Local Comprehensive Planning

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.

Search Plan Reviews

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
at jlombard@atlantaregional.com.