Livable Centers Initiative (LCI)

Updated 4/25/06: The LCI has been passed by the county. County planners are now moving to the implementation stages for their plans.

Issue: A study conducted by the Atlanta Regional Commission that may result in an "overlay" district in the area east of GA 400 in the area at McFarland, as well as approx 4 miles north of McFarland and 1 mile south. (see map below)

Description: County planners have already had several Public Hearings on the LCI study. If adopted, the LCI study area would result in coordinated controls and planned growth in the area. Changes would be made on the Future Land Use Map based on the recommendations, future zonings would more than likely stem from the resultant plans, and the area would conceivably adopt a "live, work, play" district for future growth.

Community Leads: Josh Sacca, Brett Bower, Peter Lorenz

Directly Affected Communities: All communities in the LCI study area and in the surrounding area.

Stakeholders: Forsyth County Planning & Development, Developers, Residents in the area.

Developer: N/A

County Contacts: Michelle Beesten, Forsyth Senior Long Range Planner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Latest Developments: Updated 4/10/2006 - The 3rd public hearing for LCI is schedule for 4/13/06 at the BOC regular meeting. 

1) **The county has resolved this community concern. The "Recommended Zoning Map" has been removed and only "Medium Density (1.5 to 2.5 homes/acre)" are documented in this section of the LCI study area.** Residential District in the Northern Half of LCI: The initial LCI maps, maps that were developed through community input, showed the northern region as being designated "Medium Density". This specifically referred to 1.5 to 2.5 homes/acre.


However, more recent maps have proposed "Recommend Zonings" of RES-4 in this same portion of the study area. Residents expressed confusion and dismay at the vast change in designations. They do not want for LCI to become a fast-track to high-res housing.

2) **SGFC is preparing a communication to the Forsyth Board of Education. It seems logical to SGFC that the county work in tandem with the school system to plan schools within the LCI study area.** Schools: Currently, there are no schools planned within the LCI study area. If many of the residential units are built as proposed, there would be more than 1,500 single-family units. SGFC believes that schools are a critical and important part of any livable center initiative. If not, it doesn't achieve the idea of creating a walkable community.

Although there are two schools proposed to be built along Majors Road near Hwy 9, these schools are anticipated to be at capacity when they open their doors for the first day of class. The anticipated student impact does NOT include the impact from LCI at this point.

3) **SGFC submitted a white paper to county officials and are hoping to meet witih them to discuss the route further. Ronald Reagan Parkway: From the maps currently proposed, there is a significant portion of Ronald Reagan Parkway that would be built within the Big Creek Basin. SGFC finds this entirely unacceptable. The parkway, currently in a conceptual phase, is proposed to wind through the basin and even run parallel to a proposed Big Creek Greenway in some areas.

Taken together, there would be four turns within the basin as it winds its way around developable areas. Since the Parkway is not funded through the county, someone else (ie, the development community) will be funding construction. It is the opinion of SGFC that this was done so that the parkway would have minimal impact to developable areas within the LCI study area. Hence, more land could be used for single-family units, activity centers, townhomes, etc.

SGFC continues to work with county officials in these areas to ensure that any LCI overlay district balances the varying range of community concerns in a sustainable way.