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Sep 21

The 1975-1985 Plan

Posted to Douglas County Comprehensive Plan Update by Allison Duncan

In March of 1973, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners established the Douglas County Planning and Engineering Department with the express understanding that this department would direct growth into an orderly and regulated pattern. With the establishment of the Planning Commission and the Planning and Engineering Department, the 1975-1985 Comprehensive Development Plan rounds out all of the pieces that create the foundation of our modern planning department. 


With a modern department, we see some very modern goals identified in our plan. A few of these include:

  • Encourage compact growth, as opposed to scattered growth patterns.
  • Promote compatibility of adjacent land uses and provide buffers between non-compatible uses of land for aesthetically pleasing development.
  • Keep structural development out of flood plains and other areas where soils are not suitable for development.
  •  Encourage open-space type land uses and large-lot residential development in the Dog River , Bear Creek, and Gothards Creek drainage basins until an adequate sewerage system.
  • Protect the present character of the stable residential areas, provide a variety of residential neighborhoods for varied needs and tastes.  
  • Concentrate businesses together in compact groups rather than allowing them to spread haphazardly.
  • Encourage light industry and high value-added industry to locate in Douglas County.
  • Provide adequate areas for the expansion of existing industries and the development of new ones in order to broaden the County’s tax base.
  • Place emphasis on the educational, recreational and other public and semi-public   facilities in order to satisfy the needs of an expanding population.
  • Coordinate land development with existing and proposed thoroughfare system to achieve maximum efficiency in the movement of people, goods, and services.
  • Establish a mechanism to receive citizen input into the development of the plan.
  • Provide basic data to assist the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners to arrive at decisions on zoning, capital budgeting, and other areas concerning development in the County.

Interestingly, this plan also called attention to the unique and challenging environmental and topographical conditions of the county.  It is a reality that is very present to this day:

"The soils of Douglas County with severe development limitations due to floodplains, degree of slope and rock formation represent a total of 38% of Douglas County.  These undevelopable areas, however, furnish excellent opportunity to preserve open spaces and separate incompatible land uses in the county."

To that end, the 1975 plan was the first plan that described the presence of Sweetwater Creek State Park: "An outstanding addition to the county was the recent purchase of 811 acres south of Lithia Springs by the state for a state park." Our 2023 Comprehensive Plan update will build on many of the priorities first set out in 1975, including stable neighborhoods, a solid tax base, strong community engagement, efficient mobility, and protection of environmentally important areas through a countywide greenspace and trail network. Sweetwater Creek State Park

Jun 01


Posted to Douglas County’s Main Street by Allison Duncan

If you have followed the previous posts on this blog, then the information in the Lithia Springs Small Area Plan will all look pretty familiar.  This small area plan is the basis for a Character Area Study that will inform the next update of the Douglas County Comprehensive Plan. Per the Plan Recommendations, Douglas County applied for some additional technical assistance to continue our planning work. 

Douglas County was awarded a technical assistance grant through the Community Development Assistance Program of the Atlanta Regional Commission. In addition to ARC, this project will be supported by The Georgia Conservancy.

The technical assistance project will have two components.  The first component will be the creation of a resource manual that highlights best practices and case studies of the type of development the community has asked for in the Lithia Springs area.  And the second component will produce a training component for citizens and officials to become advocates for improvements to the Lithia Springs area.

Lithia Springs has a strong sense of place.  As documented in the compilation Portraits of History: Lithia Springs by Earl M. Albertson (and available at the Lithia Springs Library) the natural and built environment have been a complement to the quality of life in the area.  Industry, development and recreation have combined to create the character of the community.  And this same dynamic will be the foundation to define this area moving forward.  
the water plant
the office

Keep an eye on the project blog at this website for more information and future updates.  It is anticipated that the project will get started in July 2021, and extend through the end of 2021. Read the entire press release here.

Photos found in Portraits of History: Lithia Springs by Earl M. Albertson, which is available at the Lithia Springs Library.

Sep 02


Posted to Happenings by TJ Jaglinski

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