County, cities to consider partial comp plan update
BY ZACH MITCHAM
Madison County’s land use map establishes what should be maintained as farmland and what is suitable for development. Those lines are fiercely debated.
But the partial update of the county’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, which is under way, includes no such debate.
John Devine, senior planner for the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center led a brief hearing Thursday afternoon at the county government complex.
“There is no mapping exercise really involved,” said Devine about the update. “It’s really more policy oriented.”
Devine explained that the partial update is mandated by the state for each county and municipality. Without approval of a partial update, counties and cities aren’t eligible for state funding.
Several county representatives were on hand Thursday, while no one from the county’s six municipalities attended the meeting.
The RDC drafted the partial update of the comprehensive plan. And the BOC will be expected to approve that plan in coming weeks. Devine said the RDC will then have 45 days to review the plan, before submitting it to the Department of Community Affairs for final approval. Once that plan is approved, it will be in place until 2012.
Devine projected some long-term goals for the county and municipalities on the wall of the BOC meeting room Thursday. He said the county needs to do more to promote economic development, saying the county has “limited vision” on expanding business. He said the county relies on surrounding communities for jobs. Devine said the county is “seeing agriculture space being pressured by development.” He said Madison County has a growing population, but not “booming growth.”
“Services need to be supportive of that growth,” said Devine.
The planner said “affordable housing consists mainly of manufactured homes.”
He also said the county should establish buffers on development around pipelines and Commissioner Bruce Scogin informed Devine that the county has already established regulations on development within 1,000 feet of pipelines. He said the county should work to expand the recreation department. And commissioners informed him that expansions are already under way. He said the county should work with the Broad River Watershed Association to monitor the Broad River. Devine said Carlton should work on historic preservation, that Colbert should work on remodeling the city depot, repairing the old school building and constructing sidewalks. He said Comer should focus on historic preservation and a wastewater treatment facility. He said Danielsville should work on a streetscape master plan and sewer expansion down Hwy. 29 south. Devine said Hull should encourage residential growth and that Ila should focus on a water main and hydrant on King Street.
Devine said copies of the partial update of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan are available at the Madison County Planning Department at the government complex. More information on the plan is also available online at the RDC website at www.negrdc.org/
To contact Lee Carmon, who drafted the partial update, call 706-369-5650 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.