City of Sharon Springs?

Sharon Springs sign

A sign from Sharon Springs, NY

A potential new city in Forsyth County is one small step closer to reality. Several citizens have formed a group to explore the possibility of incorporating a city of Sharon Springs.

The group, called the Sharon Springs Alliance, cites a lack of representation from Forsyth leaders as their main impetus. A website will emerge this week with more details. Fundraising efforts will also begin followed by a required feasibility study.

The Sharon Springs area of Forsyth is generally the southeast portion of the county but the group will seek to incorporate a very large swath of south Forsyth.

Personally this blogger is still undecided on this issue although I tend to lean in favor of the idea. The decision to form a new city can be a complicated one with a lot of economic and political dynamics at play. If anything it will create some interesting conversation and dialogue, something I look forward to having. Here are some early thoughts that crossed my mind…

Back in October Forsyth County rather spitefully rejected Alpharetta’s overture to annex across the county line. An incorporation of Sharon Springs makes that decision look pretty silly. Alpharetta would take a substantially smaller bite than Sharon Springs. Additionally, the north Fulton city offered to sweeten the deal with cash targeted for road projects. Sharon Springs would be in no position to do likewise. If I were Pete Amos (Forsyth Commission chairman), I’d start working on rekindling that romance with Alpharetta.

I’ve heard other rumors that Johns Creek might also be interested in annexing across the county line in the vicinity of Peachtree Parkway. If they are indeed interested in this idea then they had better act soon.

What are your thoughts on new cities in Forsyth County? Should it come in the form of new incorporation or annexation from Fulton County?

8 Responses to “City of Sharon Springs?”

  1. Cool Papa Bell January 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Quick, somebody buy RootsInSharonSprings.com!

  2. Parker January 15, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

    When Milton and Johns Creek were formed, one of the main purposes was to preserve certain characteristics of these communities from perceived outside threats. By working for their individual self interest, small cities make themselves vulnerable to other problems. A consolidated Alpharetta, Milton, and Johns Creek would be the third or forth largest city in Georgia, with a diverse economic base of residential and commercial interests.

  3. Alpharetta Address FoCo taxes January 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    I hope Alpharetta makes the jump across county lines.

  4. @greg January 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    Forsyth County is unique with having only one City and that City being the County Seat. The 40 year tenure of the Cumming Major has centralized power in the hands of the City, which has 3% of the population of the County. As such, you have interesting deals happening in Forsyth, such as the first $100,000,000 of SPLOST funds going to build a Jail and Courthouse in downtown Cumming (pretty spot for a jail, eh?), while road projects have to wait for funding.

    Its an idea worth exploring, and the website is up: http://www.sharonspringsga.org

  5. JC January 16, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    @Parker can you expand? Make themselves vulnerable to what other problems?

  6. Parker January 16, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    When each of these small cities focuses internally, they are less able to hold off the larger cities. Despite its economic strength as a business center, Alpharetta is still subject to Atlanta politics.

    An example: Consider to coming fight over MARTA expansion up the 400 corridor. The N. Fulton/S. Forsyth region will end up paying for a MARTA expansion that is designed to benefit Atlanta. Once the fighting is over, the final project will be so weakened by political compromises that it will provide little benefit to the local who pay for it.

    As an alternative, what if MARTA had to deal with a city made up of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, and South Forsyth? A city just over 100 sq. miles with around 200,000 citizens.

    Consolidation means more efficient use of resources and increased political influence.

    Right now we are on the path to more regional conflict. Coming out of the recession, many Milton land owners are looking to cash in on the pend up demand for development. More development in Milton will lead to more traffic problems in Alpharetta.

    Are our elected leaders up to the challenges of more regional rivalries and conflicts?

  7. Mike T January 26, 2014 at 4:23 am #

    My take,

    It’s an interesting idea Lee. I mentioned earlier that the Forsyth Co. zoning is an absolute joke. From a Milton standpoint, I feel sorry for you guys, watching on the periphery of our borders. While I know we had differences in the past Alpharetta election cycle, I think we are on board with the idea of weakening your out of touch county commission. If there were to be an incorporation of Sharon Springs your area by default you would be in a “neutral zone.” I think you ‘area’ would probably make sense to be Alpharetta.

    In looking at the concept of an idea of “Sharon Springs”, or whatever you want to call it, an incorporation that’s going to take place centered around Sharon Rd and SR141. There is going to be an area around the Fulton County line that may be ‘tossed’ in a situation where they can decide what city they want to be in. Should be interesting,,.

  8. lynn February 4, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    Downtown Cumming looks great now and still improving. Forsyth is known for low taxes. If Sharon Springs -named after an unsightly park – is created, west forsyth will capitalize for having more affordable homes and low taxes. Volunteer services or starting off in debt for service has been an issue for Milton. So not so great.

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