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Officials gather input about north Forsyth subarea plan

NORTH FORSYTH — A pair of public input meetings held this week could help shape a potential wellness route across north Forsyth.

On Monday at Central Park and Tuesday at Coal Mountain Park, Forsyth County officials met with residents about a proposed subarea plan that would connect bike and walking paths through neighborhoods, parks, shopping centers and eventually the Big Creek Greenway.

“We had a small turnout [on Monday,] but we had some interesting dialog with people from various parts of the county,” said Commissioner Cindy Jones Mill, whose District 4 includes much of the proposed subarea.

“That was interesting that we had people come from really all over the county that were very interested, and most everyone was very complimentary of the idea,” she said.

The plan, as it stands, is to construct a path from Eagle’s Beak Park near the Etowah River in the county’s northwest corner to Charleston Park on Lake Lanier.

The trail would also link to the Big Creek Greenway, which the county plans to extend to Sawnee Mountain.

Mills said several residents who had lived in other parts of the state and nation shared what those areas have in place.

“By and large people came with viewpoints of the places they had lived, from New York and south Georgia and California, just their experiences with trail systems in places they have lived,” Mills said.

Tammie Fowler, who lives near where the path might pass, said she was grateful the county was working on this now rather than when or after north Forsyth develops.

“I like the fact that they’re being proactive in looking at this rather than reactive after everything comes at it’s too late to do anything,” she said. “I like the idea of the greenway coming up to the north parks. I like the idea of the roads having sidewalks and places to bike.”

According to Mills, the ideas gathered this week will be used at the next meeting on the subarea plan, which is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at the county administration building in downtown Cumming.

“I think it’s just trying to bring the ideas together,” she said. “[The consultant] told me she was going to bring in policies and how other counties had incorporated polices, standards and guidelines, because you’ve got to have certain standards in place.”