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Forsyth County to solicit study on senior population trends

POSTED: March 15, 2017 5:00 a.m.

Forsyth County has a large senior population, and now commissioners are looking into why the area is popular to the age group.

Forsyth County commissioners recently voted unanimously at a work session to move forward with a study on senior demographics in the county. County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the issue arose out of age-restricted zonings.

“There has been some interest, not only in Forsyth County but other counties, of doing a lot of age-restricted zonings,” Jarrard said. “The question has come up sort of anecdotally a few times but the board members I was discussing with said, ‘Maybe we need to do a little bit of formality with this. What is in fact not only the present demographic with respect to seniors, but the future demographic?’”

He said having actual figures will help the county more than having to speculate.

Chairman Todd Levent said it is also important to look at why people are moving to the area and how changes at the state level might affect that. He also expressed concerns that age-restricted zonings, which often include townhomes, may have a market bubble.

“Are there going to be too many at the same time where they come back wanting to change their zonings to whether they’re not age restricted because nobody moved into the products?” Levent asked. “I think we know that.”

Levent said a school tax exemption given to seniors is a possible reason for the popularity.

District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said she would like the study to look at senior living for each district, as many want to stay in their communities as they grow older.

Though using county staff was discussed, commissioners decided to use a private firm for the study.


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1 comment
Maudes1948: March 15, 2017 12:54 p.m.

This is a long overdue study. In addition to this study someone has to take the lead in senior housing. Right now unless you need some level of assistance (disability, memory issues, etc) there is nothing available unless you have substantial assets. Some forward thinking people have begun to recognize this severe shortage in Dawson County. Why has Forsythe County been so far behind? Politics? No palms to grease? Get busy as this demographics will only grow!

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