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Posted to Douglas County Comprehensive Plan Update by Allison Duncan
We are starting to see some early results of the good work underway on the Comprehensive Plan Update. The consultant team has shared with us some analysis of existing conditions. Below is a brief discussion of a few of these maps, and the insights that we have gained.
This environmental composite provides some critical insights into our land use. The early comprehensive plans had estimated that 30-40% of Douglas County would be challenging to develop due to sensitive environmental conditions. The dark grey areas of this map show granite deposits. And the purple lines indicate flood zones that need to be avoided so as to protect life and property in the event of major storm events.
Several major waterways shape the structure of our watershed basins – including Sweetwater Creek Anneewakee Creek, Bear Creek, Dog River and the Chattahoochee River. The Bear Creek and Dog River Watershed Basins are protected by regulations to ensure both water quality and quantity for our current population and future generations. These regulations protect the Bear Creek and Dog River Reservoirs from harmful impacts of development, as Douglas County is totally dependent on its surface water reservoirs for our community drinking water supplies.
The Chattahoochee River is protected by the Metropolitan River Protection Act (MRPA). This is a State law that governs the development of the 2,000 foot corridor adjacent to the River.
The result of these environmental factors has influenced our current land development patterns. Most of the development of Douglas County has taken place on the eastern side of the county. This map shows a composite of areas where open space land uses, including forest and pasture lands, have clustered on 5+ acre parcels.
Our land use also correlates to where it has made sense to expand sewer infrastructure in the county.
All of these factors on any given parcel can be identified as either development mitigators, or things that could potentially limit development. Or development accelerators, which are things that could potentially encourage development. An overview of these factors points to areas of the county that require special attention. These are areas that have been identified as being most susceptible to change. We will explore more on these issues in another post.
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.
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.
Posted to Happenings by TJ Jaglinski