This re-zoning application proposed to build a 1.1 million square foot commercial complex plus 727 multi & single family residential units on 240 acres.  This was proposed despite the Future Land Use Map’s recommendation for the tract to be developed 99.2% residential.

At the September 17, 2009 Board of Commissioners meeting, Mr. Harrell made a motion to approve the rezoning:

After discussion, Commissioners Harrell, Tam, and Bell voted Yes in favor of the motion.  Commissioners Laughinghouse and Boff voted No in support of the 1,200 District 3 homeowners who requested denial.   To learn more about the September 17 Board of Commissioners hearing, click here.

What did nearby homeowners expect?

The Future Land Use Map recommended the 240 acres be 99.2% residential (click here to see more about the Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the Castleberry / Majors / Route 9 Triangle).  Many nearby homeowners ascertained this before buying their home.

At the September 17, 2009 BoC meeting, Mr. Laughinghouse, chairman of the commission stated that he “read the Comprehensive Plan’s three volumes cover to cover” and “did find any basis for conformance of this ZA”.

Had the land use plan for 99.8% residential been followed, development would have been:

Venable Hall Rezoning - - - What did Mr Harrell move and vote for?

Future potential rezoning

Destruction of Nature

What might have been?

In January 2008, about 30 homeowners from 5 nearby neighborhoods met with the developer and Mr. Harrell. The homeowners stated that the Venable Hall development was too intensive for the area and that there were vacant tracts, many along Ronald Reagan, where the county planning department had suggested this development could be placed (a draft copy report by the planning department was found in the county files).

At that meeting, the developer was offered a compromise to model a development after Vickery on this 240 acre tract. This would have been much less intensive - - approximately only 12,000 cars per day and would have better blended into the overall community as does Vickery.

In this meeting, Mr Harrell showed no inclination to support the homeowner’s compromise and in the developer’s presence suggested the homeowners consider the developers’ plan as “it might be the best deal we could get” (a paraphrase).  The developer rejected the Vickery Compromise and came back in the spring of 2009 with the commercial complex increased by 95% and overall traffic increased by 25%.  In 2009 this same compromise was offered through the county commissioners as well as directly to the developer.

We now understand that compromise by the developer was not necessary!  With Mr Harrell in favor; there were enough votes to gain approval for the re-zoning.

A Homeowners Tea Party?

The opposition to the intrusive re-zoning started in 2008 with about 30 homeowners and grew to 40 times that amount - - - - from 5 adjacent neighborhoods to over 70 neighborhoods throughout District 3.  (Click here to see more about the local tea party.) This should be a signal to us all:

Homeowners comprise the vast majority of voters in District 3.  It is our right to elect a District 3 commissioner who will follow the combined wisdom of the District 3 citizens.  And, one who will honor his campaign promises to follow our county’s future land use plan, Comprehensive Plan, and the Uniform Development Code.

Our current District 3 commissioner did not accept the combined wisdom of the 1,200 citizens in his district, nor did he honor his campaign promises to follow our county’s future land use plan, comprehensive plan, and the Uniform Development Code.

Our Opportunity

The same 1,200 citizens and their neighbors from the 70 neighborhoods have the opportunity in the July Republican primary to vote for a person who will support their wishes on how our district is developed in the future.

The committee has formed an Independent Committee (governed by Georgia laws) to help select and elect a candidate who will truly represent the home owners of District 3.  The Independent Committee is named Forsyth Citizens for Responsible Growth or with a goal of Responsible Residential, Business, and Quality of Life growth, and will be a successor to

We are asking any of the 1,200 emailers with free time to join the committee and help elect an outstanding person to represent all District 3 citizens.  Two facts are encouraging:

1st - - only District 3 citizens can vote in the July 2010 primary,

2nd - - less than 2,000 District 3 votes were cast in the 2006 primary.

Our goal should be to win without a runoff.

If you are interested in joining the committee or volunteering to spend a little time helping obtain better elected officials click here.  The link will take you to the web site.

Five minutes now or 15 minutes/day, every day — in added traffic

Please help to keep our area residential
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