With all that’s been said about smart growth in the past two decades, wouldn’t it be nice if someone put some of the best advice on paper? And tailored it to our state?
Done and done.
The Livable Communities Coalition, whose member organizations include The Civic League for Regional Atlanta, has just introduced Guiding Growth and Development in Georgia: A Handbook on Planning and Land Use Law and Practices. It’s an indispensible 46-page primer for elected officials, civic leaders, and citizens.
The handbook was compiled with the help of dozens of metro Atlantans – smart growth advocates, lawyers, planners, developers, writers, and numerous other volunteers. It’s designed for the non-expert, and it features:
A summary of zoning law in Georgia.
Definitions of zoning terms.
Discussion of changing growth pressures.
Frequently asked questions about land use law.
Advice on how to steer and manage growth.
Dozens of useful tips, checklists, and references on where to find the best planning tools in Georgia and the U.S.
Those are some of the trees. Here’s a view of the forest from the handbook’s conclusion:
“ … Metro Atlanta grew fastest and farthest during a time of cheap gasoline and plentiful federal highway dollars. Distances between two points could once be measured in fast highway miles. There seemed no reason not to consume land in great gulps. Now population growth, changing demographics, rising energy costs, traffic congestion and increasing concern about climate change all cast lengthening shadows on that day and time.
“But there are many reasons to be hopeful. Here’s one: When you combine the number of buildings that will be needed to accommodate new growth with the number needed to replace obsolete or aging structures, it’s been estimated that we have only half the buildings that we will need by 2030. So there’s much good work to be done.
“Here’s another: As anyone who has attended a zoning hearing recently can tell you, citizens and elected officials are increasingly sophisticated about the kind of growth they want and the choices available to them. Communities are learning that they need not simply endure change. They can manage and even shape it if they choose.”
*Download your free copy at www.livablecommunitiescoalition.org > Resources > Tools > Guiding Growth.