My wife and I used to live up Post Road in southwest Forsyth County. It seems like so very long ago. But back in the day we would occasionally get involved in issues like zoning and land use. It was during this time we were introduced to a small community group called The Post Road Committee for Proper Development.
These guys impressed me. The committee worked with developers to retain the character of that area, limit densities and add common sense zoning conditions. NIMBY was not their gameplan as they understood that growth was coming.
And they were very successful. Over the years the Post Road Committee had a hand in shaping just about every project you see today in this part of the county. If you’ve been to the new library on Post Road, thank the committee. About ten years ago they pushed a developer to donate the land where it currently sits.
Groups like this sat dormant for most of the economic downturn but their contacts remained in place. Fast forward to the summer of 2013 when zoning applications began pouring into Forsyth’s planning department. Not only did the Post Road Committee reconstitute but new groups have sprung up. Their missions are similar – keep densities in check.
But perhaps the most remarkable action came last week when five homeowner advocacy groups, including the Post Road gang, came together to create a Pledge for Balanced Growth. The document (opens to pdf) suggests six changes including throttling back the rate of zoning approvals, limiting setback variances and increasing impact fees. They’ve challenged Forsyth’s County Planning Commissioners and elected officials to sign off on these ideals.
The combined group represents over 10,000 homeowners across 300 neighborhoods. It’s an unprecedented grassroots effort, something this blogger has never seen in his time covering Alpharetta and Forsyth County.
So hats off to those organizing this tremendous effort. And keep an eye on this movement in the coming months. If small groups like my Post Road friends can shape a community, imagine what a combined effort of this size can do!