FORSYTH COUNTY -- A moratorium on lot consolidations in Forsyth County originally approved in July has been extended.
During its meeting on Thursday, Forsyth County commissioners voted 5-0 to extend a moratorium for 90 days while County Attorney Ken Jarrard’s office works on modifications to the county’s unified development code, following a recent legal issue on unclear language.
“It takes a little bit of time to do modifications to our code, and this moratorium simply locks in place the fact that no one can take advantage of that section until we get our [code] modified to address some of the concerns that the court had,” Jarrard said.
Lot consolidations are most common on agriculture and older residential zonings and typically take place when someone combines parcels to build a home.
Per the county’s unified development code, “an existing lot line forming the boundary between two lots located within the same subdivision may be removed or eliminated through the plat revision process, which conforms to the [code’s] requirements.”
The original 30-day moratorium was approved following a closed executive session at a commission work session on July 12 and would have expired soon had the new one not been approved.
Jarrard said the current moratorium could end early if the code is updated before the 90 days runs out.
“This moratorium anticipates that as soon as we … address this issue, the moratorium will automatically expire by rule, without further action being taken by the board,” he said. “Hopefully we won’t need 90 days; we are working as hard as we can to get it done.”
In the Forsyth County Superior Court case that affected the decision, it was determined that the code’s language on lot consolidations was not clear on combining properties from different subdivisions.
County resident Chester Kramarski spoke in favor of the moratorium during a required public hearing.
“It has become apparent that current written language governing lot consolidations does not hold up against legal changes,” he said. “The modified language could contain the clarity and the simplistic completeness so as to provide the guidance necessary [to] cover the how’s and the why’s of lot combination and, above all, to stand up to any legal challenges.”