What is Public Engagement?

Public engagement gives the public an opportunity to have their voices heard when land use changes are proposed in the county. It is a required and integral part of the zoning process.

Through use of notifications and public meetings, we strive to keep citizens informed of pending applications and upcoming public meetings and hearings.

Types of Applications

Rezoning: A request to change land use from one zoning district to another.

Conditional Use: A request for a land use that is not allowed by right within the current zoning district and requires approval through the public hearing process.

Home Occupational Permit: A request to allow a business to operate from a residence that requires approval through the public hearing process.

The Process

Most applications begin the public engagement process one month after initial submittal.

The following items are required to be submitted at the time of application:

  • Application form
  • Concept plan
  • Public participation plan
  • Other documentation as indicated in the Forsyth County Unified Development Code

Applicants have 180 days to complete their application proposal. Upon completion, applications will move to a public hearing.

Meetings and Hearings

Public Participation Meeting
The applicant is required to hold a meeting locally to allow adjacent property owners to learn about the proposal, ask questions and have their concerns documented. Staff neither conducts nor appears at this meeting, but the applicant is required to submit a report on what occurred during the meeting.

Planning Commission Public Hearing
Open to the public. This meeting is to address pending applications via the public hearing process. The Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners for approval or denial. Public hearings are required by state law.

Link to Planning Commission information

Board of Commissioners Meeting
Open to the public. The only opportunity for public comment for rezonings, conditional use permits, and home occupational permits is afforded at the beginning as well as mid-way during the meeting when the public may address any county-related issue at those times. Ten speakers are allowed to address the board for up to three minutes for each speaking period. The commissioners are at liberty to make a final decision on each application on the agenda during the meeting.

Link to Board of Commissioners information

Public Signage

Signs advertising public meetings are posted along each public street bordering the subject property. The following information can be found on each sign:

Public Participation
  • Application number
  • Applicant contact information
  • Description of the application proposal
  • Date, time & location of the public participation meeting

Public Participation Meeting signs are posted a minimum of 10 days prior to the meeting.

Mailed Notification: Letters notifying surrounding neighbors and homeowner associations located within 500 ft. of the subject property are required to be mailed by the applicant prior to the public participation meeting. Planning staff provides the list of individuals and subdivisions to be contacted.

Public Hearing
  • Application number
  • Description of the application proposal
  • Date, time & location of the public participation meeting

Public Hearing signs are posted a minimum of 21 days prior to the hearing.

Legal Advertisement

Public hearings are advertised with the Forsyth County News at least 15 days prior to the hearing.

How to Get Involved

  • Attend meetings
  • Speak at planning commission public hearings
  • Contact your elected and appointed officials

Link to meetings

Be Informed

eStatus: Application documentation may be accessed online via our e-Status web portal: estatus.forsythco.com

County Website: Agendas for public hearings are posted on the county’s website approximately two weeks prior to the meeting. www.forsythco.com/meetings

Contact Your Officials

Contact Us

 Address: 110 East Main Street
Suite 100
Cumming, GA 30040
 Phone: 770-781-2115
 Email: Contact Us

Our Mission

Our department's mission is to develop partnerships with all members of the community in an effort to provide valuable planning and development services that promote quality development and help create communities that will be enjoyed for generations to come.