The vision for Coal Mountain is finally becoming a reality following unanimous votes at the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, Dec. 15.
The rezoning and changes to the development code were years in the making, District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said, as she expressed gratitude to all who were involved in the project.
“I can’t believe we’re here … finally for a vote,” she said.
The Coal Mountain Town Center Overlay will now require a third-party architect to oversee developments in the area, making sure they abide by a “character book,” which includes design styles to be followed that will pay homage to north Forsyth’s roots: poultry agriculture.
Coal Mountain Town Center, which has not gone through finalized naming, is a mixed-use development on about 140 acres stretching between highways 396 and 9 and Settingdown and Martin roads.
The development will include 73,300 square feet of retail space, 20,200 square feet of office space, 300 multi-family units or apartments, 219 townhomes and 261 single-family lots. It also will have about 36 acres of greenspace with a natural trail network.
Going along with the project are road improvements, such as the widening of Highway 369, the Highway 369 and Ga. 400 interchange and the Coal Mountain Connector, a new roadway to connect highways 369 and 9 with two lanes in each direction.
The Coal Mountain Connector will run through the town center, creating a main entrance at a proposed future roundabout on Settingdown Road. The connecting road also requires a traffic light at the entrance of Bridgetowne neighborhood, which Mills said has already gone up.
Christopher Light, the attorney representing the rezoning request, said he was personally “extremely excited [he] played a small part” in this application as he is a graduate of Coal Mountain Elementary School, and North Forsyth middle and high schools, which are all across the street from the project.
“This is … the gateway to north Forsyth,” Light said. “We have got to get something special here.”
Many other people spoke in favor of the rezoning request at Thursday’s meeting including Adam Guercio from Toll Brothers and Joe Garcia, owner of NoFo Brew Co.
No one spoke in opposition.
According to Guercio, no more than three homes may be bought by a single company, “[preventing] a lot of investor activities coming in and … turning it into a sort of de facto rental community.”
Guercio also said public safety officials such as sheriff’s deputies and firefighters would be offered 50 percent off published monthly rental rates, and five units in the development would be set aside for them.