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Subarea plan taking shape in north Forsyth
Subarea

NORTH FORSYTH — Plans for a proposed wellness route linking neighborhoods, retail centers and parks across north Forsyth continued to take shape during a public meeting Thursday night.

Liz Cole with GreenbergFarrow, the engineering firm charged with looking into the biking/walking trail concept, led the discussion at the county administration building.

“The new subarea plan concept is how do we want to link our parks together,” she said.

The plan calls for the construction of a path from Eagle’s Beak Park, near the Etowah River in the county’s northwest corner, to Charleston Park on Lake Lanier.

The trail would also link to the Big Creek Greenway, which the county plans to eventually extend to Sawnee Mountain.

In response to an audience question, Cole explained the goal is to get the plan in place before the county’s north end develops much further, and that it would evolve along with the area.

“A number of citizens came to the county and [were concerned that] the infrastructure, or at least the conversation about where these things should be located, should happen before the impact [of development],” she said.

Several amenities for the trails, including cell phone-charging stations and trash disposal, were discussed.

As for the types of trails that could pass through neighborhoods, county resident and real estate agent Kathy Barrington favored the option with the most trees.

“What that says to me as a homeowner, as a real estate person, it just says home,” she said. “You can walk your kids, you can walk your dogs, you can say hi to your neighbors. It invites community to community. It just kind of binds everybody together.”

Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, who represents District 4, which covers the majority of the proposed subarea, explained that if they could get the plan in place prior to development, then developers could play a larger role.

“If we can plan it, hopefully the developer will pay for a lot of it instead of the county having to pay for it,” Mills said. “These trail systems are an amenity. They love having them. [A trail] makes their homes sell better. It’s quite an amenity, as tennis and swimming used to be the big thing, now it’s these trails.”

According to Cole, additional meetings will be held on the project, though none have been announced yet.