Public Art - Planning and Opportunities for the City of Arts and Innovation
By Kelly Bennett (posted 6/27/2014)
Public art on the scale expected from a city of arts and innovation doesn't just happen. It takes vision, partnerships, and organization. Many cities accomplish this through a public art commission and master plan. This may be the next logical step for Winston-Salem as well. The chief benefit of a public art master plan would be that it can find and create opportunities for public art, partnering artists, ideas, and places into a more beautiful, thoughtful, and innovative public realm. In a city with so many artists, arts organizations, and universities, there are many opportunities for public art that are being missed. "Public Art - Planning and Opportunities for the City of Arts and Innovation" [pdf/6mb/30p] examines the state of public art in Winston-Salem, how it's handled by other cities, and examples from around the world that show public art's potential. It is meant as a conversation starter and a way to view what the future of public art can look like here.
New Regulations for Transmission Towers
By Kirk Ericson (posted 6/18/2014)
The City of Winston-Salem recently adopted new regulations for transmission towers (cell towers). These regulations require proposed cell towers in residential areas be reviewed through the City Council special use permit process, which includes a public hearing with sworn testimony. The City Attorney's office created a slideshow [pdf/2.1mb/25p] that gives more detail about this public hearing process for interested citizens and applicants. It includes information on who has standing to speak on a cell tower request and what discussion topics are permitted testimony. A two-page handout [pdf/500kb/2p] that summarizes tower regulations and the tower review process in Winston-Salem is also available.
Forsyth County New Central Library
By Marco Andrade (posted 8/22/2012)
Planning staff assisted county officials in gathering input on the new library and its features. Staff facilitated a number of public meetings to find out what citizens want to see in the new Central Library. Many ideas were presented about location and design, technology, community gathering places, and type of activities and services to be offered. One of the main questions is whether to renovate the existing building or build a new one, and, if putting up a new building, where should it be placed? In trying to answer that question, county officials requested a comparison study between two county-owned sites, the current Central Library and the Sheriff's Office sites.
Please view the PowerPoint presentation, Planning Staff Siting and Design Analysis [pdf/11.2MB/51p], highlighting the pros and cons of each site. This analysis was presented to a number of groups, including the Forsyth County Library Board of Directors, Centenary Methodist Church Board of Directors, and the Community Appearance Commission.
Western Rural Study
By Kirk Ericson (posted 4/19/2011)
In response to concerns about the potential loss of rural character in the western rural area of Forsyth County, planning staff undertook a study of this area in the fall of 2010. The Legacy Growth Management Plan recognizes the rural character of this area, which is outside of municipal boundaries, west of the Muddy Creek Basin and not easily served by gravity sewer, by designating it GMA 5.
GIS filter mapping analysis was used to determine the future development potential of the western rural area. Land with development limitations such as steep slopes, poor soils, water features, and existing development was mapped and separated from the remaining developable land. Based on this analysis, only 26% of the area could be easily developed in the future.
Through collaboration with the staffs of the City-County Utilities Commission and the Forsyth County Health Department it was determined that the western rural area could not be efficiently served by gravity sewer, and private sewer would be necessary to support suburban development here.
The ultimate conclusion of the western rural analysis was that no additional regulations are needed beyond the existing Growth Management Plan to maintain the current rural character of the area. Please take a moment to look at Western Rural Study presentation [pdf/1.4mb/29p].
Finding Suitable Industrial Park Sites in Forsyth County
By Steve Smotherman (posted 5/22/2009)
Potential new Business/Industrial Park Sites of 100 acres or more are quickly becoming an endangered species in Forsyth County. Good Business/Industrial Park sites are necessary to be competitive with other communities for large Economic Development projects like the Dell manufacturing facility near Union Cross.
There are just 15 good sites identified presently in all of Forsyth County. Some previously identified sites have already been developed residentially and, without protection, more of these rare sites could be lost to suburban residential development.
Sites must be sifted through several factors before declaring it a prime Business/Industrial Park location including: proximity to interstate highways, adequate water supplies and sufficient wastewater treatment capacities, public regulations (e.g. zoning and watershed requirements), and the availability of the site to be purchased.
View the PowerPoint slide show [pdf/5.84mb/58p] prepared for Winston-Salem Business, Inc. indicating the advantages and limitations of Forsyth County in identifying and developing future Business/Industrial Parks (NOTE: This is a large file and may take time to load).