Subject 110-12-6 STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FOR REGIONAL PLANNING "REGIONAL PLANNING REQUIREMENTS"
These rules become effective October 1, 2017. The purpose of the regional planning requirements is to provide a framework for preparation of regional plans that will:
* involve all segments of the region in developing a vision for the future of the region, ensuring the plan is representative of the entire region;
* generate pride and enthusiasm about the future of the region;
* identify priority needs and opportunities affecting the region and customize technical assistance efforts to promote impactful change related to those needs and opportunities;
* engage the interest of regional policy makers and stakeholders in implementing the plan; and
* provide a guide to everyday decision-making for use by government officials and other regional leaders.
To this end, the planning requirements emphasize involvement of stakeholders and the general public in preparation of plans that include an impactful, well-conceived, and achievable vision for the future of the region. When implemented, the resulting plan will help the region address critical issues and opportunities while moving toward realization of its unique vision for the region's future.
The planning requirements also provide a framework to Regional Commissions for advancing the state's planning goals of:
* a growing and balanced economy;
* protection of environmental, natural and cultural resources;
* provision of infrastructure and services to support efficient growth and development patterns;
* access to adequate and affordable housing for all residents;
* coordination of land use planning and transportation planning to support sustainable economic development, protection of natural and cultural resources and provision of adequate and affordable housing; and
* coordination of local planning efforts with other local service providers and authorities, neighboring communities and state and regional plans.
The state goals are further elaborated in the Department's Quality Community Objectives (section 110-12-6-.04(3)), which provide a starting point for communities to assess compatibility of their existing development patterns and policies with these planning goals. The Quality Community Objectives may also be employed to evaluate the region's vision for the future for consistency with state planning goals.
O.C.G.A. 50-8-1, et seq gives the Department authority to establish standards and procedures for appropriate and timely regional planning by all Regional Commissions in Georgia. Those standards and procedures are embodied in these regional planning requirements. In order to remain eligible for state funding programs, each Regional Commission must prepare, adopt, maintain, and implement a regional plan that meets these planning requirements. The Department may, from time to time, adopt and promulgate revisions of these requirements.
|(1)||Required Plan Elements. At a
minimum, a regional plan must include the required plan components specified in
the table below. Each Regional Commission is encouraged to go beyond the
minimum required and supplement its regional plan with other plan elements to
make the overall plan a good fit for the region.
|(2)||Consideration of Regional and Statewide Plans. During the process of preparing its regional plan, each Regional Commission must review other plans for consistency. The Regional Commission must certify as part of the required cover letter (see section 110-12-06(6)) that it has considered, at a minimum, the following plans when it transmits the regional plan to the Department for review: Georgia's Strategic Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, Regional Water Plan, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Plan (as applicable), and adjacent regional commission regional plans.|
|(3)||Review of the Regional Plan. Upon completion, the regional plan must be transmitted to the Department for review. The Department will review the plan and respond to the Regional Commission with findings and recommendations. Once approved by the Department as being in compliance with the Minimum Standards and Procedures, the Regional Commission may adopt the plan. Specific details for this review process are covered in section 110-12-6-.06.|
|(4)||Alternative Regional Planning Requirements. Each Regional Commission may establish alternative Regional Planning requirements from those adopted by the Department. The alternative requirements must be approved by a majority of the Regional Commission's Council, and subsequently approved by the Department.|
|(5)||Additional Local Planning Requirements. A Regional Commission may require that local government comprehensive plans within its region address additional planning requirements along with those prescribed by the Department. Before imposing such additional requirements, the Regional Commission must incorporate these additional requirements in the Regional Plan as a supplement to the Implementation Program, get input from all local governments in the region, have its Council approve the additional planning requirements and finally obtain the Department's approval.|
This chapter provides guidance for completing each element of the regional plan. Each Regional Commission is encouraged to add additional elements to their regional plan to address specific regional needs as needed.
Summary. This element provides a brief overview of the planning
document, summarizing the essential parts. At a minimum it must include the
* Stakeholder involvement summary;
* Regional goal summary;
* Highlight regional commission priority needs and opportunities; and
* Highlight key strategies and specific actions to be pursued.
Goals. The purpose of the Regional Goals element is to lay out a road
map for the region's future, developed through a participatory process
involving regional leaders, key stakeholders, and the general public (following
the process as defined in section 110-12-6-.03 (5)(c)). The Regional Goals are
the most important part of the plan, for it includes the region's vision for
the future, and are intended to generate pride and enthusiasm about the future
of the region, thereby making stakeholders want to ensure that the plan is
implemented. The Regional Goals must include the four required components
|(3)||Regional Needs and
Opportunities. This element identifies regional needs and opportunities.
This is the regionally agreed upon list of Needs and Opportunities the region
intends to address. The list must be developed by involving regional
stakeholders and by using resources (a-d) below. The agreed upon list must also
denote each of the needs and opportunities identified as a Regional Commission
priority for the five year planning period. Each priority need and opportunity
must be followed-up with corresponding implementation measures in the Regional
Work Program. (A list of typical needs and opportunities listed in the
Supplemental Planning Recommendations may be referred to for suggestions.) In
order to ensure a concise and readable regional plan, (a-c) below should be
included as an addendum in the plan (see section 110-12-6-.03(5)).
|(4)||Implementation Program. This
element is the overall strategy for achieving the Regional Vision and for
addressing the Regional Commission priority Needs and Opportunities. This
includes any specific activities to implement the plan during the next five
years. The Implementation Program must include the following two components:
|(5)||Appendices. The following elements must be included as appendices
to ensure a concise, user-friendly document usable for day-to-day
decision-making by regional leaders as they work toward achieving the desired
future of the region.
|(1)||General. The Department has established statewide goals and a number of Quality Community Objectives that further elaborate the state goals, based on growth and development issues identified in local and regional plans, throughout the state. These goals and objectives are intended to provide guidance, or targets for Regional Commissions to achieve, in developing and implementing their regional plan. This section is provided as a reference for Regional Commissions as they evaluate policies, activities, and development patterns in the region for consistency with these goals and objectives pursuant to section 110-12-6-.03(3)(b).|
|(2)||Statewide Planning Goals.
|(3)||Quality Community Objectives.
|(1)||Data and Information. The
following data and information items are to be used for the Analysis of Data
and Information required for the Regional Plan as described in section
110-12-6-.03(3). The Regional Commission must employ a 20-year planning time
frame when evaluating these data and information items, include the data and
information as necessary to support the plan, and should focus on regional
rather than local resources and facilities where applicable.
|(2)||Mapping Requirements. The
Regional Development and Areas Requiring Special Attention maps must be
submitted to the Department in a GIS digital vector data format once the
regional plan is approved by the Department. Other geographical information
system maps that are used to produce the required maps in the regional plan
must be submitted to the Department simultaneously with the regional plan. To
facilitate the preparation of these and other maps that may be included in the
plan, the Department makes available for download on its website most of the
necessary base maps, including boundaries, community facilities,
transportation, hydrography, protected natural resources, etc. It is
recommended that plan preparers use these maps, but if other maps are used,
they must meet the following requirements:
|(1)||Preparation, Transmittal and Review of the Regional Plan. Upon
completion, the Regional Commission must submit its Regional Plan to the
Department for review. The Regional Plan must be adopted prior to the deadline
specified in the Schedule for Regional Planning maintained by the Department.
|(2)||Maintaining the Regional
Plan. Regional Commissions are responsible for maintaining their
regional plans to accurately reflect current regional conditions and the
region's vision and priorities for the future. Maintenance of the plan includes
plan amendments and regular updates of the plan.
|(1)||General. For the purpose of these rules, the following words shall have the meaning as contained herein unless the context does not permit such meaning. Terms not defined in these rules but defined in O.C.G.A. 50-8-1, et seq, shall have the meanings contained therein. Terms not defined in these rules, nor in O.C.G.A. 50-8-1, et seq, shall have ascribed to them the ordinary accepted meanings such as the context may imply. For the purpose of these rules, the terms "shall" and "must" have the same meaning, are mandatory in nature, and are indicative of a requirement.|
|(2)||Definitions. The following terms and definitions shall be used to
guide the development and implementation of the regional plan.