Because Athens-Clarke County has so many wonderful features, it is important that we all work together to protect and enhance them. Now it is time to take a look at our existing Comprehensive Plan and make sure that its vision still holds true for our community. Every 10 years, communities within Georgia revisit their comprehensive plans. There have been many changes in Athens-Clarke County in the past 10 years. Now is the time for us to refine and rededicate this vision for the future of our community. The goal, of course, is to plan for future growth in a way that improves our remaining problem areas while at the same time enhances the many existing assets that define Athenians’ exceptional quality of life.
In the summer of 2006, Mayor Heidi Davison appointed a Steering Committee to guide the update of the Comprehensive Plan. These Steering Committee members represent the various areas of interest and concern within Athens-Clarke County. The City of Winterville, likewise, appointed a Steering Committee. A list of community stakeholders was gathered and invited, along with the community as a whole, to kick off the planning process.
Over the spring and summer of 2007, the Steering Committee members chaired various subcommittees to address the areas of population, economic development, environmental resources, cultural resources, facilities and services, intergovernmental coordination, housing, land use, and transportation. During the spring, a survey of our community was distributed, and the information gathered analyzed. Three community workshops were held over the summer. The Steering Committee prepared the combined document of the issues and opportunities, policies, short-term work plan, and the growth concept map.
The Planning Commission submitted an edited version of the document to the Mayor and Commission, along with the Future Development Map and the Steering Committee's combined document. The Mayor and Commission met in work session to review the work to date. The next step in the process is a public hearing by the Mayor and Commission.