FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County Board of Commissioners met via teleconference April 2 and voted to extend a moratorium on permits for certain residential developments.

The meeting, streamed online for real time viewing at www.forsyth.co, provided citizens an opportunity to call in with comments during public hearings

The main issue under consideration was extension of a moratorium on accepting land disturbance permits for multi-family and single-family attached developments on certain zoned properties.

Properties zoned Res4, single-family attached duplexes for age-restricted housing; Res6, single-family attached dwellings; and R3, townhouses and low-density apartments and condominiums, are affected by the moratorium.

Commissioners enacted the moratorium early this year while they consider modifications to the county’s Unified Development Code dealing with architectural requirements.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard explained the protocol for how the hearing would unfold. County Communications Director Karen Shields managed the queue of callers. However, some technical problems arose, and two callers who had requested to speak were unable to be heard.

The board voted unanimously to continue the permit freeze until September.

In other action at the meeting, commissioners acted to relax fees on late payments while the pandemic creates uncertainty for the local economy.

The board authorized the county tax commissioner to waive penalties on late submissions or payments of property taxes with deadlines after March 1, 2020. The stay remains in effect until Dec. 31.

Business owners were granted an additional waiver of late payments and fees for registration within the county until the Emergency Declaration expires.

“This provides a little bit of grace to our business community while they may be struggling financially and to avoid human-to-human contact,” Jarrard said. “Obviously we want businesses to pay their taxes if they can, but it does allow a little bit of relief if they need some time to get through this difficult period.”

In other action at the meeting, commissioners voted to approve the online opening of bids instead of in-person viewing.

Jarrard reminded commissioners that the Declaration of a State of Emergency for Forsyth County remains in place until April 17, 2020 unless County Commission Chairwoman Laura Semanson extends it.

The board will convene April 14 for a work session that can be viewed online.

Denise Ray is a Reporter with Appen Media Group and covers Forsyth county.

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