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Request for church clears planning board
Commission gets say next month
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Forsyth County News

Forsyth County’s planning board on Tuesday night recommended approval of a conditional use permit for a church on agricultural property in west Forsyth.

David Chumley, a member of God’s House Baptist Church, said the small congregation plans to build a 2,000-square-foot building on the 1 acre property at Martin Lane and Hurt Bridge Road.

The church was also granted its requests for variances to reduce the front yard setback to 30 feet and the side yard buffer to 10 feet, as well as eliminate the sewer requirements to use a septic system.

The planning board also recommended a condition that plants be required to minimize the neighbors’ view of the parking lot.

The vote was 3-1, with board member Joe Moses opposed and H. Craig Nolen absent.

Moses asked the board to consider the concerns neighbors had raised about traffic safety, the reduced buffers and property values.

“There’s more problems with putting a church here than I would like to see in a residential [area],” he said. “It could change some of the character of the properties.”

Board member Jim Kinsey noted that the site plan was conceptual and the church would be required to follow all county and health codes in placing its septic tank. In addition, it must allow the right of way needed by the county for future road improvements.

The county commission will have a final review and vote on the request on Aug. 16.

Churches were allowed on agricultural and residential properties without a permit until a code change in 2010.