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3 things from this week’s BOC meeting
Massage ordinance concerns, yield signs still coming down
FCN Yield Signs 2 011119
Cars turn right off Post Road into Vickery Village on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2019, while passing a yield sign. Yield signs in certain locations around the county have become the source of some confusion and concern among residents and county commissioners. - photo by Ben Hendren

New rules for massage businesses, the latest on yield signs in the county and some new items for the Forsyth County Fire Department were among items at this week’s Forsyth County Board of Commissioners meeting.

All items were approved by a 5-0 vote unless otherwise noted.

Massage changes

In recent years, Forsyth County has approved and made changes to a massage ordinance aimed at stopping prostitution and other illicit activities at certain businesses.

This week, commissioners discussed a new change that would bring more bad actors to hearings before commissioners.

“The sheriff’s office has come to me and said, ‘Look, there are some offenses that ought to be grounds for an immediate hearing before the board of commissioners where your license is on the line,’” said County Attorney Ken Jarrard. 

Jarrard said the changes are for things that “may not rise to the level of criminal violations” but would still require a hearing. 

“One of them had a violation. It was adjudicated in court, and it’s not coming before [commissioners],” said Sgt. Allan Frampton. “It’s because it didn’t meet the criteria of the ordinance the way it is written. Now, if they get another citation in this calendar year, then it will because that will be a third violation.”

Commissioners voted to allow Jarrard’s staff to work with the sheriff’s office and bring the item back for a public hearing at a future meeting.

Yield sign saga

Yield signs have been a popular — or unpopular — topic this year as commissioners have changed rules and brought down signs, namely those connected to intersections which require drivers making a right turn to yield to those turning left.

Commissioners heard an update at the meeting from Todd Long, with Moreland Altobelli Associates, who updated the county on an ongoing inventory of recommendations for the signs. Long said the project is wrapping up.

“The purpose of the study was to inventory the existing conditions out there and provide mitigation where we had emphasis at yield location, develop a yield standard that you will use going forward and at the end of the day, the whole goal is to improve the road system,” Long said.

The county’s new rules follow GDOT driving manuals, such as drivers on the left yielding to those on the right when making a left turn into an intersection, alley or driveway right-of-way is yielded to traffic in the opposite direction and right-of-way should be yielded to all vehicles, including bikes, “which are approaching from the opposite direction,” and pedestrians.

Long said the issues with yield signs don’t stop at the county line.

“We all drive around metro Atlanta and see different application of yield signs,” he said. “In fact, driving here today, driving from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, I’m still noticing lots of inconsistencies before I ever get to Forsyth County.”

Long said county staff will soon get a copy of the report.

Engineering Director John Cunard said about 160 more signs across the county need to be taken down. 

No action was taken.

Fire bids

The Forsyth County Fire Department awarded two big bids during the meeting for a new dive rescue vehicle and a new dive rescue boat.

Custom Truck and Body Works Inc., received a bid worth $209,700 for the dive rescue vehicle. The vehicle will be used as mobile storage for dive gear and as a command center during dive rescues. 

The dive rescue boat costs $128,000 and comes from Stanley Boats/Connor Industries.