Forbes Magazine announced the “Burbs are back” in its recent listing of the nation’s fastest-growing counties. But Forsyth, the metro Atlanta suburb listed at No. 7 this year, never left those rankings
For years, both before and after the recession, the community has been the state’s fastest growing and among the nation’s top 10.
That’s because Forsyth “continues to be very forward-thinking,” said James McCoy, president and CEO of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce.
“There are communities all over this country that are still enduring the real problems created by a lengthy recession and thankfully we are not in that position,” he said. “This is a community of great prosperity and great opportunity, and obviously a lot of people want to be a part of it.”
Topping the Forbes list was Williamson County, Texas, north of Austin, which has grown about 7.94 percent from 2010-12 to a population of more than 456,000.
Forsyth’s growth was about 7.07 percent during the same time period, with a current population of nearly 188,000.
Pete Amos, chairman of the Forsyth County commission, said the county has long seen positive growth, even when that level slowed to 3 percent.
“We have great schools. We consistently rank in the top with our school system here in the state of Georgia, so I think that’s one big drawing factor,” he said. “Ga. 400 to Atlanta, [Lake Lanier], and our parks are top in the state — one of the best park systems around — and we have great people.We welcome everyone to our county.”
Amos said most of the recent building growth has occurred on lots that had previously been zoned.
It may have taken about five years, he said, but requests for new zonings are on the rise.
To McCoy, that’s a key indication that Forsyth shows no signs of slowing down.
“There is still a lot of opportunity for growth in Forsyth County,” he said. “As long as Forsyth continues to be ... a place where opportunity exists and a great place to live and raise their families and a great place to invest your personal and business resources, we’re going to continue to see growth.”
According to McCoy, what the Forbes study doesn’t show is the business and job growth. That’s a list Forsyth likely would also top.
“To me, that is a much more impressive and compelling story to be told about Forsyth County is when you look at the business community and the growth of jobs,” he said.