The Comprehensive Plan is your community’s blueprint for managing change. It outlines a vision for growth and development over the next twenty years and defines specific steps the City can take to achieve its goals. A Comprehensive Plan answers these three questions:
  • Where are we?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How will we get there?
These are the questions a comprehensive plan answers with its three major components: the planning context or existing conditions analysis; the community vision and goals; and the implementation plan.

The comprehensive plan combines quantitative data with your community’s vision for itself to guide physical, social, and economic change over the next 20-30 years. It facilitates a community consensus-building process about your collective future, provides the rational and legal basis for zoning and land subdivision decisions, and gives your community access to state funding for improvements.

Where are we?
The tool used to answer this question is the Community Needs and Opportunities analysis. The planning team will collect and analyze data and maps to understand land use, population, economic development conditions, housing, natural and cultural resources, community facilities, transportation facilities, intergovernmental coordination, and other areas that deserve special attention in a community. This research will allow your community to identify the issues that it needs to address and the opportunities on which it can capitalize.

Where do we want to be?
Through design workshops and public meetings, your community will develop a shared vision—the Community Goals report—and create character areas: focused areas of planning, each with special conditions, qualities, and needs. These character areas will define parts of the community to be enhanced or preserved, and they will guide your zoning and land subdivision policies in the future. The major tool that consolidates the community’s vision is the Future Development Map. Along with the character areas, it will show a greenspace master plan, transportation strategies, infrastructure boundaries and zones, physical development patterns, and strategic partnering opportunities for community programs.

How will we get there?
The final piece of the comprehensive plan, the Community Work Program, outlines steps and strategies for achieving your community’s goals and implementing its plans. The work plan will include a short term work plan, identifying priority projects, potential collaborations, and funding strategies.


You can find the Georgia Department of Cultural Affairs’s requirements for local planning here.

The DCA also maintains a library of planning resources. It includes: