Forsyth approves everything

If you’re looking for a late Christmas gift idea for your Forsyth County commissioner, I have the perfect gift.

RubberStampApproveThe rubber stamp got used a lot in 2013. Forsyth’s Board of Commissioners approved every residential zoning application that came before them in the busy year. There were twenty-two in total and every single one was approved.

To put that into comparison, Alpharetta’s City Council rejected two of eleven residential zonings that came before them. I didn’t thoroughly check Milton’s voting record but I know of at least one they turned down in 2013 (the Deerfield apartments).

Forsyth’s dubious distinction comes during a year when the floodgates were opened in the housing market. Developers are pouring in, wanting to build homes on very small lots. Yet the county’s network of two-land country roads and overcrowded schools are ill-equipped to handle the onslaught. Grassroots organizations are springing into action to push back, but at this point have been largely ineffective.

It begs the question – is there a zoning application Forsyth County wouldn’t approve? What does it look like? Where are the limits with these commissioners? Violating the county’s land use plan doesn’t seem to phase them. The unified development code? Most zonings are granted variances to skirt rules on setback distances. Cram ‘em in!

Apartments have been fine with these guys. And putting townhomes on country roads next to estate homes will pass unanimously.

So we’ll watch 2014 to see if anything changes with these guys. A few are up for re-election, unfortunately south Forsyth’s Brian Tam isn’t among them. It doubtful he will find the “nay” button on his voting machine anytime soon.

2 Responses to “Forsyth approves everything”

  1. Follow the Money January 2, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    Is this really a surprise? You have one commissioner who is a member of the largest land-owning family in the county. Another one who will do anything that family wants. In the last election they got their very own real estate agent. An agent who specializes in large tracts of land for development. She’s also business partners with the the other commissioners family matriarch.

    One of the commissioners first job was with the zoning attorney that all the developers use. And one commissioner’s kid works in that attorney’s office. And just for fun the Mayor’s girlfriend works in that office too.

    All these folks are related to each other through family, business or history and they are all playing from the same playbook. These folks don’t care what the homeowners want. They think this county is theirs and they feel free to do whatever they want. And they’re right.

  2. tony martinez January 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    The ‘good ole boy’ network is alive and prospering in Forsyth county. Are there no viable candidates out there who put the county’s growth and economic prospects ahead of the ways things have been done in the past? Developers have politicians in their back pockets as witnessed by lot size reductions. I for one will not vote for anyone who has ‘incumbent’next to his name on the next ballot.

    PS. don’t let the name throw you. Graduated Texas A&M, Korean War Veteran and retired Coca-Cola executive.

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