Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Legacy Update: Environmental Quality and Sustainability
The long term viability of Forsyth County will likely depend upon our ability to balance future growth with the preservation and enhancement of our natural environment. With an increased demand for water and land resources, it is important that when we address future growth that we consider the environmental impacts of such growth. This chapter will discuss what steps have already taken place to address environmental quality within Forsyth County and what issues and strategies are appropriate over the next twenty years to ensure fiscally responsible, sustainable growth.
As has been discussed in previous chapters, the predominant land use pattern in Forsyth County has been low-density, suburban, single-family residential development. Nonresidential development has followed the residential development to create a sprawling development pattern. This type of development requires significant land resources while placing a considerable strain on the county’s water quality, air quality, energy resources and wildlife habitat.
The time has come for our community to assess the environmental impacts of sprawling development, both current and future. With the projected 120,000 new people and 66,000 jobs expected over the next twenty years, we must carefully plan our new growth in a way that minimizes the impact on our natural resources.