes failed for lack of a majority.