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Second hearing set on comprehensive plan
Planning board wants public to have more time for review
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Forsyth County News
What's next
Forsyth County planning staff agreed to advertise the additional public hearing, which is scheduled for Dec. 16. The documents presented are available at the county planning department and posted online at

Forsyth County residents will get another chance to weigh in on a proposed partial update to the county's comprehensive plan.

Of particular concern to Forsyth County's planning board, which voted 4-0 to hold a second public hearing next month, was making sure the public knew about the possible changes to the county's guide for growth.

A draft map of areas requiring special attention was presented to the board, along with accompanying documents, showing the northwest corner of the county, from Ga. 400 to the Dawson and Cherokee County lines, as an area where "development has or may outpace the availability of community facilities and services."

Vanessa Bernstein, a senior long-range planner with the county, explained that the update would serve as a bridge to get the county between the current plan and the new one, which must be updated by February 2012.

Bernstein said everything on the map is "for the community to decide at the time of the full update whether they wish to address what is identified on that map."

She said there are no changes proposed to the future land-use map as part of the partial update.

"The partial update would be adopted as part of the comprehensive plan and it would become part of the current plan," Bernstein said.

"That means once it's part of the current plan, anything within the plan can be referred to...this is one of three maps that are required at the end of the full update. This is the only map that is part of the partial update."

Forsyth County Commissioner Linda Ledbetter took the map and documents to task.

"It says here 'will limit development within our community to areas that can be reasonably served by public infrastructure,'" Ledbetter said.

Noting that there is not much public infrastructure in the northwest section of the county, she wondered if officials were saying "those areas won't be developed."

Planning Board Member Mary Helen McGruder cited what she said was a lack of media attention to the map and documents.

"Having been through this with other issues, other comp plans, other future land use map updates, there's a lot in here that I don't think the general public has had an opportunity to absorb or didn't even know they needed to be aware of this," McGruder said.

"I understand what you're saying that it is just a partial update, but anytime something gets into one of our main documents I think it's something the public should at least have an opportunity to be aware of."

Planning Board Member Brant Meadows did not attend the meeting.