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Commissioners approve comprehensive plan

Serves as county’s long-term strategy for growth



FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Setting the path for the county’s future growth, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners approved its updated Comprehensive Plan July 6.

After more than a year of discussion and input, the county submitted its plan to the state for approval in May. The state completed its review and determined the document meets state standards.

The 2017-37 plan serves as the county’s long-term policy guide and strategy for future growth and development and identifies how the county and its residents would like to see Forsyth evolve over time. It includes guidance for future development, identifying priorities for the near future and a five-year action plan to set everything in motion. It focuses on four areas: land use; economic development; housing; and transportation.

Allison Stewart-Harris with Jacobs Engineering said there were 12 meetings held for the document and 26 meetings overall, including open houses, public hearings and visioning, design and implementation workshops.

Goals for the plan include:

  • Invest in quality of life
  • Improve mobility
  • Enhance community character
  • Expand infrastructure that furthers the vision for growth and development
  • Facilitate job opportunities
  • Maintain and expand green space

The plan includes a community character map which Stewart-Harris said was popular with the public, so they worked to make it perfect.

The map creates a location-based vision for the county by defining appropriate growth and development policies. It includes 11 character areas and 13 nodes that “respect and reflect each area’s unique role in the county based on its character, location and history.”

It will serve as the county’s guide for future rezoning and development decisions.

The character areas include McFarland, South Ga. 400, Big Creek, Haw Creek and Daves Creek, Lanier, Vickery Creek, Campground, North Ga. 400, Chestatee/Jot-Em-Down, Etowah and Sawnee Mountain.

A population project based on the character area map land uses and anticipated densities shows the county at 361,182 residents by 2037, she said, and roughly 430,000 by 2040.

To learn more about the plan, visit

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