City attorney Bobby Melton brought two requests to the Forsyth Planning & Zoning Commission May 19 meeting on behalf of the city. He asked that the city add a new Agricultural district to its zoning code and that the city annex the parcel of land where Floyd’s Body Shop is located at 198 Harold G. Clarke Parkway to the city.
Melton said the annexation is related to the new Quik Trip planned for the corner of Harold G. Clarke Parkway and Patrol Road. Quik Trip contracted to buy four parcels of land for its new convenience store and gas station; only one was inside city limits and it requested annexation of the other three because it wants city water and sewer. Annexation of the three properties would have left the Floyd’s Body Shop property as an island that wasn’t in the city limits but was surrounded by property in the city limits.
Melton waited to ask for city approval to annex the other properties until he could ask for annexation of the Floyd Body Shop property at the same time. He said Charles E. Floyd Sr. has now also applied for his property to be annexed. The property is 4 acres and is zoned Commercial under county zoning. Melton requested it, as well as the Quik Trip parcels, be zoned Highway Business under city zoning.
An attached agreement shows that Vernon Clete Sanders and Don L. Carter will pay Floyd $5,160 to offset the estimated Forsyth real estate ad valorem taxes for five years and to pay the city to install a one-inch water service and meter to the property.
The total amount of land to be annexed to the city in the four parcels is approximately 8 acres. Planning & Zoning had already recommended that the other three parcels be annexed and unanimously approved annexation of the Floyd Body Shop property. Planning & Zoning approved variances for the location of Quik Trip’s gas pumps and for the brightness of its lighting at its Feb. 24 meeting.
Melton said that as the city annexes more property from the county it needs a designation to match the county’s ‘agricultural’ zoning district. He said this doesn’t affect any of the four properties just discussed but is needed for the future. He said city manager Janice Hall has a map of properties the city plans to annex where it will be pertinent.
Hall said annexation was a top priority from the 2017 city council retreat but annexation of properties on the map have been delayed because annexing the Recreation Department and the Justice Center were given priority. She said council plans to annex more properties this year.
Melton said he has matched the city’s new Agricultural zone to the county’s existing zone, allowing for the same permitted and conditional uses.
Planning & Zoning chair Steve Coleman said the county’s minimum lot size is 3 acres in its agricultural district, but he wants the city to reduce that to 1 acre. He said 1 acre is more practical. Planning & Zoning member Phillip English said it’s difficult to locate a septic tank on 1 acre, but Coleman said 1 acre meets state guidelines.
Planning & Zoning member Kathy Rowland said she didn’t feel she had enough information about the new zoning district to vote on it. Melton said he had only brought a copy of the county’s agricultural zoning and that any questions can be brought up at the public hearing before city council adopts it.
The motion to recommend approval of the new agricultural district passed, 5-2, with English and Rowland voting against it and Coleman, Presley, Silas Peed, Cason Ogletree and Hal Clarke voting in favor.