Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Legacy Update: Land Use

Land use patterns are one of the most crucial aspects of how a community functions and grows. The Legacy Update Land Use chapter will provide an analysis of the existing land use patterns in Forsyth County along with land use recommendations to guide growth over the next twenty years. By examining current land use we can determine which patterns have worked well and which patterns must change in order to facilitate sound, sustainable growth in the future. This chapter should ultimately be used as a tool in developing Area Plans, evaluating zoning cases and planning future capital investments.

The predominant land use pattern in Forsyth County over the past several decades has been low-density, suburban, single-family residential development constructed at one to four dwelling units per acre. This style of residential development has been prevalent throughout Growth Management Areas (GMAs) 3 (Suburban Neighborhoods Area), 4 (Future Growth Area), and in some cases, 5 (Rural Area). Nonresidential development including industrial sites, commercial sites and institutions also have become very low density in nature through the development of large, one-story buildings and extensive parking lots.

In order to accommodate 120,000 new people and 66,000 jobs over the next twenty years, a paradigm shift away from a reliance on low-density suburban sprawl must occur.

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