Officials to plan for next five years
Friday, January 5, 2018 - 5:16pm
The CSRA Regional Commission will hold public hearings in Jefferson County and its cities to provide information about the county’s joint comprehensive plan to the public.
Martin Laws, the CSRA Regional Commission’s director of planning, said the comprehensive plan is state mandated.
“And for clarification what I mean by state mandated is for certain funding sources a jurisdiction must have qualified local government status. What we do is we provide the writing of the comprehensive plan for members of the regional commission, which all cities and the county of Jefferson are part of,” he said.
The comprehensive plan is a document in which the jurisdictions can provide guidance for land use and other elements over the next five years and sometimes long term, Laws said.
“We do sometimes have goals in the comprehensive plan that are not necessarily obtainable within five years; but, the jurisdiction would really like something like that to occur in their community.
“Part of the mandated process is to have a public hearing to announce the comprehensive plan for the jurisdictions that will be participating. This is in preparation for the nearly yearlong process,” he said.
The state first required comprehensive plans several decades ago; and, Laws said these public hearings will provide information about the comprehensive plan to the public.
“We will be taking comments from the public about the comprehensive plan at a later date, probably in August. This will be after the public has had time to review a copy of the draft for the comprehensive plan,” he said.
“Basically, I like to think of a comprehensive plan as a guide for what the community wants. I tell people in meetings all the time that my job at the regional commission is to be a guide. To basically guide the way the comprehensive plan is completed to better ensure acceptance by the state,” Laws said and added the public hearings are a way to introduce the public to the comprehensive plan process.
“We can’t take questions about the plan, yet,” he said. “If people want to come and learn what the comprehensive plan process is.”
Laws said Jefferson County already has a comprehensive plan; and, it is being updated. There was a full comprehensive plan developed in 2009 and a partial update in 2014.
“The last full comprehensive plan was in 2004; and, it was a 20-year plan,” he said. A change in the mandate requires the current update.
“Once it is created, it will be basically a road map to the community’s future,” Laws said. Public input will not be accepted during the hearings; because, the plan has not been developed.
“The planning staff at the Regional Commission has not begun the research needed to have something prepared for the purpose of discussion,” Laws said. The process for this update has just begun.
Following are the places and times set for each Public Hearing:
City of Avera, Jan. 8 at 5 p.m.
Avera City Hall, 9446 Broad St., Avera
City of Wadley, Jan. 8 at 6 p.m.
Wadley City Hall, City Council Chambers, 37 Butts St., Wadley
Jefferson County, Jan. 9 at 9 a.m.
Jefferson County Commission Office, 217 E. Broad St., Louisville
City of Louisville, Jan. 9 at 5 p.m.
Louisville, City Hall, 1011 Peachtree St., Louisville
City of Stapleton, Jan. 11 at 5:30 p.m.
Stapleton City Hall, 120 West Main St., Stapleton
City of Wrens, Jan. 16 at 10 a.m.
Wrens City Hall Civic Room, 401 E Broad St., Wrens
City of Bartow, Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m.
Bartow City Hall, 7849 Church St., Bartow