Forsyth County is growing at a rapid pace by almost any measure. As president of the Fairgreen HOA, I have become more aware of the challenges that county government faces as they weigh the needs of their homeowners concurrent with approval of commercial developments that bring much-needed revenues into county coffers. Growth brings with it an ever expanding need for improved infrastructure, be it better roads or sewage treatment plants. As a business owner I support smart pro-growth initiatives so Forsyth County has options for revenues, but the following story is not smart for residents, businesses and a church nearby.
A team of developers who live in Forsyth County intend to build a Circle K gas station and convenience store on a parcel of land located at the northwest corner of McGinnis Ferry Road and Old Atlanta, a location that is in plain view of homes in the St. Marlo subdivision and just below a private cemetery. There is presently a Chevron gas station and C-store directly across the street (northeast corner). In addition, there is a shopping strip anchored by Publix and 10 small businesses. All businesses in that strip depend on easy access to remain viable. Circle K profits are not tied to gasoline purchases. The beer, wine and all products found in a C-Store are the source of profits of any like property. Every business unit in that strip faces a downturn if the county approves the application for construction of this Circle K.
Three final points: Adjacent to the Publix property there is a very large Korean Baptist Church with 700-plus parishioners and a large community building. This busy church already deals with traffic problems let alone another source of beer and wine. In addition, there are the issues of noise and light pollution to an already busy intersection.
The City of Johns Creek comes into play as well. A plan has been approved for the southeast corner (Fulton County) of the same intersection for the construction of 45 condominiums and an office building. More importantly, among of the exclusions that were part of the approval process, the building of a gas station is listed with other retail-like businesses. Lastly, traffic: A 4-year analysis of accidents and injuries along McGinnis Ferry and Old Atlanta reflects a clear upward trend.
Forsyth County can do better. The votes of planners and commissioners present an image to the world.
– Larry Keller, Forsyth County