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Unified development code changes on the horizon following commissioners work session
FCN Forsyth County Administration Building

Commissioners discussed changes to the county’s unified development code at a recent work session on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

The changes included requirements for master-planned districts in the Haw Creek Community Node and modifications to the county’s sign ordinance related to electronic message boards and window signs.

Here are the details:

Sign Ordinance

Commissioners considered modifications to the UDC that included allowing electronic message boards along roadways and places like assembly halls, museums and amphitheaters, and prohibiting them in certain overlay districts.

Another such proposed location was any private or parochial school.

Chairman Alfred John asked if “private or parochial school” was too broad of a term. Department of Planning and Community Development Tom Brown said county staff could “tighten that up,” as the definition “cast a wide net” that could include different types of schools: karate schools, DUI schools, etc.

Commissioners voted to send the item to public hearing with two changes.

District 5 Commissioner Laura Semanson wanted to change the allowance of electronic message boards at meeting halls, assembly halls and auditoriums.

District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent wanted to prohibit the boards in “the McFarland Node, … Atlanta Highway Overlay [and] Post Road Overlay” alongside the already-proposed prohibition in the Castleberry-Bethelview Crossroads Overlay.

Master-planned districts in Haw Creek

Following comprehensive plan discussions this summer, commissioners voted to approve amendments to the unified development code related to master-planned districts in the Haw Creek Community Node.

Amendments included requiring a minimum threshold of 50 acres per development and a prohibition on variance requests for commercial and office use percentages in this area.

Master-planned districts located in this area are also not allowed to be bisected or divided by any existing public roads.