Also at their meeting Thursday, Forsyth County commissioners:
* Held the first public hearing on proposed changes to the speed zone ordinance.
Three residents suggested roads that may have limits that could be raised or lowered. The final hearing is scheduled for Feb. 2.
* Approved changes to the sign ordinance that will require a two-foot base of brick, stone or similar materials for monument signs, also called “mini-billboards.”
A resident spoke in favor of the changes, which she said would improve the aesthetics along Hwy. 9, where the signs pop up frequently.
* Overturned a decision by the zoning board of appeals to allow a variance for a deck that was built five feet over the required setback.
The issue had been contentious among neighbors in the Three Chimneys Farm subdivision. The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Patrick Bell opposed.
* Appointed Kimberly Brown to the parks board’s District 3 post.
* Suspended an alcohol sales license for 10 days for Chevron at 4325 Browns Bridge Road. The business had been found guilty of two underage sales violations within the past two years.
Note: All votes were 5-0 unless otherwise noted.
Forsyth County commissioners reworked some proposed changes to the parks and recreation ordinance following a public hearing Thursday.
Concern had surfaced during an early December work session that commissioners did not have the ability to override decisions the parks board had made on field or facility use policy.
During a subsequent session last month, the commission shifted gears, seeking primarily to streamline the ordinance to refer to policies, which they could ratify.
In addition, Commissioner Patrick Bell recommended Thursday that the parks board make policy decisions, which commissioners can either approve or deny.
If denied, the commissioners would send suggestions back to the parks board for further discussion, Bell said.
“Therefore, this board of commissioners would not be authorized to just simply make up their own rules and insert them into the policies,” he said.
Commissioners voted 5-0 to have legal staff restructure the proposed changes to capture their intent.
The changes will require two more public hearings, the first of which would likely be Feb. 2.
Since the first public hearing had been set, the board went ahead Thursday with an open comment period on the original proposed changes.
Those measures stated, in part, that the county manager or his designee would have the final say on field or facility use.
Those amendments received opposition from county booster clubs, who appointed Bill Moats to speak on their behalf at the hearing.
Moats, president of the Sawnee Mountain Park Booster Club, said the current system for approving field use works well and shouldn’t be altered.
“Each of our associations has existed within the county guidelines for many years now,” he said. “We do not feel it is necessary to give absolute and final decision making to the board of commissioners without significant involvement and feedback from the parks and rec department.”
Also during public comments, former parks and recreation board member Cindy J. Mills told commissioners they had created “a bunch of to-do about nothing.”
“Our system in parks and rec has been working beautifully,” Mills said. “Those rules were put in place for a very good reason — because of the political fiasco that can happen when a commissioner is interested in a particular item.”
She suggested the commission stop spending money on fixing an issue that was not sparked by complaints.
The commission first discussed modifying the ordinance after a presentation about a travel football team.
The group had sought to use Forsyth County fields, a request that had been denied per parks policy and lack of space.