FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — After three years, Forsyth County Planning Commission board member resigned his post earlier this month citing a lack of camaraderie with fellow board members.
Joe Moses said in an open letter announcing his departure from the planning board that, “I have so much distrust of the other members of this planning commission that I refuse to be affiliated with them any longer.”
Moses said he is proud of what he has accomplished while serving on the commission, but said he was disappointed that no one else wanted to change the county’s Unified Development Code.
Under his proposal, Moses wanted to instill a rezoning affidavit requiring corporations to name all individuals involved to reduce potential for conflicts of interest and increase transparency. Under the proposal, Moses called for rezoning applicants or property owners who are corporate entities to file an affidavit naming the corporate stockholders, officers and directors.
Under the current law, a person applying has to identify themselves, while a corporation doesn’t have to name individual members. The proposed affidavit would have changed that, but so far the initiative has been turned down.
The planning board rejected the initiative during a Nov. 19 work session (Moses was the only one in favor).
At a Forsyth County Board of Commission works session meeting Dec. 10, the commission denied the proposal by a vote of 2-3 with Commissioners Jim Boff and Todd Levent in favor and Commissioners Brian Tam, Cindy Jones Mills and Pete Amos opposed.
Commissioner Mills said she felt the change would open the county up for litigation.
Commissioner Tam said he would prefer to judge the project based on the merits of the development, rather than who’s behind the project.
Moses said his resignation will allow him to continue to work to change government from the outside.
He will now serve as special project advisor to Forsyth County Commissioner Jim Boff.
“He did a great job for the planning department and the county and after the holidays I’ll sort out who will replace him,” Boff said.
Two Planning Commission meetings rescheduled
Because the planning commission now has one vacant position and two other members will be out of town, a planning commission work session and regular meeting on Dec. 30 were canceled.
Tom Brown, the county’s planning and community development director said that depending on the submittal date, some applications will appear before the planning commission in January and others will move to the board of commission without a planning commission recommendation.