Forsyth HOA & Homeowners was established in the Fall of 2013 over the concern of a high density zoning slated to go in across the street from the most overcrowded high school in Forsyth County. Since that time, our group has grown from eight people to thousands of members all over the county who share the same concerns.
As we see the roads become more congested, and the schools become more overcrowded, we are growing concerned about the future of our beautiful Forsyth. Last year we sat by in shock as we saw our Board of Commissioners zone nearly two thousand homes, despite the fact that we filled up two new high schools during a recession and our roads are years, and even decades behind in funding.
It was during that time that we did some digging, and realized our Board of Commissioners had done some things to encourage accelerated high density growth, without considering the burden it would put on on the Forsyth Families. We discovered they had voted to reduce the RES3 lot size by 45%, and also voted to allow side yard setbacks between homes to be reduced by three feet. They also were voting "yes" for variance requests by builders to put homes an additional five feet closer together. The net result? Many more homes per square mile than ever before. But to make matters worse... the developers and the new home buyers were not responsible for paying for the impact of these new homes. The existing homeowners are.
What do we mean when we say that existing homeowners are paying for the impact? After researching developer impact fees from other counties in metro Atlanta, we discovered Forsyth falls well behind many other counties. That means impact fees for things like road funding are not sufficient to cover the impact of each new home. So the solution? Our Commissioners have decided that the county roads will be paid for via Special Local Option Sales Taxes and bonds (check out your property tax bill.) And the biggest shock of all was our discovery that there is a ZERO impact fee collected for schools! We found out that the collection of impact fees for schools requires a change in the state constitution, as we have put our faith in Representative Michael Dudgeon and State Senator Michael Williams to pave the way.
There is NOTHING wrong with thoughtful and well-planned growth. Just because a developer asks for higher density, doesn't mean they are entitled to it. Commissioners can say no, and that is what we expect.