Great places don’t happen by accident. Local governments must plan carefully and work with
residents to identify a vision for their community and develop a framework to guide future
The Georgia Planning Act requires that cities and counties maintain comprehensive plans that
help shape future growth. These plans generally recognize the physical, economic, social,
political and aesthetic factors of a community and are developed in a process that includes
intensive analysis and robust public engagement.
A comprehensive plan typically includes a long-range scope (at least 20 years) and provides the
overall guiding principles for a community’s growth and development. As an example, the
Atlanta Region’s Plan serves as the comprehensive plan for the Atlanta region.
ARC Offers Community Planning Services
ARC frequently assists local jurisdictions in meeting state requirements for comprehensive
planning. Specifically, we offer assistance in:
- Visioning and Goal Setting
How might things be different in 5 or 10 years, or even 25 years? ARC has designed
activities that encourage public input on developing a community’s long-range vision.
ARC is able to help stimulate ideas, determine common goals, suggest strategies and
facilitate public dialogue.
- Asset-Based Community Development
ARC is able to help communities identify local resources, such as parks, historic
downtowns, retail districts, etc., that give a community its identity. We help communities take advantage of these assets and create innovative strategies around them. We can also help identify groups or individuals that should be invited to the planning table, as well as strategies for keeping them engaged.
- Workshop and Forum Facilitation
ARC has guided and facilitated planning projects around the region, from re-envisioning
a downtown area, to installing a piece of public art. Sometimes it is effective to have an
‘outsider’ lead public meetings – especially when the process is likely to be
controversial. Meetings can be designed to cover a couple of hours or a couple of days.
- Plan Completion
ARC is also responsible for ensuring that each community’s comprehensive plan is
complete and valid, and identifying any potential opportunities for regional solutions.
Community Planning Resources
• Georgia Minimum Standards and Procedures for Local Comprehensive Planning (PDF)
• Georgia Department of Community Affairs – Local Comprehensive Planning
• ARC Plan Reviews – Search the Database
• List of local government websites
• The Atlanta Region’s Plan
For additional information on Local Comprehensive Planning, please contact Jared Lombard