Preparing & Amending Zoning Ordinances

Presentation given during Summer 2010 Conference

by MACTEC Consulting


Evaluation - When to make a change?

GAZA promotes zoning administration's "importance to the health, safety, welfare, and prosperity of Georgia's municipalities and counties."

- Do existing tools support this?

- Content - Are codes current?

- Format - Are they clear and well organized?


Are codes current?

- Incorporates amendments into main body of document vs. stand-alone items?

- Tables are updated with text for consistency?

- Consistent with state requirements and federal law?

- Zoning districts are in place that support future land use / development map?

- Building and lot standards support comprehensive plan goals?

- Land development regulations support comprehensive plan goals?


Address community trends or issues?

- Growing senior population

- Green energy and buildings

- LED signs

- Development pressure on farmland


Are codes clear & well organized?

- Precise and consistent language?

- Clearly stated / efficient processes?

- Use of tables and graphics?

- Streamlined (including zoning districts)?

- User-friendly?


Identify Stakeholders

- Staff

- City / County Attorney

- Planning Commission

- Committee or individual interviews

- Elected officials


Identify Issues

- New districts based on character areas

- Supplemental standards based on new uses

- Consistent design and development standards

- Home occupations

- Billboard


Identify Administrative Capabilities

Impacts type of regulations being considered and the associated review processes

- What are full-time staff levels?

- Are certain responsibilities outsourced?

- Design-based standards require additional staff review time


Case Study 1: Burke County

Existing Conditions

- "Land Development Code" minus zoning

- Recent comp plan update


- Updated Land Development Code with the inclusion of zoning


- Planning Commission acts as sterring committee, meets monthly to guide process

- Stakeholder meetings planned with farming and development community

- Ongoing 2010


Case Study 2: Gordon County

Existing Conditions

- Stand-alone land use and development codes needing to be updated (zoning adopted 1992)

- Recent comp plan update


- Unified Land Development Code


- Three public workshops held for input

- Board of Commission workshop held to respond to public comments

- Stakeholder meetings with UGA Extension office, major landowners, developers

- Adopted 2008


Case Study 3: City of Canton

Existing Conditions

- Stand alone land use and development codes

- Recent comp plan update

- Additional need for local historic district design guidelines


- Updated codes consolidated into a single document

- Related, but stand alone, HD design guidelines


- Two steering committees guide parallel processes

- Steering Committee 1 = downtown / historic interests

- Steering Committee 2 = developer, real estate, Dev. Authority, Chamber, PC, citizens

- Ongoing 2010