Every Community In Georgia can take advantage of the benefits of good planning by becoming a DCA Qualified Local Government that has a local comprehensive plan designed to fit local needs.

It’s Your Community, and Your Plan can set the direction for achieving Your Future.

Why planning strengthens a community

Comprehensive planning benefits your community through:

• Efficient use of tax dollars
• More economic development
• Protection of private property rights
• Transparency in government – people can have a voice in the direction their community is headed
• Smarter decisions that are based on both short and long term considerations

For more benefits of planning, click here.

From good to great

By preparing a local comprehensive plan, your community earns access to several state funding and permitting programs. To see listing – click here. This is the “Good” level in DCA’s local planning program.

If you then establish a clear track record of success by using your plan effectively for local decision-making, you may earn even greater benefits via DCA’s PlanFirst designation. This is the “Great” level in DCA’s local planning program.

It all begins with a very simple plan

Local comprehensive plans can be prepared by your Regional Commission at no cost to your community. These plans include three basic elements:


1. Community Goals – broad vision for what the community wants for its future
2. Community Needs and Opportunities – immediate challenges faced by the community
3. Community Work Program – to do list for addressing the challenges you identified and moving toward the vision you created

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Some communities will want to expand on this three-part plan by including other elements, such as housing or transportation strategies. And in some cases, depending on characteristics of your community, you will be asked to add plan elements as summarized below.

Element Required for Simple Solution
Communities in Job Tax Credit Tier 1 Include applicable portions of the regional economic development strategy (CEDS) prepared by the regional commission

Land Use Communities with zoning Include a future land use map

Transportation Communities included in a Metropolitan Planning Organization  Include applicable portions of the regional transportation plan prepared by the MPO

Housing U.S. HUD Entitlement communities Include the Consolidated Plan required for HUD

Communities that charge development impact fees Include the Capital Improvements Element prepared when impact fees were initiated locally

Once you are a Qualified Local Government and have your local comprehensive plan in place, you are ready to take the next step to the “great” level by earning DCA’s PlanFirst designation through effective implementation and use of your new plan.

Both DCA and your Regional Commission can assist as needed to help ensure your success with local comprehensive planning and implementation.