Forsyth County commissioners approved a developer’s plans to add seven homes to a south Forsyth subdivision without requiring it to build a playground sought by residents.
The commission voted 4-1, with Commissioner Jim Boff opposed, to grant the rezoning for KM Homes from commercial to Residential-4 on Thursday.
The rezoning will allow for KM Homes to add seven larger lots to the front of Sentinel Chase off of Hwy. 141, bringing the total number of houses to 46.
Commissioner Brian Tam, who represents the district, said the county’s code requires amenity areas only in subdivisions with 50 or more lots.
The commission heard from six neighborhood residents who approved of the rezoning, but wanted a playground added for the many children who live there.
The county’s planning board recommended the play area in its conditions approved Feb. 26.
Manas Dey, a Sentinel Chase resident, said more homes will be more beneficial to the “closely knit” subdivision than commercial development.
“It’s a win-win situation for both residents and builder,” Dey said. “Considering that, I expect the community to have a small children’s play area as well, since almost all of us have small kids.”
Attorney Ethan Underwood, who represented the developer, said a 60-foot wide lot needed for a playground wouldn’t be large enough or “particularly safe,” especially if placed nearest to Hwy. 141.
“This is a valuable lot,” Underwood said. “The residents aren’t willing to purchase a lot to turn into a play area.”
Tam added a condition that if the development reaches 50 lots, the amenity area must be built.
He stipulated the lot sizes be a minimum of 9,000 square feet, though existing homes were zoned with 6,000 square feet required.
The homes must also follow requirements for exterior materials.
“I think we’re protecting if not enhancing the property values of your development,” he said.