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County approves moratorium on billboard upgrades
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A new moratorium on electronic signs, an agreement with Cherokee County for emergency services and several rezonings were brought up at a recent Forsyth County Board of Commissioners meeting.

All items were approved 5-0 unless otherwise stated.

New sign moratorium

A new 30-day moratorium has been put in place for applications to upgrade billboards to LED signs.

Billboards in Forsyth County are considered legal, non-conforming, meaning new signs are not allowed. County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the issue is tied to county rules to improve the signs “as a right” and that the county has encountered issues on Canton Highway (Hwy. 20 east).

“We have an overlay on Buford Highway that no longer allows electronic message boards, and yet right now we have at a minimum three signs that are in some sort of a position, either asking for an upgrade … to an LED sign,” he said.

In 2015, the county placed a moratorium on “expression signs” as a result of a Supreme Court decision.

The county will discuss the issue at an upcoming work session.

Cherokee mutual aid

Commissioners approved a mutual aid agreement for fire service with neighboring Cherokee County. Fire Chief Danny Bowman said the agreement would benefit both counties.

“This is a perfect example of two independent county governments working for the public good,” Bowman said. “In this agreement, Cherokee

County Fire will respond to emergencies in a small portion in Forsyth County initially until our apparatus arrives on the scene, such is the case of Forsyth County answering emergencies in a small portion of Cherokee County.”

Conditional-use permits approved

During the meeting, conditional use permits were approved for proposed storage and office buildings and 10 parking spaces on Shady Grove Road and to operate a tutoring center in an office suite on McGinnis Village Place.

Rezonings

• At the intersection of Old Atlanta Road and Brannon Road, 47.3 acres were approved for rezoning from commercial business, or CBD, restricted industrial, or M1, and office and institutional, or O&I, districts to community residential district CR2 for 94 residential units.

• The rezoning of 71.7 acres for up to 128 lots on Holbrook Road was also approved. The zoning was from agriculture district, or A1, to single-family residential Res-3.

• On Old Atlanta Road, 6.9 acres were rezoned to Res-3 from A1 for up to eight lots.