Forsyth County is looking for input on new design standards and branding in the southern portion of the county.
On Wednesday, Jan. 22 from 5:30-8 p.m., an open house will be held at Sharon Forks Public Library, 2820 Old Atlanta Road, to allow residents and stakeholders to share their thoughts on commercial design standards and branding for the area.
The meeting will allow visitors to drop-in to view the design proposals, ask questions and give comments on the concepts that are presented.
Recommendations given by the public for branding will be used to “help support a brand style as part of a larger placemaking initiative currently underway,” and design standards will focus on architectural and landscaping for commercial corridors.
Initial standards and marketing branding were put together after a three-day design workshop held in September and “are being created to help support a stronger identity for south Forsyth.”
The branding will include a logo and tagline, along with other ways to help identify the area.
As part of the branding initiative, several value statements based on input from the workshop pertaining to what responders said they loved about the area were put together, which included statements supporting families, an active community, local high schools, natural resources, diversity and community.
The boundary for the area is Ga. 400 to the west, McGinnis Ferry Road to the south, the county line to the west and north of Hwy. 20.
Residential design standards for the area were approved by county commissioners in August and went into effect in December.
Those standards get into rules for landscaping, materials, windows, garage doors, building orientation to the street and accessory buildings and structures for individual lots.
For neighborhoods, the standards establish specifications for open space, connectivity and walking, monument signs, lighting, landscaping and site design.
The idea of a south Forsyth identity has been heavily discussed in recent years, including the 2018 vote on the prospect of adding the city of Sharon Springs in south Forsyth. While voters supported the new city with about 54% of the vote, it failed to reach the required 57.5% of voters, a compromise between a simple majority and two-thirds majority.
About 50,000 people would have lived in the area of the proposed city.
Among the reasons given by those supporting the city were increased control in zoning decisions and creating an identity for an area where many residents have an address for a city based outside of the county, such as Suwanee, Alpharetta or Johns Creek.
Since the vote, county leaders have taken steps to remedy some of those issues.
During a discussion for the residential design standards in August, speakers on both sides of the issue referenced Sharon Springs, with one speaker in favor pointing to the identity issue and a speaker opposed saying the standards would create a “de facto city” in the area of the proposed municipality.