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Forsyth County faces another annexation request

Private school petitions to join City of Cumming

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County may find itself at odds again with the City of Cumming over the latest in a series of annexation requests.

This time, the applicant is Horizon Christian Academy seeking to have its 34-acre campus on Sawnee Drive incorporated into the city.

The applicant anticipates no change from the property’s current use, and the county anticipates no impact to its infrastructure.

Because the annexation appears to have little effect on the current density and infrastructure, the county may have few options to fight the annexation.

Forsyth County votes to oppose annexation for planned mixed-use development

Even so, county commissioners are not happy about it.

County Commission Chairwoman Cindy Jones Mills said she’s not worried about the school annexation, but she is fearful of the domino effect it may have on neighboring properties.

“It could be coming across the road,” Mills said.

Right now, the county receives no tax benefit from the school. Neither will the city if and when the property is annexed.

“It’s always about the linchpin property,” Commissioner Laura Semanson said, adding that if Horizon sold off a portion of its unoccupied acreage, the city could allow a use the county would have objected to.

Molly Esswein, speaking on behalf of the County Attorney’s office, said that based on the trends exercised by the city over the past, it could be expected that more annexations will occur on Cumming’s northern border.

“To the northwest, you’ve definitely got properties they could annex, and beyond that is the Sawnee Mountain Preserve,” Esswein said.

Forsyth formally objects to latest annexation bid

Commissioner Molly Cooper said the city has gone after the preserve before.

“This isn’t the first time,” she said.

Commissioners requested the County Attorney’s office prepare a map of adjacent parcels that could be annexed near the school, so they can deliberate whether to file a formal objection to the annexation with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The deadline to file an objection is Nov. 24.

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