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Bowling alley, mini golf course could be coming to south Forsyth
bowling WEB

A retail project with an arcade, mini golf course, bowling alley and hotel are moving forward to the Board of Commissioners after receiving a recommendation of approval at the latest planning board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Applicant S1 Properties LLC has requested to rezone approximately nine acres from single-family residential district to commercial business district for a 31,800-square-foot indoor commercial recreational facility with 124 parking spaces along with retail and restaurants in commercial buildings totaling 16,400 square feet with 84 parking spaces.

The applicant also requested conditional-use permits for a 50,068-square-foot hotel with 140 parking spaces, an outdoor commercial recreational facility, electronic game playing center and bowling alley.

The land in question is located at 2310 Peachtree Parkway near Sentinel Chase Way.

Variances were requested to reduce the percentage of electric vehicle-capable spaces from 9% to 2.3% ; increase the percentage of parking that fronts the main buildings’ entrances from 60% to 100%; increase the maximum building height for Building 3 from 40 feet to 60 feet; reduce the pedestrian landscape zone on the south side of Building 1, the east side of Building 4 and a portion of the south side of Building 3 from eight feet to zero feet; reduce the sidewalk zone on the south side of Building 1 and a portion of the south side of Building 3 from six feet to zero feet; and reduce the façade landscape zone on the south side of Building 1 and a portion of the south side of Building 3 from six feet to zero feet.

Planning commissioners voted to recommend approval to the Board of Commissioners, excluding the first variance regarding electric vehicle-capable parking spaces. The vote was unanimous, 5-0.

Story continues below. 

bowling alley proposed
Proposed rendering of Building 1 which would include a bowling alley, mini golf course, arcade and restaurant. Photo courtesy Forsyth County government.

Those in favor

Sean Courtney, attorney representing the development, presented the request to the planning board.

Regarding buffers, Courtney explained that the adjacent neighborhood, Sentinel Chase, had a 25-foot buffer along the property line. To create a larger buffer between the project and residential lots, Courtney said the developer had agreed to a 45-foot buffer on the development’s side of the property line, making the total buffer between areas over 60 feet.

Among other conditions the developer had agreed to were placing the dumpsters at least 100 feet away from any residential property lines, limited delivery times, an 8-foot-tall opaque wooden privacy fence, a noise limit of 70 decibels and a community outreach protocol for neighbors to utilize.

Slade Gulledge, vice president of economic development for the Forsyth County Chamber and Forward Forsyth, also spoke in favor of the project, calling it a “wonderful amenity center.”

He also praised the developer for including a hotel on the property, “something that we desperately need here in Forsyth County.”

 

Those in opposition

Many residents of Sentinel Chase spoke in opposition to the project with major concerns being traffic, privacy, storm water, noise and alcohol.

Resident Pavan Maremanda explained to the planning commissioners that in order to get into Sentinel Chase going northbound on Peachtree Parkway, neighbors must make a U-turn farther up the road as the neighborhood right-in, right-out only ingress and egress.

He said he was worried that people exiting the commercial project would run into people trying to U-turn to get to Sentinel Chase.

Maremanda, along with many other neighbors, also expressed concern about the proposed hotel, specifically the variance requested to raise the hotel from 40 feet to 60 feet.

Neighbors cited privacy as the basis of their concerns, worried that hotel guests would be able to see into their backyards and bedrooms.

According to Courtney and other residents, the development proposes to utilize Sentinel Chase’s existing retention pond for storm water, connecting to inlets and running in an underground pipe.

Neighbors were not in favor of that for fear of flooding or allowing water runoff to enter into their backyards.

Regarding the noise, residents expressed opposition to any loudspeakers outside, specifically on the mini golf course. They also did not like that alcohol would be allowed outside, even in designated areas, as the neighborhood had about 80 kids, according to one resident.

Discussion

District 2 Commissioner Stacy Guy said he would like to live near a development like the proposed one.

“This is Peachtree Parkway, and these are the developments that we want in our community,” Guy said. “I would love to see a project like this come. Quite frankly, I’d like to see it come near my neighborhood.”

He also acknowledged that the project would not make everyone happy, but he was hopeful that the conditions placed on the property would ameliorate some of the Sentinel Chase neighbors’ concerns.

Some planning commissioners had questions about the proposed hotel.

Guy, who was staying in a hotel during the time of the meeting and attending via Zoom, said his hotel seemed to be designed in a similar way as the one presented was planned; in more of a rectangular shape with rooms on the front and back of the longer sides and stairwells on either end.

According to the site plan presented, commissioners theorized that any possible windows facing residents’ houses would likely be stairwell windows and not those of hotel rooms.

Guy said the only loudspeakers allowed in the conditions would be ground-mounted, similar to speakers at The Collection at Forsyth, and playing “soft background music.”

While the project received a recommendation of approval excluding the variance regarding electric vehicle-capable parking spaces, the item will receive official approval or denial at the Board of Commissioners meeting, slated for Oct. 20.