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Bethelview conservation subdivision request headed to BOC
FCN Forsyth County Administration Building

A request for a planned conservation subdivision off Bethelview Road is headed to Forsyth County Commissioners.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22, members of the Forsyth County Planning Commission approved a request by a 4-1 vote, with District 4 member Nedal Shawkat opposed, from applicant MKW Capital, LLC to rezone 104 acres from agricultural (A1), single-family community residential (CR1) and single-family residential restricted (R2R) districts to single-family residential district (Res-2) conservation subdivision for 92 residential lots on Environmental Campus Drive near Bethelview Road. 

Jonathan Beard, a zoning attorney representing the applicant, said the current proposal has evolved from earlier plans, including removing entrances to the neighborhood that would go through two nearby subdivisions and having units on both sides of Big Creek.

Instead, Beard said the proposal will now have a neighborhood entrance from Environmental Campus Drive, no building east of Big Creek and include a land swap between the applicant, Forsyth County and the city of Cumming, whose Advanced Water Reclamation Facility is nearby. 

Under the swap:

  • Forsyth County will receive 29.8 acres from the applicant and a portion of Environmental Campus Drive from the city of Cumming, which will be a public road; 
  • The applicant will abandon an existing easement along Environmental Campus Drive to the city and will make a contribution to the city for a gate on the road past the entrance to the neighborhood;
  • and the applicant will receive 26.2 acres from Forsyth County and a portion of environmental Campus Drive from the city. 

Beard said the development will include about 62 total acres of open space and common areas: about 54 acres of conservation and about 9 acres of common areas and parks. 

Along with the proposal discussed at the meeting, the development is also tied to a county-initiated request to rezone the land swapped by Forsyth County to single-family residential district (Res-2) conservation subdivision. 

“It not only keeps the greenway protected, but it also prevents homes from going out another access point as you took all those homes away and moved them down to use the existing access on Environmental Campus Drive,” District 3 planning member Jessica Thorsen, who represents the area, said of the land swap.

A new site plan and other conditions were approved as part of the motion.

At a work session a week before, planning board members discussed two other conservation subdivision requests, which were on the meeting’s agenda and postponed to the board’s Tuesday, March 22 regular meeting for a public hearing. 

The first request is from applicant Century Communities of Georgia, LLC has requested to rezone 88.5 acres from agricultural district (A1) to single-family residential district (Res-2) conservation subdivision for 105 residential lots on AC Smith Road.

The other request, from applicant Toll Brothers Inc., is to rezone 115 acres from agricultural (A1) and single-family residential restricted (R1R) districts to single-family residential district (RES2) conservation subdivision for 128 residential lots north of Heardmont Trace Road.