Planning Assistance

The Atlanta Regional Commission's Community Development Division leads a variety of workshops, charrettes, and planning assistance teams each year.  These Planning Assistance activities are designed to respond to local planning and visioning needs on an ad-hoc basis and are typically outside the more formal context of some of the division's other functions and programs.  The information below details some of the division's recent work in this regard.

South Fulton Parkway Corridor Plan

The South Fulton Parkway Corridor is approximately 20 miles, beginning near the intersection of I-85 and I-285 and extending southwest through multiple jurisdictions to the Fulton/ Douglas County line.  Beginning in 2014, ARC convened multiple meetings with diverse stakeholders in the areas of South Fulton County and Douglas County. In 2015, the Atlanta Aerotopolis Blueprint recognized South Fulton Parkway as “Strategic Corridor” within the area of influence of the Aerotropolis. This South Fulton Parkway Corridor Plan is the result of a process that synthesized the recommendations of existing plans in the context of existing and future land uses.

City of Brookhaven / MARTA: Brookhaven-Oglethorpe TOD Charrette

ARC, in partnership with the Southface Energy Institute, MARTA, and the City of Brookhaven, facilitated a four-day Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) charrette focused on the redeveloped of the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station parking lots. The community envisions the site becoming the town center/gateway for the newly formed city, with a mix of uses to support commercial, residential and civic needs.

City of Stone Mountain: Main Street/Downtown Planning Retreat

ARC worked with the City of Stone Mountain to facilitate a Planning Retreat for their Main Street, Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Visitors Center Boards. The goals of the retreat included: developing a Work Program for 2014 based on the 2013 DDA, Main Street and Visitors Center programs; engaging the Main Street Four Point Approach to organize all programs and activities; and prioritizing programs and activities using the Main Street Eight Guiding Principles. ARC developed a series of activities to help prioritize goals and to begin to think strategically about the 2014 work program.

City of Pine Lake: Community Visioning Retreat

ARC facilitated a Community Visioning Retreat for the Leadership and Key Stakeholders of the City of Pine Lake. The goals of the retreat included confirming a vision for the city for the purpose of strategic planning and long range budgeting; developing a path toward creating a 3-5 year budget for the City; and identifying concrete priorities and clear, actionable outcomes. Retreat activities focused on four components: Community Ideals, Community Perceptions, SWOT Analysis and Prioritization Outcomes.

City of Milton: Arnold Mill Road Visioning Workshop

ARC is assisting the City of Milton on a visioning process for the Arnold Mill Road (GA 140) corridor. The team conducted research throughout 2013, including community workshops and meetings in June and November, to gather input on what stakeholders believe is important and appropriate for the future of this area. The information taken from these meetings has been used to craft a vision for the corridor in line with community needs and desires. The final draft report was approved by the city's Planning Commission in April 2014 and is pending review and approval by the Milton City Council.

City of Chattahoochee Hills: Signage and Wayfinding Plan

ARC staff gathered input from stakeholders, studied the City’s key wayfinding issues, and produced an overview document to guide the City to implementation. The report presents a vision for a Chattahoochee Hills wayfinding system and highlights issues for the City to consider. City leaders and stakeholders will use this document to inform decision-making in the areas of community engagement, funding, design, fabrication, installation and expansion of a wayfinding system in the future.

City of Senoia: Gateway and Downtown Visioning Workshop

In partnership with the Three Rivers Regional Commission and the Georgia Conservancy, ARC assisted the City of Senoia with a visioning process designed to create a plan for key entry points to the community, enhance wayfinding and gateway features in and around the City’s historic core, and improve bicycle and pedestrian access between downtown Senoia and an area of future commercial development at SR 16 and SR 85.

City of Pine Lake: Historic Resources Survey

The City of Pine Lake asked ARC for technical assistance in conducting a windshield survey to determine the types of historic resources in their community. ARC compiled photos and maps that detailed a representative sample of the historic resources of Pine Lake. The Mayor and Council of Pine Lake may choose to pursue a nomination for the National Register of Historic Places.

City of Lithonia: Economic Development Coordination Meetings

ARC and the City of Lithonia have coordinated periodic meetings with regional stakeholders to develop a pilot program for working with smaller communities. Working with Lithonia and regional partners including the Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Municipal Association, and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, this project has helped to create a model for economic development assistance to small communities.

City of Milton: Crabapple Form-Based Code and Transfer of Development Rights Program

The City of Milton in north Fulton County contracted with the firm of Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh (TSW) and Rick Pruetz to develop a form-based code and transfer of development rights (TDR) program for the Crabapple community.  Based on a 2011 Master Plan for the area, ARC assisted with selecting the project team and provided technical assistance with the development of the TDR program.  Download the key documents below:

DeKalb County: LaVista Road Greenspace Charrette

ARC worked with citizens and stakeholders to develop a vision for a greenspace parcel on LaVista Road in central DeKalb County.  Community members worked collaboratively to develop their recommendations for park features.  Designers from Pond and Company created two alternative options that reflected charrette outcomes.  Download the key documents below:

City of McDonough: Town Square Visioning Workshop

ARC and the City of McDonough in Henry County facilitated a four-day visioning workshop to collect stakeholder feedback on the future development of the McDonough Town Square area.  The ARC team was asked to focus the workshop on Lifelong Communities (LLC) principles; wayfinding and parking; context-sensitive design and connectivity/mobility; tourism, cultural events and the arts; and urban design.  The workshop kicked off with a public meeting, and smaller technical meetings were held throughout the week.  The feedback collected was utilized by consultants from The Lawrence Group to develop a zoning overlay code, connectivity and mobility plan, and business retention and recruitment plan.  Download the key documents below:

City of Atlanta / MARTA: Edgewood-Candler Park TOD Charrette

ARC and the Southface Energy Institute led a group of local non-profits, planning professionals and stakeholders to undertake a four-day design charrette.  The event focused on exploring and formulating a vision for transit-oriented development (TOD) on an underutilized MARTA parking lot on the south side of the Edgewood/Candler Park MARTA station.  This charrette followed up on considerable planning work in this area by the City of Atlanta, Zeist Foundation, MARTA and the Edgewood community in recent years.  Download the key documents below:

For additional information on Planning Assistance, please contact Dan Reuter at

Implementation Assistance / Community Choices

For communities seeking assistance implementing planning through zoning and other codification, visit the Implementation Assistance page, which highlights ARC's Community Choices program.

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