Coastal Georgia Comprehensive Plan
In the last several years, the coastal region of Georgia has experienced intense growth patterns, which have also been exhibited in neighboring states. These trends are expected to continue, and the pressure faced by local governments and jurisdictions to provide the supporting infrastructure for this growth is overwhelming. In addition, the coastal region is home to some of the most sensitive natural, cultural, and historical resources in the state.
In 2005, the Governor’s Office issued an executive order requiring the development of a comprehensive plan to handle existing and future growth in the coastal region. This plan includes the identification of issues and opportunities facing the region, as well as sensitive resources found in the region and the development of a viable agenda, or strategies to manage this growth while maintaining the special character of the area. The plan focuses on transportation systems, other infrastructure facilities, support services, and the protection of the region’s valuable resources.
A steering committee with members spanning a range of stakeholder perspectives was appointed to oversee and guide the planning process. The planning process also included an intensive public involvement effort. Three rounds of public meetings held throughout the region provided an opportunity for input and comment by the general public.
RS&H was part of the consultant team that worked directly with the steering committee to develop future growth scenarios and formulates strategies for dealing with future development within the region. The team also reviewed the land development codes and ordinances of the six counties and 22 municipalities within the region to determine their relationship to quality growth principles, including conservation of open space, resource protection, transportation connectivity, and the provision of alternative modes. Minimum standards were developed to ensure that the regional plan is actually implemented. Exceeding these standards will open doors for additional grant money for the local governments.