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New zoning designation weighed
Proposal would allow commercial sport facility
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Forsyth County News

A new zoning designation that would allow for a commercial sport facility is on its way to Forsyth County's planning board.

The county commission on Thursday voted 4-1, with Commissioner Jim Boff opposed, to move forward on the proposed ag-recreational zoning.

Such a classification, County Attorney Ken Jarrard said, "makes viable a project that does not yield commercially zoned income."

Chairman Charles Laughinghouse didn't seem to understand what the benefit of a new classification would be to the county.

"It's a commercial enterprise, which is not zoned as commercial, so there are no commercial taxes envisioned," Laughinghouse said. "You don't see a lot of retail involved, so there's no sales tax."

It appeared there was at least one business interested in the zoning classification at Thursday's meeting. A representative of the company, which was not named, said he could not comment on the matter.

Jarrard said the classification would not "open the floodgates to allow a lot of use of this."

"This [classification] has a fairly strict set of features ... you have to have a two-prong sports and educational facility ... with a regional emphasis."

The proposal could return to the commission after the planning board reviews it.

According to documents provided by the Forsyth County planning and development department, a recreation district such as the one proposed is "intended to provide for private, recreational sport training facilities, together with their supporting uses, which generally require large tracts of land where such facilities may or may not be wholly or partially indoors or outdoors."

"Such districts include physical improvements that allow a wide range of sports and recreational uses at a scale that creates a destination area for both regional and local users."