Forsyth County Commissioners recently approved changes to a large mixed-use development in south Forsyth that was originally zoned almost a decade ago.
At a recent regular meeting, commissioners unanimously approved changes to plans for The Traditions, a development, which once completed, will sit on about 182 acres along Atlanta Highway and Majors Road. The development was first approved by commissioners in 2009, before any current commissioners took office.
“This one has some extreme history to it,” said District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent, who represents the area. “In 2008, this was zoned with approximately 900 residential units … and 1,200,000 square feet of commercial [space], so you can imagine what that would have done to traffic. The downturn of the economy never let it happen. People approached me when I first got in office, and we started to work on some different plans that brought this down to the 429 units.
“Now, in all transparency, it’s a little bit over 100 units done in a different parcel of this that has broke off. At the end of the day, when this is all said on done, this is still going to be less than 550 units from 900.”
The action dealt with about 25 acres of the total development located at the northwest intersection of Atlanta Highway and Majors which will be used for restaurant, retail and senior living.
Commissioners approved amending the existing zoning with a new site plan and master plan, restricting the residential portions to 60 units, adding buffers along Atlanta Highway and Majors Road, making the turns in and out of Atlanta Highway right-in, right-out unless that conflicts with plans from the Georgia Department of Transportation and allowing a variance to reduce the commercial portion of the site from 12 percent to 6.5 percent.
“We are proposing to add 67,000 square feet of single-story office, 28,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and shops, with 60 age-restricted, detached, single-family units,” said William Hansard, an attorney representing the development.
Hansard said the development would include “a very specific restaurant developer that we’ve heard is in high-demand” and, in his presentation, showed a draft featuring both a Red Lobster and an Olive Garden.
While he could not officially say those were the restaurants that were coming, he did allude to them after District 2 Commissioner Dennis Brown pointed them out.
“I can’t commit to that tonight commissioners, but that is our firm intention … and who we are talking with,” Hansard said.
The development is across Atlanta Highway from a planned senior-living community, Sterling Estates of Forsyth, which is being built on 30 of the 40 acres used for The Anderson’s Sunflower Farm.