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Subdivisions proposed near park
Density, timing worry neighbors
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Forsyth County News

Two planned subdivisions adjacent to Olde Atlanta Club in south Forsyth will be the subject of public hearings before the county planning board Tuesday.

Those living nearby have expressed concerns about both developments, which have gone through the zoning process in nearly the same timeline.

During its work session Tuesday night, the planning board reviewed the applications from The Ryland Group and Transmitter Road.

Ryland is seeking a rezoning from agricultural to residential, or Res-3, for 234 homes on a nearly 142-acre property. The density proposed is 1.65 units per acre.

Currently the Verse Noia Farm, the site on Old Atlanta Road, borders the county’s Chattahoochee Pointe park and the Olde Atlanta Club neighborhood.

Across the street and north of the Ryland proposal, Transmitter has requested a rezoning from agricultural to Res-4 for 46 homes.

The 16.5-acre site borders a mine, and the group has requested a higher density similar to other developments in the area on that basis, said planning board chairwoman Pam Livesay.

“It’s pretty much what is already there on that side of the road,” Livesay said of the 2.74 unit per acre request.

The developer has agreed to meet with any concerned residents, she said, since the Transmitter and Ryland required participation meetings fell on the same night in August.

“Because of zoning reviews, there’s a very short time period to have your meetings and still stay on schedule,” Livesay said. “Basically, you’re confined to one or two days.”

Department director Tom Brown said changes to those requirements are in the works as part of a comprehensive review of the zoning process in the county’s unified development code.

“It’s a tight window,” Brown said. “If we get back to having 20 or 30 things on our agendas like we used to, it’s going to be the norm, not the exception, that we have a bunch of things going on the same night.”

During a Smart Growth Forsyth meeting later Tuesday night, members expressed concern with both public participation sessions being held at the same time.

The organization’s managing director, Claudia Castro, said both developments are represented by the same law firm, so different nights should have been arranged.

She added that the meeting for Transmitter, which drew just five people, was not held “in their neck of the woods,” but rather at the chamber building in downtown Cumming.

The application for the Transmitter development, Castro said, didn’t gain the support of the planning staff at the density proposed.

The Ryland proposal, which drew a large crowd to its meeting, did receive staff support.