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Two longtime residents tapped for planning board
Murphy, Quinn await blessing of board
Murphy Matt
Matt Murphy

The Forsyth County planning board could get two new members if county commissioners approve their appointments tonight.

Newly-elected county commissioners Patrick Bell and Jim Boff have tapped longtime residents for the District 4 and 5 posts.

Matt Murphy is Bell's nominee for District 4, which covers north Forsyth, while Boff has picked Jim Quinn in District 5, which includes Cumming and much of the county's east side.

Members of the planning board are appointed for two-year terms, but can serve indefinitely as long as they continue to be appointed by their district's commissioner.

Their duties include holding public hearings and making recommendations to the county commission on rezonings, conditional use and home occupation permits and changes to the county's unified development code.

Stepping down following the new appointments are Bettina Hammond and Mary Helen McGruder, who both served on the planning board for four years.

Murphy and Quinn could begin their terms as early as next week.

Murphy is the son of District 27 state Sen. Jack Murphy. Bell said he appointed Murphy because he is "passionate about Forsyth County and cares about what happens to the people here."

Boff said he appointed Quinn because he has "a lot of detailed experience with appraisals and zonings ... the things he says carry a lot of weight."

Quinn is a former real estate appraiser who has lived in Forsyth County for 16 years. He is involved with the Lanier Lifestyles group, which has protested the potential rezoning of Lanier Golf Course.

"That's what got me involved with the whole process," Quinn said. "I'm looking forward to getting more involved with planning and zoning."

The proposed golf course rezoning, which would have cleared the way for a large residential development, was denied by the county commission in fall 2007 and is being challenged in court.

Murphy, who has lived here for 12 years, is the former owner of MurphyLectric, an electrical contracting business.

He said District 4, his post, needs "more representation. I'd like to see a little more community development in this area," Murphy said.

Murphy and wife, Lynn, have three children.

He said residents should learn to "take a proactive approach and learn what's going on around them ... Things get slipped by when they're not paying attention. They wake up one morning and there's a building next door."

Quinn and wife, Jill, also have three children.

He said he's looking forward to serving the county on the planning board.

"It's an important position," he said. "The planning commission can assist the board of commissioners in some directions."