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Steering group turns to policies
First changes deal with transportation
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Forsyth County News

Forsyth County’s steering committee shifted from concepts to an action plan during a meeting Wednesday night.

The committee, which provides feedback on the county’s comprehensive plan update process, began reviewing policies that could carry out the vision of the 20-year concept.

All the previously discussed components of the plan update come together through policy statements, which suggest actions the county can take to achieve its goals, said Vanessa Bernstein, senior long-range planner.

"All of these things that we potentially thought about … somehow have to be reflected," Bernstein said.

Many policies would require code changes, she said. But others, for example, may involve creating incentive programs to foster a certain type of development or conduct studies.

The nine-member committee, which had seven members present, made 12 changes to the draft during the meeting.

The group made a few additions to encourage more pedestrian and bicycle routes, including a potential code change to require access points to subdivisions and a statement focused on providing safe pathways over major roads.

Other transportation nodes also captured the committee’s attention.

With growing traffic flow and limited funding for road improvements, the committee added a statement to encourage creation of roundabouts.

"With the right intersections, it makes a lot of sense," member Jim Kelleher said.

Following a discussion about limited bus service to Atlanta, the group also added a mention that the county should consider how to increase transit options.

In the economic development policies section, member Tracy Moon suggested promoting the development and use of a fiber optic network.

Moon, past chair of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, said the technology is expected to expand for businesses in the near future.

Another statement added by the group looked at how to phase out non-historic buildings that exist past their use.

At the group’s next meeting, set for June 29, a portion of the policy statements will be adopted in the short-term work plan, which sets an action plan for the first five-year period.