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Town home plan angers neighbors
Density questioned on sought-after zoning
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Forsyth County News

A developer seeking Forsyth County’s highest density residential zoning got an earful from neighbors during a public participation meeting Wednesday night.

The property owner, 88 Daves Creek LLC, have requested a rezoning from agricultural to Res-6, or roughly six units per acre, on a nearly 84-acre site on Daves Creek Drive.

The plan calls for 378 fee-simple town homes, of which about 70 percent would be attached units and 30 percent detached, on the site neighboring the Bluegrass Materials Company quarry, formerly owned by Lafarge. The proposed density is 4.5 units per acre.

Bret Clark, manager of the company, said the mining district on three sides of the property makes a prime fit for selling town homes.

“We feel that given the unique circumstances, this type of product is warranted,” Clark said.

Nearly all of the more than 50 attendees disagreed, citing the neighboring single family homes and future development map plans for low or medium density residential.

Residents expressed concerns about the impact on the school system, with Daves Creek Elementary currently over capacity, as well as the additional traffic on a busy two-lane road.

The site plan shows just one exit from the development onto Daves Creek Drive.

Other reasons for opposition included: perceived devaluation of property values; possibility of people buying town homes to rent them out; drainage from the development; removal of trees that buffer the quarry; and destruction of the area’s character.

Residents suggested Ronald Reagan Boulevard or other four-lane roads in the county as a better fit for such a development.

County planning staff is “non-supportive” of the application, based on the density not matching the future development map’s possible zoning districts for the area, which include medium density residential.

However, the staff review also states that “abutment with the active mining operation should be taken into consideration and may warrant flexibility such as a potential increase in density to a Res-4 product.”

The map marks only select areas of the county for the Res-6, or multi-family housing, zoning.

Commissioner Todd Levent, who represents the area in District 3, said more review is needed, though his initial reaction is that the plan’s too dense.

Levent said the property will be rezoned because the owner has a right for fair use of the site. However, he will consider several factors in determining the appropriate zoning.

“I try to find what’s fair and balanced in the situation,” he said. “There’s a lot to look at and a lot to consider.”

The public hearing before the planning board is set for May 28. The county commission will have the final vote on the matter, possibly in June.