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New convenience store in north Forsyth approved by planning board
North Forsyth Store

A proposed convenience store was recently approved by the Forsyth County Planning Commission.

The item was discussed and voted on by planning members at the Tuesday, July 26 regular meeting, and was approved by a 5-0 vote. The items will next go to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. 

Here are the details:

Applicant MG Enterprises 9 LLC has submitted a request to rezone 2.5 acres at the southwest corner of the intersection of Hwys. 53 and 306 from agricultural district (A1) to commercial business district (CBD) for retail buildings totaling 9,690 square feet with 58 parking spaces with conditional-use permits (CUPs) for a 4,500 square feet convenience store with gas pumps conducting around-the-clock-business.

Vote: 5-0 to approve the permit to operate a convenience store but not for a 24-hour business.

Discussion and other info: District 4 planning member Nedal Shawkat said many neighbors had been opposed to the project and “most of them are outright hostile” but the county’s comprehensive plan had marked the area for commercial uses.

“But the reality is that is the intersection of two major highways. It is reasonable to expect that there will be commercial buildout on every one of these corners eventually, and that’s where gas stations go, and the comp plan supports it,” Shawkat said. “But where can we address the neighbor’s concerns is with the aesthetics, a lot of the special considerations that [zoning attorney Ethan Underwood] pointed out in his presentation, and I think we’ve done that with a lot of our conditions.”

Shawkat said the development wasn’t quite at the finish line but was close and that a reduction to the planned size of the building meant previously discussed variances for the project.

Underwood said he had met with community members on the project and there had been some confusion that the entire 11 acres of the tax parcel would be used for the development.

He also said the developer had been in contact with the Georgia Department of Transportation about an entrance at the intersection of Hwy. 306 and Old Keith Bridge Road, rather than a right-in, right-out entrance just north of the intersection.

The property would also be accessible from Hwy. 53 west of the existing intersection.

Shawkat pointed out that the entrance will not have a redlight since it is close to the 53-306 intersection and work is ongoing with GDOT about landscape strips and sidewalks on the property.

He also said standards for the Coal Mountain Overlay would be in effect for the development.