Unprecedented grassroots opposition to density in Forsyth County

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.

forsyth_hoa_logo

One of the groups behind the Pledge for Balanced Growth.

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!

For more information check out the websites of Forsyth HOA & Homeowners, Fix Forsyth Traffic, Forsyth Citizens for Responsible Growth and Smart Growth Forsyth.

9 Responses to “Unprecedented grassroots opposition to density in Forsyth County”

  1. @greg October 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    Lee,

    Check out this video–it shows you what we are dealing with now on Post/Mullinax. Crazy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roDqM0ti56w

  2. @greg October 16, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    And a story today on Fox 5 about this issue:

    http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9421348#.Ul76VBWLpAd.facebook

  3. Kim October 17, 2013 at 1:14 am #

    @greg,
    Whoa! How long to get through all that?

  4. @greg October 17, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Kim,

    Averages 20-30 minutes each day, and about 30 minutes to get back on this road in the evening after sitting on McFarland. When we contacted the County engineers about it, they said the road can handle another 50% capacity and its not really a problem.

  5. Scsa31274 October 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    That is crazy Greg. I’ll get stuck in it going north on union hill to macfarland and then on Mullinax at Hwy 9 and then on Post to Vickery. Incredible amounts of traffic

  6. @greg October 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    ScSa,

    And we have another 1,000 homes coming to Post and Mullinax alone! Another 1,000 on the feeder roads (Shiloh, Fowler, Majors, etc).

    probably another 3,000 cars.

  7. Kim October 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    @greg,
    Live.Work.Play.Hooray. Not.

  8. Kristen Stevens October 18, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    Thank you for the press… The hornet’s nest has been poked. Nobody can accuse us of not paying attention any more. We need to shut down all of these higher density zonings and variances… and find a way to address the infrastructure needs of what has already been zoned and what has been built. I very much admire the Post Road Committee… and am glad they are a force in our collective “coalition”.

  9. JC December 14, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Is anyone aware of any community organized groups like this in Milton? The density being requested keeps rising in Milton with one developer wanting to put 3.03 homes per acre with only 10 feet between homes.

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