FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — An industrial complex that includes an Amazon warehouse could soon be coming to south Forsyth. The Forsyth County Commission approved a use-permit for a 103-acre site along Shiloh Road and Shiloh Crossing.
The board action followed a lengthy discussion with representatives from Seefried Industrial Properties and more than a dozen public comments from nearby residents opposed to the project. The approval allows business to be conducted 24 hours a day, every day, on the site.
The request garnered unanimous approval from the Forsyth County Planning Commission, and county staff were supportive. James McCory, president and CEO of the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, spoke in favor of the project saying it will help balance the county’s tax digest and, according to the group’s analysis, will bring in about $12 million in revenues for the county’s coffers. He said that financial impact is greater than that of a residential property previously proposed for the site.
The plan calls for three warehouses totaling over 440,000 square feet. A variance was approved to increase the permitted number of parking spaces on the site from 258 to 1,510.
According to a Seerfield representative, traffic in and out of the development will not occur during the morning or afternoon rush hours. He said employees will arrive after midnight to sort product, and delivery vans will arrive from 9 to 10 a.m. and leave between 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
That did little to assuage many residents of the nearby Shiloh Farms subdivision who raised major concerns about traffic along Shiloh Road and safety issues with drivers using the residential area as a cut-through.
One resident said traffic would get “exponentially worse” while another questioned the large development being constructed on a two-lane road. There were also concerns that a traffic study conducted in the area was not accurate because it was performed during a pandemic when volume is below normal.
The Ronald Reagan Boulevard extension, which will connect the roadway from McFarland Parkway to Majors Road, could relieve some of the traffic along Shiloh Road. However, that project is slated for completion well after 2022 when the development is scheduled to come online.
Commissioner Dennis Brown, who represents the area, said the county is working on easing traffic in the area.
“We hear you loud and clear, and we’re doing everything we can,” he said.
Brown and Commission Chair Laura Semanson spoke about a potential road connection that could reduce congestion, but it was determined a nearby site is wetlands and in preservation.
The property was the subject of a 2016 rezoning request to construct 229 homes. County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the proposal, which ultimately went to litigation with a ruling in the county’s favor, was denied by commissioners at the time because Forsyth does not have many areas zoned for light industrial use.