Foster Forsyth 2022 builds on the solid groundwork established in the last comprehensive planning process. The previous comprehensive plan, Foster Forsyth 2017 – 2037, can be reviewed here.

What's involved in updating the plan?

The plan update will occur over four key phases prior to becoming official policy.

  1. We begin with an assessment of existing conditions, trends, and plans – What’s changed both within Forsyth and the broader context? We will review related County plans for transportation, parks, and trail improvements and will consider water / sewer expansion plans. We will evaluate recent land use policy changes and development proposals.

  2. Next, we talk with you – the community! What are your priorities for future growth and development? Where is change in future land use policies needed? We will collect input on top needs and opportunities for the next five years.

  3. Then we start to plan for how to meet those priorities. We will update the Community Character Map based on community input and direction. We then solidify priorities and needs. We will also develop population projections to see how the plan’s implementation will influence Forsyth in the long-term.

  4. Finally, we will document the plan and bring it to community members for feedback. The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners votes to send it out for state and regional review. Following that process, the plan is put forth to the Board of Commissioners to consider for adoption.

After adoption, the County uses the plan to guide rezoning decisions, determine annual funding of land-use related programs, initiatives, and policies, and to help guide staff’s day-to-day decisions.


Why plan?

The Comprehensive Plan sets a policy direction to ensure that future generations continue to enjoy a high quality of life. During the Foster Forsyth planning process, County staff and the project team want to hear from you about aspirations for and concerns about Forsyth County’s future.

Your input will help guide the County’s future decision-making around land development and preservation, housing options, and more.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is responsible for overseeing that all Georgia communities update their comprehensive plans at the required five-year mark. DCA reviews the plan and if it meets the minimum requirements, the community is recertified as a Qualified Local Government (QLG). QLG status determines whether a community is eligible to receive state funding in the form of grants and loans.


Key Planning Terms to Know

  • Community Character Map: A map that is developed through the comprehensive planning process to show the location-based vision of the County. It designates future land uses and communicates preferred land characteristic across the County. Once the plan is adopted, the County’s leadership uses the Community Character Map when making decisions on rezonings and other development matters.

  • Character Area: The distinct areas found on the Community Character Map. Each character area has different qualities and development expectations for the future.

  • Zoning: A regulatory tool for managing where different land uses are allowable within the County. Zoning regulations also establish how property can be used, such as restrictions on density, building heights, parking, and more.

  • Rezoning: A process whereby a landowner applies for a change on the official County zoning map and the County Board of Commissioners either approves or denies the application through a public hearing process.

  • The Unified Development Code (UDC): The compilation of County zoning and subdivision regulations. The UDC is amended regularly to assist in the management of community growth and development.

  • Road reclamation: A roadway improvement technique focused on rehabilitating the pavement  and widening the pavement so that it is safer and more durable for the long term. 

  • Bicycle treatment: A project focused on making roadway safety improvements for the benefit of cyclists. Examples include bike lanes, separation/buffers, shared-lane markings, sidewalks, bike parking, and signage.

  • Placemaking: Techniques used to improve the aesthetics and distinct quality or character of a place. Examples include community-branded signage, landscaping, and public gathering spaces with seating and lighting.

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