Forsyth County New Central Library  

By Marco Andrade (posted 8/22/2012)

Planning Staff Siting and Design Analysis [pdf/11.2MB/51p]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. 


Past and Future Forsyth County Trends and Development Patterns
Quiz and Update

By Steve Smotherman (posted 8/16/2011)

The annual population growth rate of Forsyth County and its communities has remained fairly steady at 1.3 to 1.4 percent for the past 40 to 50 years. The county’s land absorption rate has increased at 1.5 times the rate of population growth, absorbing approximately 1,500 to 2,000 acres per year during a robust economy. Development patterns during this time frame have been low-density suburban in nature, with an average density of 2.2 persons per acre. Because Forsyth County is the smallest county in the Piedmont Triad Region with only 62,000 acres of serviceable land left undeveloped, continued growth at recent suburban densities could mean the Forsyth County could reach its build-out land capacity in 30 to 40 years. How Forsyth County chooses to develop in the next 30 to 40 years will impact its population capacity and the costs of maintaining development infrastructure by future residents. Developing “gentle ways” of increasing density in the future will help future maintenance costs to be shared by more residents.

Please view the accompanying Powerpoint Presentation [pdf/1.37kb/57p] given to the Winston-Salem Regional Association of Realtors in August, 2011 to learn more about these past trends and their future implications.

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/1,356kb/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).

Kids in Planning Program

By Robin Bass (updated 11/14/2011)

What is the Kids in Planning Program (KIPP)?

The Kids in Planning Program allows students to have a voice in their community. The program was created by the City-County Planning Department to help students understand the planning process and how a community is developed. KIPP allows students to learn how citizens, planners, businesses, community leaders, and others can work together to obtain a vision of their community and what it will look like in the future. The KIPP program will use the Legacy 2030 plan as a guide to teach students about planning in their area.

KIPP Brochure [pdf/519kb/2p]

Students have a Vision for Their Community...

What is the Vision for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County from the perspective of our youth?
What is important to the next Generation? Click on the links below to see what students in the area think about how their community should grow and develop by the year 2030.

Ms. Leonard's 4th Grade Class
Rural Hall Elementary School Kids in Planning Project - 2/18/2011

Bolton Elementary School Kids in Planning Project - 2/26/2010

KIPP Career/College Fair Days

Paisley IB Magnet School - Fall 2011 [pdf/3.58mb/14p]

Paisley IB Magnet School - Spring 2011 [pdf/294kb/2p]

Meadowlark Middle School - Spring 2011 [pdf/3.33mb/18p]

KIPP Activities for Teachers/Students/Classrooms

Build Your Town- Models

Our Town model

Its My Community

It's My Community Map

Other Sites

For additional information on how your class can participate in the Kids in Planning Program please contact Margaret Bessette at:

City-County Planning Department
100 E. First Street
P.O. Box 2511
Winston-Salem, NC
Phone: (336)747-7046
Fax: (336)748-3163

revised 12/13/2012

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