A potential mixed-use facility has been proposed on about 400 acres located between Peachtree Parkway, Westminster Lane and Old Atlanta Road in south Forsyth.
At a work session on Tuesday, Forsyth County Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding between the county, SCARF Forsyth Ga, LLC and Midsouth Paving Inc., to move ahead the planning process for the development.
“It is simply intended to show that Forsyth County is interested in advancing and trying to work with the … developer of the property for a mixed-use, residential-retail use,” County Attorney Ken Jarrard said of the agreement. “[It is] sort of a set of guideposts to show what everybody’s expectation of the other party are.”
Jarrard described the document as a “good faith” agreement that didn’t bind the county or other parties to any action.
Per the document, the proposal is for a “roughly 400-acre development that is intended to be developed with a mix of retail, office, restaurant, entertainment, residential, greenspace, public safety and educational purposes.” The development would be immediately north of the Forsyth Quarry.
There are not yet any specific plans for the development, but District 2 Commissioner Dennis Brown, who represents the area, said the agreement would move the process along.
“It shows goodwill on both the county side and the developer to move forward and get this from being more of a very nebulous and abstract [proposal] to put some more detail in it,” Brown said. “This is a step to move us ahead.”
Brown said there was excitement from the community about the project and the county planned to use and build on lessons learned from the process to build Halcyon, a mixed-use development about five miles away from the proposed development.
“What we’re doing is we’re using Halcyon as kind of a template of the lessons learned … and we’re taking all of those lessons learned to come up and do this right so as we go along we do it as methodically and judiciously and transparent so we don’t step in a pothole,” he said.
Jarrard said a recent proposal to move production of asphalt from an existing plant at the quarry to a new plant located about 0.7 miles away was “one of a series of things that were intended to be done” to bring the mixed-use development.
In December, commissioners voted to remove without prejudice a request for a county-initiated conditional-use permit (CUP) to build a new asphalt plant on Granite Lane, just off Peachtree Parkway.
With the county removing their request, the property owner can now submit an application.
County-initiated decisions are often a quicker process than those submitted by developers, which had been one of several issues for neighbors, who opposed the new plant due to concerns about the future land use of the area, safety and the proximity of the new location to some homes.