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County to allow lodging at special event facilities
FCN Forsyth County Administration Building

Forsyth County Commissioners have approved a new use for certain properties zoned agricultural (A1) district and wasted little time putting it to use. 

At a meeting on Thursday, Forsyth County Commissioners made changes to the unified development code for special events and facilities, lodging units and permission needed for the use on agricultural land and approved the first conditional-use permit for a special event facility to operate 10,000 square feet of lodging for up to 28 guests on 15.6 acres at 6370 Wagner Way. 

Under the change, the special events facilities would be able to operate 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., except for setting up and tearing down, on property with at least five acres of land that is approved for the conditional-use and be able to offer lodging for events such as weddings or family reunions. 

Lodging units cannot be mobile homes and cannot be rented or used as a separate dwelling unit.  

Guests would be able to stay up to two days before the event and two days after for a total of up to seven days. 

Commissioners had also discussed uses on the land such as hiking, biking, corn mazes, hayrides and other agricultural uses that could be open to the public as part of the special event facility and said they would likely look at those uses in the future. 

“I do want to commend the staff on their effort and getting this code change together,” said zoning attorney Christopher Light. “I think they did well pulling from a wide array of sources from around this area to come up with something that can be very unique for this county, something that we don’t have a lot of that very creative people can come up and do something cool on their properties.” 

The change means the land on Wagner Way, which is used by wedding venue White Laurel Estate, will be allowed to have overnight guests. 

Light said the lodging would be used for four cottages: two two-bedroom units totaling 3,200 square feet and two three-bedroom units totaling 4,800 square feet. 

Two existing buildings with apartments, totaling 2,000 square feet, would also be used for a total potential space of all units of 10,000 square feet.

Light said another future building had been added to the plan but is not likely to be built soon. He said it was added so the applicant would not have to come back before the commission.