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Planning board postpones decision on 140-acre mixed-use development
Northpoint Capital Investment Holdings
Northpoint Capital Investment Holdings has applied to rezone 140.6 acres on Fowler Hill, Union Hill and Mullinax roads from agricultural (A1), neighborhood shopping (NS) and single-family residential restricted (R2R) districts to master planned district (MPD) for 250 residential lots and 228 attached residential units with a density of 3.40 units per acre and commercial buildings totaling 63,650 square feet with 294 parking spaces.

 Members of the Forsyth County Planning Commission recently voted to postpone a decision on a proposed 140-acre mixed-use development near Denmark High School.

At the board’s meeting on Tuesday, May 25, members of the planning commission unanimously voted to postpone a request from applicant Northpoint Capital Investment Holdings to rezone 140.6 acres on Fowler Hill, Union Hill and Mullinax roads from agricultural (A1), neighborhood shopping (NS) and single-family residential restricted (R2R) districts to master planned district (MPD) for 250 residential lots and 228 attached residential units with a density of 3.40 units per acre and commercial buildings totaling 63,650 square feet with 294 parking spaces.

The request will come before the board at their Tuesday, June 28 meeting for a decision. 

District 3 planning member Jessica Thorsen, who represents the area, said she wanted to postpone the decision since she was torn between feeling the project would be a positive for the area and concerns from neighbors, particularly toward conditions on the development.

“I want to do the right thing,” she said.  “I want to make sure the right thing is done. I think this is a great asset to the community. I think it’s a quality developer. I think it could add a higher benefit to the schools; you leave a football game, you got to a restaurant that’s right there.

“I think this is an amazing opportunity, but only if we do it right, and I’m not convinced I know what the right thing to do is yet.”

Variances are being sought to reduce the commercial component from 15% to 5.38% and increase the percentage of total residential units for townhomes from 30% to 50%.

Christopher Light, a zoning attorney representing the development said an alternate plan was also being considered to reduce the total number of residential units to 461 – 138 townhomes and 323 single-family residences – which would reduce the total townhomes to 30%, within the county code.

Light said the project was “one of the most visionary, fantastic, detail-specific plans that I’ve worked on in a really long time.”

“This has not been a short process,” Light said. “This application was first filed in June 2021, but [engineers] started detailing and getting into the planning of this, meeting with some stakeholders and different folks, trying to find out what’s viable out here.”

According to the concept plan submitted for the project, the development will be separated into four districts:

  •          Commercial district at the southern end of the property, at the intersection of Mullinax and Union Hill roads;
  •          A low-density residential district north of Fowler Hill Road;
  •          A medium-density district south of Fowler Hill Road;
  •          And a high-density residential district between the commercial and medium-density districts.

The plans also show the breakdown of the project to be 7.5 acres (about 5.4% of the project) commercial and office, 90.9 acres (64.6%) residential and 42.2 acres (30%) of the project open space.

Light said the project also has plans for an active park with a pond and fountain, walking paths, park space in residential areas and a large amenity area with tennis courts, a playground, pickleball, playgrounds and green space.

He said there are also plans to have two sidewalk connections with the Big Creek Greenway on Fowler Hill and Union Hill roads and a sidewalk connection to Denmark High School.

Though speaking in favor of the project, resident Joe Souder, who said he was speaking on behalf of a group of neighbors and adjacent property owners, said he only supported the project with certain conditions and felt the area should be removed from being in one of the county’s regional nodes, which have different standards than properties outside the nodes.

“The bigger picture is if we had our choice, we wouldn’t have an MPD here, we wouldn’t be in this regional node. I’ll call it a misunderstanding that we are, but I can tell you the community is not happy about it, and I think you all know that,” he said. “We are compromising and giving in to this project at 3.28 [units per acre] density and all of the other conditions simply to beg that we can be let out of this regional node and no more of this goes in.”

Planning members said the area being in a node would be considered as part of the county’s current comprehensive plan update discussion and would not be decided along with the rezoning request.