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Board mulls vehicle rule
Change for sites zoned agriculture
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Forsyth County News

The Forsyth County commission will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday at the County Administration Building, 110 E. Main St., Suite 220. Other items on the agenda include:

• Second public hearing on proposed changes to the county ethics ordinance, which would allow penalties to be imposed on those who file frivolous complaints, among other revisions.

• Public hearing about a change to the alcohol ordinance, which would increase the number of days for a nonprofit special events permit from five to 12 per year.

• Request from T-Mobile South for a conditional use permit for a cellular tower on private property off Spot Road.

• A resolution to contribute $10,000 to the Lake Lanier Association in support of its effort to raise the lake level 2 feet, to 1,073 feet above sea level.

• Discussion to restore Sunday hours at the Central Park Recreation Center, which to save costs started closing on Sundays this month.

-- Alyssa LaRenzie

The Forsyth County commission is considering a measure that would allow residents to park large work vehicles on agriculturally zoned property.

The proposed change to the county's unified development code would allow one commercial vehicle per acre, or two if the site is at least 2 acres.

Commissioners will hold a public hearing and possibly vote on the issue at a meeting Thursday night.

A commercial vehicle, as defined by the proposed code addition, is used on a highway to transport passengers or property and weighs more than 10,000 pounds.

The county's code currently doesn't allow such vehicles, like dump trucks, to be parked at a home, though some requirements are laid out for business owners, said Tom Brown, interim director of planning and development.

"Parking a commercial vehicle today on your property is something that is a violation of the code in an agricultural district," Brown said. "This is trying to provide some limited flexibility."

The issue originated with a resident who was trying to find out if he could park a commercial vehicle on his agricultural lot, Commissioner Patrick Bell said.

The change would allow for employees of businesses to park their work vehicles at home, something Bell hoped would make their lives easier.

Judging from some of the feedback he has received, Bell said some residents are confused about the proposal.

"I guess what has happened is people believe we're trying to restrict their ability, when what we're really trying to do is allow people to do it in a limited fashion," Bell said.

Brown said no part of the current code specifically addresses whether employees can park commercial vehicles at home.

"The code just isn't clear on it," he said. "The goal of this work is to clarify that."

Brown said while thousands of properties are zoned agricultural, actual farm uses are not typical.

"The most common uses are 1 acre and up residential lots," he said.