Council for Quality Growth Advocates for Residential Zoning Changes in Forsyth County

On July 2, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing on a series of changes to the Unified Development Code.

The Council has been active in the process over the last year, working with members, county staff and commissioners in order to change the current Residential District Zoning Standards.

We believe flexibility is needed in the current Residential Zoning Districts  to allow for variety in development and support proposed changes to the Unified Development Code. This is in regards to the Residential Zoning Standards that were adopted by the Forsyth Planning Commission and are currently before the Board of Commissioners.

The Council supports changing the Residential 2 Zoning District from the current 18,500 sq. ft minimum lot size to  14,500 sq. ft and 2.2 units per acre for maximum density, up from the 2.0 units per acre.

Currently, in the Residential 3 Zoning District, the minimum lot size is 14,500 sq. ft  with a maximum density of 2.5 units per acre.  The proposed ordinance proposes a reduction in sq. ft  to 10,500 and 2.2 units per acre; whereas the Council further supports a reduction to 10,000 sq. ft. with 3.0 units per acre.

The Residential 4 Zoning District standard requires a minimum lot size of 6,000 sq. ft with 4 units per acre density, with the County proposing a change to 8,000 sq. ft and 3.6 units per acre.  The Council supports leaving the RES4 category in its current form to allow for additional flexibility in development.

Council Government Affairs and Policy Manager James Touchton  testified before the Board with a letter of support for the recommended changes.  To read the Council’s letter to the BOC click HERE.

The Council for Quality Growth supports the amendments to the Unified Development Code recommended by the Forsyth County Planning Commission.  These changes will make the RES2 zoning category a more reasonable option for land development, and make the RES3 zoning category the preferred zoning category for properties being developed with sanitary sewer utilities.  These modifications will allow property owners reasonable use of their lands, as well as provide adequate density to fund infrastructure improvements, which helps keep property taxes low.

The Council commends the Commission for considering this amendment and offers its full support and encouragement to include these changes and provisions. The Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on July 18th.

Thank you to Council Member Ethan Underwood, Esq. with Lipscomb, Johnson, Sleister, Dailey and Smith, LLP for his work on this amendment and to Commissioner Cindy Mills for her work in addressing the issue as well.