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Foster Forsyth continues to discuss future of county
Foster Forsyth

Forsyth County’s update to its comprehensive plan is moving forward.

On Thursday, the steering committee of Foster Forsyth, the county’s update to its plan for the future, met with representatives for Jacobs Engineering and Kimley-Horn and Associates, the firms working with the county on the update.

“We’ve really moved from the vision to the priorities,” said Amanda Hatton, of Jacobs Engineering, early in the meeting. “We’re going to highlight some of those tonight and try to get some additional input … but we’re really moving toward the community work program.”

The evening was intended to be a joint meeting of Foster Forsyth’s steering and vision committees, though for the second straight meeting there were not enough members of the vision committee for that group to hold a meeting.

The vision committee was charged with coming up with goals for the project, such as creating a mission statement and was only scheduled to meet three times. It was intended for the steering committee to meet over a longer period of time as the plan is developed.

During the meeting, steering committee members were updated on what had happened in the process since their last gathering in May.

“Since our last committee meeting, we did complete the virtual design workshops and we also went on to have in-person implementation workshops, as well as the virtual implementation workshops,” Hatton said. “We also really saw a big uptick in the virtual meetings.”

In the implementation workshops, residents indicated the types of town center/commercial, business and industry and residential categories that they would like to see in different areas of the county.

Eric Bosman, of Kimley-Horn, said projects were “awfully close” for about seven or eight of the 11 areas.

“We were pretty dead on with what the expectation was, what communities were looking for in terms of alignment with the overall goals of creating a series of town centers but only in the right spots – and that’s generally along Ga. 400 – where we want to create areas of employment and what type of residential developments are appropriate within each character area,” he said.

The character areas in the study are McFarland Parkway, south Ga. 400, Haw Creek, south Forsyth, north Ga. 400, The Village, Lake Lanier, Chestatee/Jot Em Down roads, Campground Road, northwest Forsyth and Sawnee Mountain.

During the second part of the meeting, the committee met to discuss goals and review elements of the plan and the character areas.

Bosman said the process is now in the stage of looking for where things should go rather than what people want to see.

“Where this will become difficult through the next couple of weeks is where people say, ‘I want X or I don’t want Y,’ because where we’re at in this process is far beyond that; it’s really about X goes here and Y goes here,” he said.

The public will next be able to participate at a pair of draft plan open houses at the Forsyth County administration building on Aug. 29 and 31.

More information on the plan can be found at fosterforsyth.com.