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Super majority concept sought for land-use votes in Forsyth County

FORSYTH COUNTY — Future votes by the Forsyth County commission could require a “super majority” for some land-use issues.

The commission voted 5-0 on Tuesday to ask the local state legislative delegation to pursue the change. If the measure is ultimately adopted, the other four commissioners would have to vote unanimously against any land-use issues to overrule the district commissioner’s vote.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the legislators’ involvement is needed because the county’s enabling legislation, or charter, has to be changed to allow for it.

“Basically, our enabling legislation would say the [commission] would be authorized to require a four out of five voting majority on certain land-use decisions or on land-use decisions,” he said.

If approved at the Capitol, the county would then make the decision to go to a super majority.

“It comes back to [the commission],” he said. “[You] would have the authority to go to 4/5 in our [unified development code] or … have the authority not to.”

Recently the idea of a super majority was discussed along with individual planning boards for each district, similar to what exists for District 2.

During the meeting, Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills brought up having citizen committees look at zonings.

“There are different ways of looking at it,” she said. “They could be elected by different HOAs, if they wanted to be. You could have it done by different subdivisions, you could have it done by zones.

“Sort of like what [District 2] has now, but they would be under the existing planning commissioner. They wouldn’t be a planning commission.”