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Plan update moves to commission
Board recommends OK
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Forsyth County News

After hearing from several residents about what they do or don’t want, Forsyth County’s planning board agreed to send along the update to the county’s comprehensive plan.

The board voted 2-1 to recommend approval of the update to the county commission, with a few changes.

Planning board member Joe Moses voted against the measure and Joe Kelleher and Matt Murphy were not present for the vote.

Pam Livesay and Pam Bowman voted in favor of the update, which includes changing the areas of Brandywine and Raskarity roads and Robins Walk in south Forsyth to an estate residential designation.

The recommendation also called for changing estate residential areas in the north part of the county to suburban living.

The estate residential designation includes low-density residential and agricultural uses. Suburban living is medium-density and could include limited neighborhood shopping.

Before the vote, Livesay read aloud a letter from Murphy, who represents District 4. He apologized for missing the meeting, saying he was working.

Murphy noted that his district was the only one in the county that included areas slated for the estate residential designation.

"We the stakeholders of District 4 feel this is unfair and discriminatory," Murphy wrote. "We should have the same rights as anyone else in the county … I ask you to please remove the estate residential from district four and give us the same chance as everyone else."

The board also heard pleas from residents Paula Gault, Mary Helen McGruder and Terry Smith to use the suburban living designation instead of estate residential in the northern part of the county.

Alternatively, Jo Anne Leach, Peggy Pearson and Phillip Mosely asked the board to return the Howard Road area in District 3 to estate residential from suburban living.

"We know what we’re asking for," Jo Anne Leach said. "Estate residential’s not for everyone, but it is for our area."

The board did not address the request for Howard Road, which is in west Forsyth.

Jack Gleason, who lives on Robins Walk, had earlier expressed concerns about growth and future water use.

"You have to start thinking about what quality of life are we procuring if we’re planning a growth trajectory of nearly a third of a million people and we’re not thinking about whether or not we have the quantity of water to provide the quality of life that brought us here to begin with and we’d like to stay here and enjoy," he said.

Also Tuesday night, the planning board agreed 2-1 to recommend approval to the commission of proposed changes to the Unified Development Code. Moses voted against the measure.

The changes include streamlining the home occupation permit process and removing it from the planning board’s responsibilities and extending the time period upon which variances may be acted upon from one to five years.