A Shane’s Rib Shack is coming to Forsyth, and there’s a 90 percent chance a Great American Cookie Co. is as well to two new strip malls approved by the city zoning board last Tuesday, Feb. 24.
The area east of I-75 exit 187 anticipates multiple new businesses as Forsyth Planning & Zoning Commission approved plans for two buildings with space for nine shops on Cabiness Road in its Design & Review capacity. Jennie Barfield of Bryant Engineering in Forsyth presented the plans to Planning & Zoning on Feb. 24 on behalf of developer Kevin Anderson of McDonough. Anderson told the Reporter that he’s already got a commitment from Shane’s to locate there and is 90 percent sure he’ll have one from the Great American Cookie Co.
The development, called Town Creek Center, is planned just north of N. Frontage Road at 438-448 Cabiness Road/Highway 83 North. Barfield said the plan is for two buildings, one with six shops at the higher elevation, perpendicular to the road, and a second building with three store fronts. A fast food restaurant is looking at space in the smaller building, which plans to include a drive-through. Barfield said the types of businesses Anderson is considering include a nail salon, coffee shop and retail sales.
Barfield said that the land has been evaluated environmentally and doesn’t include wetlands, even though it appears swampy after all the recent rains. There will be a buffer line between the creek and the buildings and a retaining wall. There will be soil borings to determine soil type. Plans are to clear cut and grade the property except for a couple of trees in front.
“I don’t think there has ever been anything there but residences,” said Planning & Zoning Chair Steve Coleman.
Forsyth economic development director Tammie Pierson said the property is already zoned ‘Highway Business,’ however, which is Forsyth’s most inclusive zoning for businesses. Barfield said that under the city’s guidelines for one parking space for every 275 square feet of building, 49 parkings spaces will be required. Planning & Zoning Commission members discussed whether the city requires 9-ft. or 10-ft parking spaces. Apparently the city code had been changed to 10-ft. in some sections but remained 9-ft. in other parts of the code and said 8-ft. for employee parking spaces. Barfield said she will talk with Anderson about parking spaces; she doesn’t think there will be any problem adjusting to 10 ft. spaces, probably by eliminating a couple of end spaces.
Commission member Hal Clarke asked if Anderson owns the triangle of land between the interstate ramp and frontage road. Barfield said Anderson has considered buying it. Clarke said he hoped he would because maintaining it would enhance the Town Creek Center development next to it and would be an asset for the city.
Council unanimously approved plans for Town Creek Center. Approval from city council isn’t needed in the ‘Design & Review’ capacity of Planning & Zoning; so Coleman told Barfield they are ready to build.
“This thing looks good to me. I’m glad to see it,” said Coleman.
The Planning & Zoning Commission approved a motion to ask City Council to require all parking spaces to measure 10 feet in width from line to line, including employee spaces. Clarke said variances could be granted if specific properties require it in the future, but it would be better to eliminate the ambiguity in the code.