FORSYTH COUNTY, Georgia – An update to Forsyth County’s comprehensive plan for 2022-2042 was presented to the Board of Commissioners on Thursday, as local groups and officials prepare the document for regional and national review later this year.
Georgia tasks local governments with drafting a comprehensive plan to guide their long-term vision for growth and development. Once completed, Forsyth County’s comprehensive plan will be forwarded to the Atlanta Regional Commission for approval before it can be officially adopted locally.
The updated master plan was presented to Forsyth County Commissioners by planning team members Amanda Hatton of consulting firm Blue Cypress Consulting and Laura Blaszyk, project manager of design firm Pond & Company.
Hatton said the planning team had been working on the update since September and had taken special care to ensure that feedback from community members and stakeholders was incorporated into the draft.
Hatton said this update still has the framework of the overall plan that was reviewed by the board of directors in 2017, but includes several significant changes to comply with new state requirements and the changing vision of the community.
“I want to remind everyone that this was a very collaborative process,” she said. “We had a steering committee guiding and guiding us through the process, and we also had an iterative process with the public.
Notable updates to the document include several changes to county land use maps, which guide future development, and updates to the community work program, which recommends projects and initiatives the county should undertake each year. year.
The Forsyth County Planning Commission recommended its own changes in June, including a new restriction on used vehicle dealerships, the removal of mixed-use and M2 zoning from certain areas of the county and other similar suggestions .
After Hatton and Blaszyk’s presentation and a short discussion, the commissioners voted unanimously to postpone their decision on the plan until another public hearing could be held on August 4.
Pending vote on mileage rate
Forsyth County officials announced that with council approval, the county’s mileage rate in 2022 will remain unchanged from that levied in 2021.
At the second of three public mileage rate hearings held July 7, Chief Financial Officer Marcus Turk told commissioners the county plans to collect nearly $180.1 million from local ratepayers in 2022, a 13.4% increase in revenue compared to 2021.
Turk said the 13.45% growth from the 2021 fiscal summary is largely due to rising assessment values and partly due to new construction in the county.
Turk said of the county’s projected collections, $180 million has been earmarked for general fund expenditures in 2023, while $5.5 million has been earmarked for county emergency funds.
Forsyth County’s mileage rate has not changed since 2020, when a portion of the mileage rate was reduced from 7.936 to 7.896 mils. Despite this setback, Forsyth County tax collections have steadily increased, as have local property values and assessments.
If approved, Forsyth County’s proposed mileage rate of 7,896 will be combined with the Forsyth County School Board’s recently approved mileage rate, for a total property tax of 26,614 mils.
A comparison of mileage rates in counties like Forsyth County, including Fayette, Hall, Chatham and Cherokee counties, would show Forsyth County with the lowest M&O and fire rates, Turk said.
“This is a multi-year trend that records show has been consistent for at least the past decade,” he said.
The third public hearing on the proposed mileage rate will take place at the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners meeting on July 21. Commissioners should vote on the proposed rate at this meeting.
Reach Alexander Pop at 770-847-7404.