Current Issues

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 environ-ment and quality of life before development!

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

The Plan

  1. PLAN FOR TREES FIRST: Plan for trees at the beginning of the permitting process and give the Arbor-ist formal veto power. This is the only realistic way to save trees and greenspace on development sites.
  2. SAVE THE BEST TREES: A Tree Value Matrix has been developed to prioritize which trees are the highest value based on size, health, species and location. This method is easily incorporated into the existing survey process. A requirement to preserve “high” and “excellent” value trees, according to the matrix, would ensure our best trees are preserved.
  3. END MASS GRADING & REDUCE IMPERVIOUS SURFACE: Flatly deny mass grading in all but commer-cial and institutional projects and then minimize that grading and require multiple public hearings and a specific determination by the Department of Engineering. Consistently survey the impervious surface of the County, set appropriate thresholds and routinely monitor and report the state of impervious surface in the County. Determine and enforce a maximum sustainable forested footprint for different zoning categories. The result will not only reduce tree loss and impervious surface, it will decrease cri-sis-level stormwater problems/costs.
  4. EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT: Make penalties sufficient to serve as successful deterrents to code viola-tions on construction sites. Increase and empower the resources of Code Enforcement in terms of authorities, personnel, vehicles, equipment, etc. to establish them as an effective deterrent.

This plan needs your support! If you care about our dwindling suburban forest, your elected officials must hear from you! Email or write to your elected officials today!

  • Director, Forsyth County Planning Department: Tom Brown, 770-781-2115, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Deputy Director, Forsyth County Planning Department: Vanessa Bernstein-Goldman, 770-781-2115, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • District 1: Molly Cooper, 678-513-5881, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • District 2: Dennis T. Brown, 678-513-5882, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • District 3 Todd Levent, 678-513-5883, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • District 4: Cindy Jones Mill, 678-513-5884, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • District 5: Laura Semanson, 678-513-5885, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here for a sample letter.

For more information contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or better yet, come get involved at a Smart Growth meeting – every second Tuesday, 7-9:30 PM, United Way on 240 Elm St, Cumming.

Inspired by EcoAddendum.org and CityintheForest.org

Resources, etc.

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