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Commissioners OK neighborhood on Kelly Mill Road
Conditional-use permits for Greek Orthodox Church expansion, event facilities approved
FCN Forsyth County Administration Building

A new neighborhood, two event spaces and a church expansion were approved by the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners during a regular meeting on Thursday, Feb. 17.

Each item was approved with a 5-0 vote from commissioners after being previously discussed by members of the planning board and holding public hearings.

 

Kelly Mill neighborhood

Applicant Kelly Mill Consultants Corporation requested to rezone 61.02 acres to single-family residential district (Res-3) from agricultural district (A1) and single-family residential restricted district (R2R) for 87 residential lots with a density of 1.43 units per acre.

During the planning board meeting in January, planning board members recommended approval for this item with District 4 planning member Nedal Shawkat opposed, 4-1.

At the meeting on Thursday, District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent asked residents to look at the proposed conditions for the rezoning request because he wanted to “absolutely make sure that this is [the] conditions everybody’s agreed on.”

“I don’t want us to miss anything after all this time has passed,” Levent said.

Levent said that part of the subdivision will include single family residential district (Res-2), specifically the portion on the north side of Kelly Mill Road.

Kristen Marsella and Jim Fuerst, residents of the subdivision that will abut the neighborhood, were in favor of the request and presented conditions.

Marsella said she was in “full support of this application as long as it matches the words that are written in the conditions….”

Levent made a motion to approve the rezoning request with the presented conditions, along with a condition stating that the developer would need to work with the adjacent property owners if the proposed fence line met any hardships due to terrain.

The motion was approved.

“This has come a long, long ways,” Levent said. “A year in the making.”

Church expansion

Applicant Eastern Orthodox Community of Northern Georgia Inc., requested a conditional-use permit to expand Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene Greek Orthodox Church off Bethelview Road in south Forsyth.

The expansion is proposed to include a place of worship, fellowship hall, outdoor pavilion, bell tower, office, gymnasium and a parochial primary school with 245 total parking spaces on 15.8 acres currently zoned agricultural district (A1).

Planning board members unanimously recommended BOC approval for this item in January.

At the planning board meeting, Ethan Underwood, a zoning attorney representing the developer, said the expansion would happen in phases throughout the next 15-20 years.

At the meeting on Thursday, District 1 Commissioner Molly Cooper, who represents the district where the facility is located, said the church was an “asset” to the community.

“I saw no reason whatsoever this shouldn’t pass and we shouldn’t vote them through,” Cooper said.

Cooper made a motion to approve the conditional-use permit to expand the church, and it was approved.

 

Event facility on Bennett Road

Applicant Yes 2 Farms LLC., requested a conditional-use permit to operate a special event facility in buildings totaling 18,267 square feet with 202 parking spaces.

The permit would also allow the facility to include short-term rentals in buildings totaling 5,222 square feet for 10 overnight guests with 20 parking spaces.

The property is off Bennett Road and includes 22.6 acres currently zoned agricultural district (A1).

Planning commissioners unanimously recommended approval in January.

During Thursday’s meeting, District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, who represents the area the facility is located, said that she was “expecting to get just bombarded with complaints on this [item].”

“I’ve been surprised,” Mills said. “[The applicant and attorney] have done really well.”

Mills also said that with the conditional-use permit, conditions, such as limiting weekday events, could be more restrictive and should hopefully give “the neighbors some peace of mind.”

Christopher Light, a zoning attorney representing the developer, said that, regarding the short-term rentals on the property, the “two living quarter residences” only had room for 10 guests. The applicant was not proposing anything higher than 10 guests.

The conditional-use permit and presented conditions and variances were approved.

 

Event facility on Burruss Mill Road

The applicant requested a conditional-use permit to operate a special event facility in buildings totaling 5,093 square feet with 30 parking spaces on 5.18 acres off Burruss Mill Road in north Forsyth currently zoned agricultural district (A1).

Planning commissioners unanimously recommended approval for this item in January.

John Mullin, director of code compliance and animal services in Forsyth County, addressed the board during Thursday’s meeting.

He said that following noise concerns from neighboring residents, he went to the property to test the speakers with a “calibrated decibel meter.”

He said that at different areas of the property, the decibels from the speakers ranged from 40-50 decibels.

According to the county’s noise ordinance, sound must be lower than 70 decibels during the daytime hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., in residential areas. The property in question is not zoned residential.

While Mullin said that his test did not account for patrons — only the music — the noise could be louder with guests at the facility.

“The music in and of itself, I did not see it as an issue,” Mullen said.

The conditional-use permit and presented conditions and variances were approved.