It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear friend and fellow SGFC Board member Jack Gleason.  As the Environmental Compliance Officer, Jack worked tirelessly to ensure that the waterways in our county were not compromised.  Jack’s funeral was held Saturday, October 3rd..  The family has asked in lieu of flowers that you consider a donation to SmarthGrowth-Forsyth.  You can donate online by clicking the donate button on the menu bar above, or by sending a check to 3330 Amhurst Court, Cumming, GA 30041.  Thank you and we hope to see you Saturday.

As part of our 501c3 application, SGFC has had to make some changes to our by-laws.  One of these changes impacts how we determine membership in SGFC.  To be a voting member of SGFC, you must be a member in good standing, with membership dues paid in full.  A 12-month membership is $25 and lifetime membership is $250.  All meetings will continue to be open to the public and any attendee may bring an issue before the membership and the Board.  However, only members in good standing will be allowed to vote on issues.

We invite you to become an SGFC member in good standing!  Please send your membership dues to:

Smart Growth Forsyth County, Inc.
6055 Benton Place
Cumming, GA 30040

...or make a $25 to $250 donation via the donate button above.

Thanks and Keep On Believin’!

  • A county pro-active in planning and implementing long term, sustainable growth, that is responsive and accountable to its citizens.
  • A county that views each proposed development in the context of the county master plan/overlay and its impact to the county as a whole.
  • A county that balances the protection of the environment, community green-space, public health, welfare and safety with residential and commercial development.
  • A county that ensures that infrastructure is developed and in place prior to planned residential and commercial development.


Bob Slaughter, Managing Director and Founder

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Our family originally moved to Forsyth County in 2001 on the cusp of my deployment to Saudi Arabia with the US Army.  We bought a home in District 2, in the Bridle Ridge subdivision, and lived there until the spring of 2005, when we moved a short distance away to a home in the St. Marlo subdivision.  In the fall of 2010, I moved to a new home in District 5,  near the Dave's Creek Trail subdivision.

My initial involvement in community planning and smart growth began in the spring of 2004.   I had learned about plans for a big box development across the street from the Bridle Ridge subdivision and adjacent to the neighborhoods of Hunters Run and Laurel Springs.  This served as a wake up call to everyone in my family to the larger issue of uncontrolled, unplanned growth in our county, which has been, and remains, an unnecessary and destructive force that threatens the very things that brought us here to live in the first place.  Out of that experience grew my concept for Smart Growth Forsyth County, Inc., a non-profit, non-political, volunteer-run organization dedicated to serving the residents of Forsyth County in the pursuit of ensuring the highest and most sustainable growth and quality of life for our families.

My commitment to the SGFC organization and its effort stems from a deeply held belief that the growth process should, and can be, carefully managed.  This will allow balance between the equally important, but often competing needs of development and quality of life. Smart Growth Forsyth County is dedicated to achieving this end. I am honored to have been fortunate enough to bring SGFC to life, to lead it, and to continue to serve in various capacities within the organization.

Claudia Castro, Deputy Director

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Living in the southernmost part of Forsyth County on Brookwood Road for the past 9 years has afforded my family tremendous opportunities - proximity to great shopping, wonderful medical facilities, culturally diverse restaurants and, of course, excellent Forsyth County Schools.
When signs started appearing on Brookwood Road regarding the County's plan to widen this bucolic 8/10 of a mile stretch of road into a 4 lane highway with a 20 foot median down the center, I quickly began working with neighboring subdivisions to try to find an alternate solution, if not to stop the widening altogether.  With the help of a very "young" Smart Growth, we were able to slow down the timetable for the project and offer up a compromise - a 3 lane road (center turn lane down the entire length).  To date, the road has not been widened and major intersection improvements due the widening of State Route 141 and McGinnis Ferry Road are anxiously being awaited.  Saving the look and feel of the area and the neighborhoods and amenities that abut this well-traveled road is something I'm proud to have been a part of.
Neighbors working together with neighbors:  North, South, East and West - that's what Smart Growth is about.  We're not perfect and we don't have all the answers, but we are driven by a desire to see Forsyth County grow in a manner befitting all its residents.  Forsyth County - a great place to live, work and play - now that's SMART!


Les Dobbins, Secretary


Dee Roodehchi, Treasurer


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Jack Gleason, Environmental Compliance Officer


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Raised on Grits 'n Fried Chicken in Northern California the late '60's thru Y2K, I embrace the concepts of "Balanced-Growth" over the "eco-propaganda" some imagine influence me...that's why I joined SmartGrowth-Forsyth.org in 2008. 

No less irritatingly-inquisitive today, as a child I questioned the prudence of dumping oil on the ground or in a stormdrain, and I once got into a fist-fight with My best-friend over his thoughtless discard of a gum-wrapper.  I've seen the San Francisco Bay dank-brown for poor stormwater management, its Delta salinated due inter-basin transfer of Sierra Snow-melt to an insatiable thurst, and Air-fouled "SMOG" due excessive dependance of automotive transportation. I saw the headwaters of Redwood Creek foul the ecology of Staulsaft Park as that "Unit Four" open-space upstream built-out with Condos...for gone were the snails and "Darters" we'd catch to feed Pet Turtles...then the Park closed.

So I grew up, married lucky, and moved to Sonoma County, Northern California -- where their "Water Wars" only raged-on too -- trying to raise a family in a sound environment.  Poor water quality, habitat destruction, and social issues evolved there when demand for "Growth and Development" combined Politics and poor planning, and the results short-sightedly put My Well and Property in a polluted flood-plain...with no liability to Government OR Business' causing its toxicity came the "hows and whys" of "Aquifers and Streams" and this epiphany:

The rampant urbanization of the S.F. Bay Area driving Us North only continued elsewhere throughout all of California, and Its demands placed upon People for "more Government" -- in terms of both size and services -- was only decimating that "Great State of..." to a degree We could no longer tolerate or overcome. In Our determination to procure only the best quality of life for our family we relocated to the rural charm and beauty of Forsyth County, GA. in June 2002.

But now it's fast becomming "Was..." for the demand placed upon its resources today, and due what some feel is entitled of their interpretations of the Fifth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Constitutional Amendments infering "We WILL develop Our property in whatever way WE seem fit!", the malaise only pervades for what negative-impacts others come to endure.  I now believe that's a flawed interpretation for My life-experience, so I embraced "Be the change You want to see!" and started "Friends of Caney Creek.org", and work today with "Keep Forsyth County Beatiful" Adopt-A-Stream/Adopt-A-Road and SmartGrowth.org.


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On March 18, 2017, SGFC changed its mission statement:

Smart Growth Forsyth County pursues responsible, well planned and balanced growth  by addressing relevant county-wide issues and by providing citizens a recurring, reliable and supportive forum in which to bring their concerns.

Smart Growth Forsyth County is a volunteer-only based organization made up of a group of citizens just like you.  We are citizens concerned with preserving the quality of life we’ve enjoyed by living in this area.  Most of the members of Smart Growth Forsyth came to their first meeting because of  the yellow Public Notice sign.

They see a sign go up near their homes, and realize the property that had been zoned agricultural or otherwise may be re-zoned to something less desirable.

We welcome any county citizen who is looking for support and guidance when they are concerned about re-zoning and conservation issues.  The Smart Growth volunteers offer our experience and advice to help citizens navigate the red tape and politics that surround zoning issues.

Because Forsyth County has the dubious honor of being one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, often the growth we’ve seen has not made much sense.  The result is the disintegration of the aesthetics of the county at an accelerated rate.  Smart Growth believes when done well, development can help create more economic opportunities, build great places where people want to live and visit, preserve the qualities people love about their communities, and protect environmental resources.  By planning intelligent growth, the result will be a community that retains its economic vitality and beauty for years to come.

Smart Growth encourages our County Employees and Leaders to create and enforce a road map for smart development.  That includes allowing re-zonings only when the requested change is a proper fit for the community that will be living with it.  Questions regarding infrastructure support, buffering, aesthetics, property values, etc. are some that should be answered in a positive way before re-zonings are granted.

Current Issues

Tree Ordinance Public Hearing 10/3/2019

Contact your Commissioner!

The second Public Hearing on the Tree Ordinance will be held 10/3/2019.  Click here to read the SGFC letter to the Board of Commissioners. 

Click here to read the proposed ordinance.

SGFC   has been concentrating its efforts this year on the County's endeavor to change the Tree Ordinance, Mass Grading, and Stormwater Ordinances. 


It's Action Time!


Urge your representatives to adopt the simple, 4-STEP PLAN that focuses on saving more trees and saving our best trees to ensure the protection of our quality of life.

Forsyth County is revising the Tree, Mass Grading and Stormwater Management Ordinances so the time is now to tell our elected officials that we want ordinances that put protection of our environment and quality of life before development! Read more...

Other Community Groups

More Current Issues

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    Next Meeting:

     Our next regular monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 8th,  from 7:15-9:15. Read more...

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