A project that has been under consideration for more than four years is finally moving ahead.
At a regular meeting on Thursday, Oct. 21, Forsyth County Commissioners approved a request to rezone 20.97 acres of land from commercial business district, CBD, and agricultural district, A1, to master-planned district, MPD. The request was also for a number of attached residential units and proposed commercial buildings totaling 29,000 square feet with 145 parking spaces.
The project, called Sharon Springs Village, is north of Sharon Road and east of the intersection with Peachtree Parkway at 1571, 1615, 1637, 1655 and 1683 Sharon Road.
At the first public hearing on Nov. 14, 2017, the proposal included 97 attached residential units. On Thursday, Oct. 21, during the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners regular meeting, the proposal included 54 residential lots.
Richard Bryan, who has been a part of this project since 2017, said the plan for Sharon Springs Village has “come a long way.”
“It was a townhome project initially that met the [comprehensive plan] at the time,” Bryan said. “Then by working with the neighbors, we came up with a plan to decrease the developable area … we had more greenspace than what was required, and we decreased the development footprint.”
Two neighbors, Mary Camp and Ying Robitaille, who live on Sharon Road in Twelve Oaks neighborhood, both expressed their opposition to the project.
“It will be a mess,” Camp said.
Camp said that Sharon Road “is not prepared to take all [the] traffic” that she believed the mixed-use development would generate.
“We just oppose the proposal for the construction because [it] will generate a lot of traffic,” Robitaille said.
Robitaille said she was also concerned with speeding, saying there is already an issue with cars driving too fast on Sharon Road.
According to the meeting’s agenda, the item had been postponed more than 40 times since December 2017 before being discussed at Thursday’s meeting.
During the discussion, District 2 Commissioner Alfred John thanked those that have been involved in the Sharon Springs Village journey since 2017.
“Early this year, [Richard Bryan] and I worked together to figure out what to do with this [project],” John said. “The property owner has rights, they have the zoning, but we were trying to figure out what was the best way to create a good development that would serve the community.”
John also thanked Bryan and the developer’s willingness to accommodate the request to create a connector road from Sharon Road to Sharon Promenade, a current shopping center on the corner of Sharon Road and Peachtree Parkway.
John said that the connecting road would give people an “option to … make a left turn” out of the shopping center safely, hopefully alleviating the number of U-turns at the intersection.
He explained that “a lot of consideration has gone into” the plans for the development and that “there’s been a lot of input from both residents [and] neighborhoods over a period of years [including] this year.”
Sharon Springs Village will back up to the Longlake subdivision, but John said the attorney for the HOA at Longlake and developer of the project “have been working together to find a way to protect the interest of Longlake.”
An example of protection is the “extraordinary” erosion efforts that Bryan explained.
“We have a very innovative erosion control plan … to protect the lake of Longlake,” Bryan said. “We worked equally hard … on erosion control measures that are beyond anything I think has been done in this county to ensure the protection of that lake.”
John moved to approve the rezoning request with the current conditions as described and updated site plan. The motion was approved 5-0.
“We can all do a happy dance,” Chairwoman Cindy Jones Mills said. “Great job.”