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Public asked to help shape countys future
Official: Population could double by 2032
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Forsyth County News

Forsyth County comprehensive plan

Upcoming public participation meetings:

Both meetings will take place at 6 p.m. at the County Administration Building.
• Nov. 16: Issues and Opportunities Part 1
• Dec. 13: Issues and Opportunities Part 2

What do you want to see in Forsyth County over the next 20 years?

That’s the question county planning staff members hope the public will help answer as they form the county’s 2012-2032 comprehensive plan.

In the public kickoff meeting Thursday night, senior long range planner Vanessa Bernstein prepared those in attendance to participate in the planning process.

She told the group that Forsyth County’s quickly growing population is projected to double by 2032 to about 370,500 people.

The comprehensive plan provides a policy guide in maintaining the community’s vision as the county changes.

“Part of this visioning process is to decide what type of preferred growth you would like to see, how much, where and how do you think it can be accommodated,” Bernstein said.

Every 10 years, the county is required to adopt a plan to maintain its qualified local government status, which allows the county to, among other actions, receive grants or issue permits, she said.

This plan’s final adoption deadline is June 30, 2012.

The state has already approved the community assessment and the community participation plan, the first two of three requirements.

Over the next year, the public will get a chance to form the third requirement, the community agenda, through a series of workshops where they can offer suggestions.

“I’m really hoping to generate enthusiasm and willingness to participate over the coming year,” Bernstein said.

The first two public sessions will look at issues and opportunities, such as water supply or options in housing.

The second two workshops will explore development of the future land use map, which affects county zoning.

These sessions often garner the most public attention, principal planner Matt Bucchin said.

The final two meetings will focus on policies and the short-term work program, which examines how to work toward accomplishing long-range goals in a 5-year period.

After a short presentation Thursday, the group of about 50 reviewed maps and asked questions of staff members.

People buzzed about the character area map and transportation plans, and questioned how zoning will be influenced.

In the coming year, all those concerns and more will be offered up and hashed out in forming the plan for Forsyth County’s future.