The City-County Planning Board was established by a special act of the North Carolina General Assembly in 1948 to provide consolidated planning services to the City of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. As such, it is the oldest consolidated city-county agency in North Carolina.
Who is on the Planning Board?
Nine citizens are appointed jointly by the City of Winston-Salem City Council and the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners to become members of the City-County Planning Board [pdf/88.2kb/1p]. Serving this board is a 22-person staff with expertise in land use planning, transportation planning, economic development, historic preservation, environmental preservation, and other issues affecting the growth of our community.
City-County Planning Board Members, December 2015
What the Planning Board Does
The special enabling act creating the City-County Planning and Development Services Department states that the function of the Planning Board shall be to make and adopt a general plan or plans for the physical development of the entire area of the City of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. The act also authorizes the Planning board to prepare and adopt regulations for the subdivision of land and "to make such other requirements which in the opinion of the Planning Board may be appropriate and reasonable to carry out the purposes of the general plan or plans for the physical development of the City of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County ...." consistent with other State and local laws.
In keeping with this charge, the Planning Board acts as an advisory board to the elected bodies with regard to: 1) preparation and adoption of the comprehensive plan and other plans (such as small area plans, natural resource protection plans, transportation plans, etc.), and 2) implementation of those plans by various mechanisms, especially preparation and application of the Zoning Ordinance. The Planning Board's role with regard to zoning issues is to conduct public hearings on proposed changes to the Official Zoning Map (i.e., rezoning requests) and proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance (i.e., text amendments). In addition to these advisory functions, the Planning Board acts as a final decision-making board in regard to subdivision of land and certification of areas as blighted for redevelopment projects.
City-County Planning Board public hearings are now televised on WSTV Digital Media. Check the WSTV schedule for broadcast times. Planning Board meeting agendas and minutes are also available online.
What the Planning Staff Does
In short, staff help the Board do what it is required to accomplish under State law. Staff provide the data, information, and professional recommendations regarding land use issues and other planning policy questions to the Planning Board and elected boards to help them make informed recommendations and decisions. Staff accomplish this work through four multidisciplinary teams: Community Character; Comprehensive Planning & Design; Land Use Administration; and GIS/Mapping.