Zoning changes are a constant with growth in the county, but the number of zonings per district may soon change.
During its most recent work session, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners discussed the possibility of limiting zonings by district. No action was taken, but should the Unified Development Code amendment pass, three districts would only be allowed two zonings a month.
Under the change districts 1 and 4 would have no limit for zonings, while districts 2, 3 and 5 would be limited to two zonings per month of any combination of Res3, Res4 and Res6, with no limit on other types of residential zonings.
Planning and Community Development Director Tom Brown said there had been just over 40 zoning applications approved this year, and equals less than one zoning per month per district.
“Halfway through last month I had [Senior Planner] Vanessa [Bernstein-Goldman] tally up how many zonings we had done year to date,” Brown said. “Up to mid-November [we had] 43 per month.”
However, an issue with that method is that zonings are not evenly distributed.
“The problem is I think that 60 or 70 percent were in District 3,” said District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent. “If you do put limitations on a district, it won’t ever let more than one district get inundated too much.”
Rather than limit zoning applications, the board also discussed a set number of land disturbance permits, since that is the more visible part of the issue.
“Let’s just say hypothetically our concern is to make sure development and infrastructure are somehow able to stay connected,” Jarrard said. “If we have an infrastructure catch up problem, then we’d want to link our permitting process to somehow try to build a buffer so that we’re not over loading the system.”
“That’s probably a better direct link than putting in a zoning limitation.”
Some land disturbance permits are being pulled from zonings up to 10 years old.
“We’re having zonings that are being constructed in my district that were zones, some of them, in the early 2000s,” said Brian Tam, commissioner for District 2.
The issue will be brought back before the commission at a future work session, and the board wanted Brown and Jarrard to gather move information on the issue.