FORSYTH COUNTY -- Forsyth County residents have given input in recent weeks on how they would like to see the county develop into the future under a new comprehensive plan.
On Wednesday, officials went over those results at a meeting with the comprehensive plan’s vision and steering committees.
Since March, officials have been meeting with the public for Foster Forsyth, an update to the compre-hensive plan, which is a guide to future growth that plays a key role in rezoning and development deci-sions. It also establishes community goals and priorities.
Officials broke down the demographics of the more than 4,800 people who responded to at least one question in an online survey or at the meetings, finding the majority of residents who participated were from the southeast portion of the county.
Causing a bit of concern for officials was the fact that few young people participated in the process, with less than 5 percent of responders aged 31 or under compared to around 37 percent for ages 32-45 and about 36 percent for ages 46-60. Those 60 or older made up about 21 percent of the responses.
In the previous community workshops, attendees selected different types and areas of the county where they wished to see future development of business, residential and multi-use town center op-tions.
For business, residents signaled they would like to see development at major intersections of Ga. 400 – notably with Hwys. 9, 20 and 369 – and around Vickery Village and Hwy. 20, though a north Forsyth community was also mentioned.
“Actually, a lot of pretty interesting conversations about the potential for Matt [community] to be sort of the downtown crossroads of this northwest community, but in a much smaller, rural, quaint scale than what you would expect along Ga. 400,” said Eric Bosman of Kimley-Horn and Associates.
Larger houses were in demand, and townhomes were more popular than apartments.
“Probably not surprising, a lot of them are some of the larger homes, single family,” Bosman said. “But several loved the townhome developments, particularly a lot of comments about some of the cottage courts and clustered housing around central greenspaces.”
Responders also favored modest-scale mixed-use developments with brick and traditional designs that use greenspace.
Residents do still have opportunities to participate in the plan update.
Starting June 1, community groups can pick up a “Meeting in a Box,” which will be a mini-workshop containing activities and information about the process.
“People can come and pick up a box for 25 participants or 50 participants, and what it will have in there is some of the information about this planning process, why it matters, what its schedule is, and then it will have a couple of activities for people to participate in,” said Amanda Hatton of Jacobs Engineering.
Those interested in getting a box should contact Audra Rojek of Jacobs Engineering beforehand at (404) 978-7569 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The boxes are free, and materials must be returned by June 22.
The next chance for the public to participate in-person will be a pair of implementation workshops on June 13 at the county’s administration building and June 15 at the Central Park recreation center.
More information about the process can be found at FosterForsyth.com.