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44 acres on Shiloh Road, Atlanta Highway to be developed for senior living development
About 44 acres on Atlanta Highway and Mars Hill and Shiloh roads was recently rezoned from agricultural district (A1) and urban village district (UV) to UV for Sterling Estates of Forsyth. (GoogleMaps)

A new senior community is coming to Atlanta Highway. 

At a regular meeting on Thursday, Forsyth County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the rezoning 43.8 acres on Atlanta Highway, Shiloh Road, Mars Hill Road and Mars Hill Circle from urban Village (UV) and agriculture (A1) districts to UV with a conditional-use permit for Forsyth Senior Living, LLC to operate a continuing care retirement community known as Sterling Estates of Forsyth. 

The development will include:

  • assisted living facilities with 130 units totaling 182,332 square feet and 93 parking spaces;
  • an independent living facility with 90 units totaling 103,446 square feet and 78 parking spaces;
  • 100 single-family attached units totaling 184,600 square feet;
  • and 19 detached units totaling 35,800 square feet. 

About nine acres of the property will be used for open space. 

Variances were approved to reduce the exterior buffer and to increase the maximum gross square footage per business establishment from 60,000 square feet to 506,178 square feet. 

Though no public hearing was held during the meeting, several residents living on Mars Hill Circle voiced opposition to the development having access to the road, but Ethan Underwood, an attorney representing the applicant, said that was no longer a part of the project’s plans.

Much of the evening’s discussion about the project was between District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent and Underwood relating to future improvements along Shiloh Road, including a potential roundabout for a yet-to-be-built road across from the development. 

“We just don’t want you having the structure there that if we need to do this in the future for a 50-year-out plan on roads that we don’t have to buy a building also,” Levent said.  

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Sterling Estates currently has two locations in Marietta. This third location will be next to The Anderson’s Sunflower Farm, a popular site each summer for families and photographers since the 1990s.

Meanwhile, across the street from both Sterling Estates and the sunflower farm is The Traditions, which sits on about 182 acres along Atlanta Highway and Majors Road which has plans to include office, restaurant, retail and senior living.