County gives OK to plan for south suburban area
Published: March 15, 2011
Land in one of Forsyth County's fastest-growing areas is now fully covered by a plan to guide development.
The county Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the South Suburban Area Plan on Monday night, avoiding the contention that had marked the plan's adoption by the Winston-Salem City Council in January. Winston-Salem approved the plan on a 5-3 vote after several contentious meetings that pitted residents of the area against one another.
January's controversy centered on future development of an area between the Wal-Mart on Peters Creek Parkway and Clemmonsville Road. Because that area is in Winston-Salem's jurisdiction, it lies outside the area that Forsyth will control through future zoning decisions.
Three people spoke during the county's public hearing Monday night, all in favor of the plan.
"This area plan represents the best interests of the residents of the city and the county," said Carolyn Highsmith, a member of the citizens group that worked on the plan.
The area included in both the city and county portions of the plan has about 33,000 people, according to the 2010 census. The total is an increase of almost 40 percent from the 2000 population of 24,000.
In January's hearing before the Winston-Salem council, landowners along the east side of Peters Creek Parkway near Sides Road argued for more commercial development, while residents of the Kingstree subdivision nearby said they needed protection from too much.
The approved plan calls for the disputed area to be developed with office and other uses that will provide a transition between heavily commercial development and residential.
Paul Norby, director of the City-County Planning Board, said Monday that most of the area in the county's jurisdiction is reserved for low-density development, although some areas are set aside for industry.
He said the entire South Suburban planning area has grown because of available land and the presence of water and sewer services.
"You had access to jobs and a recently widened Peters Creek Parkway," Norby said. "All those things were in its favor."