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Forsyth County Board of Commissioners to transmit comp plan
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The process to update Forsyth County’s 20-year land use plan is expected to be approved for state and regional review this week.

At their regular meeting on Thursday, Forsyth County Commissioners will have a chance to submit the ongoing comprehensive plan update, called Foster Forsyth, for review after much discussion.

On March 29, commissioners held a meeting to discuss the plan with the county’s planning board, members of the plan’s steering committee and residents.

Below is some information for those planning on going to the meeting.

What is it?

A required update to the country’s comprehensive plan, which seeks to guide policy over a 20-year period and provide a strategy for growth and development. Residents will be able to give input at the meeting before submittal.

What has the process been?

Since April 2016, consultants have held 14 meetings with residents and stakeholders, with nearly 1,000 coming to events and more than 4,800 responding to a community survey. County resident Joanne Leach said the March 29 meeting on the plan was her 40th in the process.

The plan has also used steering and vision committees to help outline and has been discussed at several commission meetings and work sessions.

Who is doing the update?

The plan is being put together by consultants with Jacobs Engineering and Kimley-Horn and Associates.

Why submit now?

The plan had originally been up for submittal in December, but the deadline was extended to allow new commissioners Laura Semanson of District 5, and Rick Semanson of District 2, to give input on the plan after taking office at the beginning of the year. Since then the deadline has been extended and several changes have been made to the plan.

What does the plan change?

One of the most visible changes in the update is splitting the county into 11 distinct areas, typically named after a community or landmark and with regional, community and neighborhood nodes, or areas with specified zoning standards.

The character areas are McFarland, South Ga. 400, Big Creek, Haw Creek/Daves Creek, Lanier, Vickery Creek, Campground, North Ga. 400, Chestatee/Jot Em Down, Etowah and Sawnee Mountain.

What adjustments have been made?

Changes have been made to the plan based on public hearings in December, January and March, which focused on cleaning up character area boundaries, decreasing density in certain areas, clarifying mixed-use zonings and specific locations for future commercial use.

What’s next?

Residents will have more opportunities at future meetings to consider adjustments for the plan before it is adopted.