Preparing & Amending Zoning Ordinances

Evaluation – When to make a change?

GAZA promotes zoning administration’s “importance to the health, safety, welfare, and prosperity of Georgia’s municipalities and counties.”

  • Do existing tools support this?
  • Content – Are codes current?
  • Format – Are they clear and well organized?

Are codes current?

  • Incorporates amendments into main body of document vs. stand-alone items?
  • Tables are updated with text for consistency?
  • Consistent with state requirements and federal law?
  • Zoning districts are in place that support future land use / development map?
  • Building and lot standards support comprehensive plan goals?
  • Land development regulations support comprehensive plan goals?

Address community trends or issues?

  • Growing senior population
  • Green energy and buildings
  • LED signs
  • Development pressure on farmland

Are codes clear & well organized?

  • Precise and consistent language?
  • Clearly stated / efficient processes?
  • Use of tables and graphics?
  • Streamlined (including zoning districts)?
  • User-friendly?

Identify Stakeholders

  • Staff
  • City / County Attorney
  • Planning Commission
  • Committee or individual interviews
  • Elected officials

Identify Issues

  • New districts based on character areas
  • Supplemental standards based on new uses
  • Consistent design and development standards
  • Home occupations
  • Billboard

Identify Administrative Capabilities

Impacts type of regulations being considered and the associated review processes

  • What are full-time staff levels?
  • Are certain responsibilities outsourced?
  • Design-based standards require additional staff review time

Case Study 1: Burke County

Existing Conditions

  • “Land Development Code” minus zoning
  • Recent comp plan update


  • Updated Land Development Code with the inclusion of zoning


  • Planning Commission acts as sterring committee, meets monthly to guide process
  • Stakeholder meetings planned with farming and development community
  • Ongoing 2010

Case Study 2: Gordon County

Existing Conditions

  • Stand-alone land use and development codes needing to be updated (zoning adopted 1992)
  • Recent comp plan update


  • Unified Land Development Code


  • Three public workshops held for input
  • Board of Commission workshop held to respond to public comments
  • Stakeholder meetings with UGA Extension office, major landowners, developers
  • Adopted 2008

Case Study 3: City of Canton

Existing Conditions

  • Stand alone land use and development codes
  • Recent comp plan update
  • Additional need for local historic district design guidelines


  • Updated codes consolidated into a single document
  • Related, but stand alone, HD design guidelines


  • Two steering committees guide parallel processes
  • Steering Committee 1 = downtown / historic interests
  • Steering Committee 2 = developer, real estate, Dev. Authority, Chamber, PC, citizens
  • Ongoing 2010
Scroll to top