Plans have changed for a residential development in north Forsyth.
At a meeting on Thursday, commissioners voted unanimously to rezone a total of about 70 acres on Dahlonega Highway (Hwy. 9) and Martin Road for 236 units.
Two tracts of land were approved for rezoning. The larger tract, about 62 acres, previously had a portion of the property zoned multi-family residential district Res 6 in 2005 and several acres of agriculture district were rezoned at the meeting.
The smaller tract was about 8 acres from agriculture to single-family residential Res 3.
District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, who represents the area, said the commissioners used a county-initiated zoning to get a better product.
“It’s zoned, they didn’t have to do one thing,” Mills said. “They could have come in and they could have went straight and got building permits.
They could have developed those 1,200-square-foot lots, 216 of them, and it was done.
“It would have been far, far worse a project than it is going to be.”
The development is age-restricted to those 55 and older and features walking trails, a dog park, connectivity to other locations, pool and a clubhouse.
The original project had no amenities and would have only been on about 35 acres of the larger tract.
“We added acreage and we added 20 total units, but the overall density was decreased from 5.9 units [per acre] down to 3.3,” said Kendall King with Paran Homes.
Had commissioners denied the zoning, it would have reverted to the original product.
During the required public hearing, several neighbors spoke against the development itself more than the zoning.
“I am totally opposed to this,” said Judy Martin, who lives near the development. “That many homes, the traffic is already there, we don’t need any more traffic.