FORSYTH COUNTY — Residents of south Forsyth may soon see fewer rezoning requests for residential land development projects brought to the Forsyth County commission.
During a work session Tuesday, Commissioner Todd Levent proposed limiting land rezoning requests for his district.
“District 3 is getting hammered right now,” he said. “And that’s why the concern is there. Not only are we getting hammered, but there’s still large tracks of land where you can have heavy density.”
After much discussion, it was decided that the limitations should also be placed on District 2, which includes much of south Forsyth and is represented by Brian Tam, and Commissioner Jim Boff’s District 5, which includes the county’s east side.
Commissioners Pete Amos and Cindy Mills, who represent Districts 1 and 4, respectively, agreed that since neither of their districts see as many rezoning requests each month, the limitations should be placed only on the other three districts.
“If y’all want to put limits on your own districts,” Amos told Levent, Tam and Boff, “I have no problem with that. But I see no problem with District 1. I haven’t had a Res6 [zoning request] in years.”
Tam made the eventual motion that was to limit Res3, Res4 and Res6 rezoning requests to just two per month per district for commission Districts 2, 3 and 5.
In his motion, he noted that no limitations would be placed on commercial, the lighter Res1 and Res2 or any other zoning categories.
County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the motion will require a change to the unified development code. That means it will have to be reviewed by the planning board and subject to a public hearing.
After those steps were complete, the commission could then finalize the code change. The entire process likely will take several months.
Tam said the last time limitations of any type were placed on residential rezoning requests were during “the boom years” of 2005 and ’06. During that span, just seven rezoning requests were approved each month for the entire county.
“And six months after we did that, the economy tanked,” Amos said.
Jarrard asked planning and zoning director Tom Brown how staff handled requests back then.
“The last time we had this, we accepted everything that came in the door, and we would only move seven each month of residential onto the next phase of the review process, so we had a backlog,” Brown said.
He added that if this measure is ultimately put into place, county planning staff would probably go back to a similar system.